Describe Your Solution:
A key tenant of the project is that community forest management regimes can manage non-timber forest products (NFTPs) by introducing financial incentives for preservation and sustainable maintenance of the local forests. At present, financial need often drives locals to use marginal lands to maintain their subsistence agriculture plots or simply log the forest for firewood. Creating a profitable private sector market for NFTPs shifts incentives to encourage sustainable land preservation. For the individual, diversification of income sources is essential to the process of increasing climate change adaptability. If, with the increasing variability of climate, one income stream should fall short, there should be others present to take their place. In the past, the only viable economic opportunities for the most marginal farmers in forested areas was logging ? without the resources and know-how necessary to acquire community forestry rights from local groups, there was no way for these households to extract sustainable livelihoods from foraging for the medicinal or aromatic plants they could find. To address this reliance on foraging and increase the incomes of the poor, iDE, in 2003, introduced the cultivation of marketable NTFPs, thereby creating new income-generating livelihoods opportunity for these groups while preserving incentives for sustainable forest management and decreasing the economic pressure that drives illegal logging and unsustainable harvesting of wild plants. Under iDE?s current Initiative for Climate Change Adaptation (ICCA), iDE is selecting the households most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and allocating assigned plots in community forests for essential oil production, while simultaneously connecting them to leased land for high-value agriculture. iDE?s supports these households in beginning cultivation of high-value vegetables that can provide for family consumption, increasing food security, while also allowing for surplus production to be sold at market, generating additional income. iDE connects farmers to high quality inputs, including micro-irrigation technologies, that greatly enhance yield. As part of the intervention, iDE promotes cultivation during the dry season when, without access to irrigation, production is normally impossible. Producing out of season means farmers earn more for the produce they sell at market. Access to irrigation also allows farmers to weather erratic rainfall and produce much higher yields than they could by relying on rainfall alone. iDE provides technical assistance and training to households on both NTFP cultivation and high-value vegetable production. iDE also coordinates the establishment of individual- or group-owned distilleries for the manufacturing and marketing of essential oils and other NTFP products. This dual pronged approach ensures that families diversify their income streams increasing income in both areas, generating additional resources that may be used to further enhance resilience to climate change while fostering ecosystem conservation through economic incentives to halt previously unsustainable practices. In addition to support to individual vulnerable households, one of the program?s main goals is to increase the adaptive capacity of the community by raising awareness on climate change among the community members, local institutions, and other stakeholders. Through the establishment of a Community Climate Resource Center (CCRC), the project seeks to disseminate adaptive technologies that will help local farmers and foragers manage their water, land, and forest resources in a sustainable way, through innovation and best practices for climate change adaptation. The project will also build the capacity for the local private sector supply chain to more efficiently provide products and services for mainstreaming climate change adaptation and climate-proof infrastructure.