Supporting the poorest and most marginalised communities in Tamil Nadu, as they adapt to climate change.
The project that APE is helping to fund will assist a remote and marginalised community of tribal people in the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve of South India to adapt to the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change. The project is led by Tamwed’s partner, local NGO the ISLAND Trust, which has a track record in delivering support to tribal people in the area including helping them adapt to the changing climate. Trained staff, experts and volunteers will work with local people to produce film, music, art and dance to raise awareness about climate change and to engage 500 tribal people who are taking practical actions to limit its impact. These activities will take place alongside a programme that includes adaptive agriculture, improved irrigation and alternative energy. Formulated educational and other material will be produced to educate and to stimulate action by other communities, provoke policy makers into action and provide a reference for students and others throughout the world.
The rain forest area of the Nilgiri Hiils contains over 100 species of mammals, 350 species of birds, and includes the Tiger, Asian Elephant, and Nilgiri Tahr. The resident Badaga, Kota, and Kuruba tribal people are pastoral, trading food and produce from the forests and fields of reserved areas in local markets. Their way of life is increasingly threatened through encroachment into their traditional homelands, tea growing, deforestation, oppression, ill health, poor education, westernisation and climate change. Tamwed has been working with its partner NGO in the area for 4 years during which time research as well as practical experimentation with agriculture, irrigation and energy has complemented other programmes that aim to tackle rights and land issues, conserve culture and offer new but appropriate forms of income generation. A group from the tribal group concerned has represented their communities during this programme and participated in the development of the plan for this project.
Tamwed (Tamil Nadu/West Devon) is a UK charity that works with partner organisations to support and link with some of the poorest and most marginalised communities in rural South India. Tamwed currently provides funding for projects to improve health and help adapt to the effects of climate change – both critically important issues for those who live in remote villages. Tamwed’s voluntary committee members are professional educators and development workers who are able to take information and lessons learned from South India to students in the UK and those who work on similar projects all over the world.