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AP tribal village gets paid for pioneer green project for World Bank

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , June 18

POWERGUDA, a little-known village in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh, has become an environmental pioneer by selling the equivalent of 147 tonnes of carbon-dioxide in verified emission reduction to the World Bank.

The bank paid $645 to Powerguda villagers to neutralise emissions from aeroplanes and local transport used by participants attending an international conference at Washington DC, in October 2003.

This interesting transaction has put Powerguda, a watershed-project area of the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), and a secluded Gond tribal village, on the global carbon trade map.

International invitees to the World Bank conference burnt aviation fuel to fly to the meeting resulting in greenhouse gas emission. To compensate for the adverse environmental impact of this, the bank paid the Powerguda villagers to grow pongamia trees in the watershed. By growing these trees, the villagers have been providing a three-fold environmental service - prevent the spread of desertification; sequester atmospheric carbon; and extract pongamia oil, which is a biodiesel. The income of villagers improved due to the watershed activities that include soil and water conservation, improved agricultural practices, integrated nutrient, and pest management.

A recent study noted a 77% increase in family income over three years, an ICRISAT release said. ICRISAT's model for watershed development is replicated in Andhra Pradesh through the Andhra Pradesh Rural Livelihoods Program.

More Stories on : Environment | Rural Development | Andhra Pradesh

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