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Ecosystem Approach to Disaster Risk Reduction Sunanda Dey Research Scholar Dept. of Anthropology,Delhi University.

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Presentation on theme: "Ecosystem Approach to Disaster Risk Reduction Sunanda Dey Research Scholar Dept. of Anthropology,Delhi University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ecosystem Approach to Disaster Risk Reduction Sunanda Dey Research Scholar Dept. of Anthropology,Delhi University

2 2 Concept of Environmental Knowledge Environmental Knowledge, Traditional knowledge (TK), Indigenous knowledge (IK) and local knowledge generally refer to the long- standing traditions and practices of certain regional, indigenous, or local communities. Traditional knowledge also encompasses the wisdom, knowledge, and teachings of these communities. In many cases, the knowledge has been orally passed for generations from person to person. Some forms of traditional knowledge are expressed through stories, legends, folklore, rituals, songs and even laws.

3 3 Indigenous measures adopted by communities across the world In Burkina Faso, the Mossi farmers use their Indigenous Knowledge to abate problems of drought. They build lines of stones (bunds) on their cultivated land to construct terraces and pits that conserve water. They also fill the bunds with organic material to increase soil fertility. The semi- permeable bunds allow for a gradual seeping in of the water and prevent run-off caused by the scarce but highly intensive rains, thus reducing the risk of crop failure and soil erosion. In the disastrous drought years of 1983 and 1984, crops grew on land with bunds, while on adjoining fields nothing could grow. Indigenous knowledge has also been used in mitigating the impacts of earthquakes and cyclones in India. After the disaster of 26 January 2001, Manav Sadhna, an NGO based at Gandhi Ashram in the city of Ahmadabad, Gujarat state, became engaged in earthquake rehabilitation efforts in the village of Ludiya. It implemented a recovery project aimed at reducing impacts of disasters. Remodeled traditional circular houses (bhungas) were constructed to replace the thousands of destroyed homes. The traditional circular homes are known to be resistant to earthquake and are also considered to be cyclone proof. They are constructed with local materials such as sun-dried bricks and straw branches (khip) of the babool tree (UNEP, 2007).

4 4 Contd. Construction practices in the Himalayan region are still on the lines of the traditional methods. Most of the construction taking place in the region makes use of traditional materials like stone masonry or burnt bricks. Such buildings are highly vulnerable in the high seismic zones. With improvement in the economic condition RC framed buildings are also being constructed. The studied buildings in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh had several seismic resistant features inherent in the structure. These features had helped these buildings survive the various earthquakes that the valley has encountered. Buttresses at corners, lateral systems, wooden bands, corner reinforcements, through stones, small openings and buttress-like projections along gable walls were the common earthquake resistant features found in mostly all the buildings (SEEDS, 2007)

5 5 Majuli Island Acknowledged as one of the largest inhabited river islands of the world, Majuli, earlier known as Majali Majuli is situated in the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra, 630km. upstream of the Indo-Bangladesh border and 1000km. from its mouth. Prior to 1950, the total area of Majuli was 1,256 sq. km.. Continuous erosion since has resulted in depletion of its size. To the north of Majuli flows the old streams of Brahmaputra- the Luit and the Kherkatia Suti- and on the south lies the Brahmaputra. The extreme ends, the east and the west, have been marked by the bifurcation and amalgamation of the two channels of the mighty river mighty. Its elevation from the mean sea level is meters.

6 6 Map Location of Majuli Island, Assam

7 7 Majuli is the nerve-centre of the neo-vaishnavite religion, art and culture. In fact, it is considered to be the Vatican of neo- vaishnavism. It was way back in the 16th century that Mahapurush Srimanta Sankardeva along with his chief disciple, Madhabdeva, laid the foundation of the Satra culture in Majuli, which ushered in an era of distinctive religio-cultural heritage. Sankardeva, the great social reformer, founded a new cult of vaishnavism, known as Ek Saran Naam Dharma, meaning Lord Vishnu is at the root of all gods and goddesses and He is to be worshiped only through Naam Prasnga- prayers. Majuli boasts of a multiplicity of ethnic tribes, which have contributed immensely to its rich and colorful cultural heritage. Different tribes like Mishing, Deuris, Sonowal Kacharis are some famous tribes.

8 8 Annuiti Satra

9 9 Mishing Community The Mishings are a tribe settled mostly in the districts of Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, Sibsagar, Jorhat, Darrang, and Goalpara of Assam. Ethnically, the Mishings are mongoloid and belong to its Indo- Tibetan group. The Mishings are a tribe settled mostly in the districts of Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, Sibsagar, Jorhat, Darrang, and Goalpara of Assam. Ethnically, the Mishings are mongoloid and belong to its Indo- Tibetan group

10 10 MISHING WOMAN WITH HER CHILD

11 11 MISHING HANDLOOM

12 12 Livelihood Practices

13 13

14 14 Festivals of Mishing Community Ali-Aye-Ligang- It is a festival signifying the seed sowing ritual of the Mishing community. This most important and colorful festival of the Mishings is celebrated every year on the first Wednesday of the month of Phalguna (February-March) with traditional pomp and gaiety. The ceremonial sowing of paddy starts on this day. The literal meaning of Ali- Aye-Ligang stands for first sowing of roots and fruits in which ‘Ali’ stands for seeds, ‘Aye’ for Fruits and ‘Ligang’ for sowing. The Gumraag Dance is performed by the young boys and girls during this festival. Oinitoms- Mishing songs- are also sung. Another important festival of the Mishings is the Porag Festival, which is a harvesting festival in which women are honored as symbols of fertility and productivity. The Mishing are also known for the preparation of a special kind of intoxicating drink, called as Apong.

15 15 MISHING NAAMGHAR

16 16 Indigenous Practices Culture- House Infrastructure Habits- Agricultural Practices and Lifestyle Traditional Early Warning Systems

17 17 MISHING HOUSE

18 18 View from Inside of Mishing house

19 19 ARRANGEMENT FOR HOUSEHOLD ANIMALS

20 20 Mishing Food

21 21 Ecosystem Approach to Disaster Risk Reduction

22 22 Conclusion Environmental Knowledge of Mishing community is acknowledged and their ecosystem approach is appreciated for their development by the higher authorities. Disaster risk reduction measures adopted by Mishing are sustainable and reliable for risk reduction for future disasters. Development policy makers consider the local needs and requirements before framing any programmes. More needs to be done for better coordination of ecosystem approach for disaster risk reduction.

23 23 Thank You


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