Describe watershed approach in the context of Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP) and Desert Development Programme (DDP). Discuss its main features of planning andimplementation as envisaged in the guidelines

The watershed approach is an integrated approach to the development of natural resources in a particular geographic area.

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It involves the identification and management of the entire watershed area, including the land, water, and other natural resources within it. The approach is particularly relevant in the context of the Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP) and the Desert Development Programme (DDP), which aim to address the problems of drought-prone and desert regions, respectively.

The main features of planning and implementation of the watershed approach as envisaged in the guidelines for the DPAP and DDP are as follows:

  1. Watershed Planning: The first step in the watershed approach is to conduct a comprehensive survey and mapping of the watershed area to identify its natural resources, land use patterns, and socio-economic conditions. This information is then used to prepare a detailed watershed development plan, which includes a range of activities, such as soil and water conservation measures, afforestation, and the development of alternative livelihoods.
  2. Community Participation: The watershed approach emphasizes the active involvement of local communities in the planning and implementation of the development activities. The involvement of local communities is essential for the sustainability of the development initiatives and ensures that the activities are tailored to meet the specific needs and aspirations of the community.
  3. Inter-Disciplinary Approach: The watershed approach requires an inter-disciplinary approach, involving experts from various fields such as hydrology, agronomy, forestry, and social sciences. This approach ensures that the development activities are based on sound scientific principles and take into account the complex interrelationships between various natural resources.
  4. Convergence of Schemes: The watershed approach aims to ensure the convergence of various development schemes and programmes at the local level. This is achieved through coordination and cooperation between various government departments and agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders.
  5. Monitoring and Evaluation: The watershed approach emphasizes the need for regular monitoring and evaluation of the development activities to ensure their effectiveness and impact. This is done through the establishment of monitoring systems and the use of participatory evaluation techniques.

In conclusion, the watershed approach is a holistic and integrated approach to natural resource development that is particularly relevant in the context of the DPAP and DDP. The approach emphasizes community participation, inter-disciplinary coordination, convergence of schemes, and regular monitoring and evaluation to ensure sustainable development in drought-prone and desert regions.

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