India is one of the most active countries for WWF and Green Economy. A portfolio of programmes is underway across the sub-continent spanning SME behaviour, product certification and mitigating the impacts of linear infrastructure on landscapes.
Highlights of the in-country team’s work include the MSC certification of the commercially exploited short neck clam in Ashtamudi estuary, the second largest estuarine system in Kerala. The fishery in question underwent the full assessment in September 2014 and was MSC certified in Nov 2014, the first MSC certified fishery in India and only the second in South East Asia. Elsewhere, WWF is supporting water stewardship through its ‘Rivers for Life, Life for Rivers’ program in the Ganges basin.
Focussing on SME behaviour in the clusters of Moradabad and Kanpur, the local team is uncovering challenges including low awareness and planning for water risks among SMEs. In response, WWF is mapping and identifying key national and international buyers that can influence the behaviour of the SMEs that supply them.
The research has not only identified key brands as sources of leverage but also established a methodology to map supply chains of SME clusters, which is now being used in China and Turkey for similar work. WWF-India is also advocating the need for scaling up renewable energy by striving to establish ‘renewables as the new normal’ for a sustainable & green economy.
The team produced ‘The Energy Report: India: 100% Renewable Energy by 2050’ in technical partnership with TERI to demonstrate that a renewable-energy-based green economy is achievable for India. The in-country team has also turned its attention to consumer attitudes to certified products. In the fist of two initiatives, the team devised a consumer awareness campaign for FSC paper, winning a two-year grant from WWF worth 200,000 USD to implement it.
The campaign targeted both general consumers as well as heavy users of paper (printers, publishing houses, packaging material makers etc.) about the source of the paper they use, and about the environmental impacts associated with unsustainable paper production.
In a second strand, WWF-India along with the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) worked together to implement the 'Choose Wisely' menu across leading hotels. This replicated WWF’s global Choose Wisely, a research-backed consumer awareness program which aims to inform better choices on fish purchases and ultimately protect global fish stocks from over-exploitation.
WWF-India is also working with numerous stakeholders to mitigate the impacts of linear infrastructure on national landscapes. The team have moved beyond identifying sites where mitigation is required, to collaborating with engineers to create detailed design documents for mitigation measures.
By way of example, the team is engaging with policymakers and road developers to prevent the adverse consequences of constructing a new road across the Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) in Northern India that extends from the Yamuna River in the west to the Bagmati River in the east. The region contains unique grassland and scrub forest ecosystem that is known as the Terai.
WWF India is drawing on its Green Economy project in the region to assign values to the ecosystems that will be affected by this road. These values are being used to develop a range of scenarios including the value to the economy should the road not be built.
► Read more about GE projects in India
► Visit WWF India website
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