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In commemoration of World Environment Day 2024, the ICAR – Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Research Centre, Udhagamandalam, organized an awareness campaign on “Climate Resilient Technologies for Soil and Water Conservation” on the 24th May, 2024, at Melkavatty village, Udhagamandalam. The event aimed to create awareness, educate and engage the local community, farmers, and stakeholders about the importance of adopting sustainable conservation practices to combat climate change and ensure the conservation of vital natural resources.

The campaign was inaugurated by Dr. Somasundaram Jayaraman, Head and Principal Scientist, ICAR-IISWC, Research Centre, Ooty. He emphasized the critical need for climate-resilient agricultural practices in the face of escalating climate variability and also highlighted the importance of soil and water conservation for reducing soil erosion and improving soil health. He highlighted the role of soil and water conservation in sustaining agricultural productivity and ensuring food security. During the programme, Dr. P. Sundarambal, Principal Scientist, (Agril Extension), sensitized the participants about the relevance of World Environment Day and Mission Life programme (LiFE). Dr. H.C. Hombe Gowda, Senior Scientist (Forestry), and Dr. S.M. Vanitha, Senior Scientist (Agril Economics), provided additional insights on need for conservation and different conservation practices for the hilly region.

A video secession was organised on Mission Life, Climate-Resilient Soil and Water Conservation Technologies, and the Centre’s initiatives such as cover crop for soil health improvement and terraces for erosion control was displayed and briefly explained by Dr. S.K. Annepu, Scientist (Veg. Science) to create awareness among the participants. This multimedia approach helped to visually illustrate the importance and practical applications of the discussed technologies. Following the video presentations, an interactive session was held where participants could engage directly with experts. Farmers from Melkavatty shared their experiences and challenges, prompting discussions on practical solutions tailored to the local context.

Technology brochures on soil and water conservation were distributed to the participants. These materials provided detailed instructions on implementing the technologies and practices discussed during the campaign. The campaign received enthusiastic participation from over 43 participants (Male 31 and female 12) and the feedback from the farmers indicated a high level of awareness and a commitment to adopt the demonstrated technologies. The local community expressed appreciation for the practical knowledge shared and requested follow-up training sessions to further their understanding and implementation of climate-resilient practices.

All the staff of the centre actively participated in the event. The program was coordinated by Dr. H.C. Hombe Gowda, Senior Scientist (Forestry), and Dr. Renjith P.S., Scientist (Agronomy) under the guidance of Dr Somasundaram Jayaraman, Head of the Centre. The event not only celebrated World Environment Day but also reinforced the collective responsibility of safeguarding our environment through innovative and resilient practices.

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