Cooperation in action

India: Learning to cope with climate change impacts

A man watering plants at Green College, Rukka in India

In many rural parts of India, the adverse impacts of climate change are already a harsh reality rather than a far-off threat. The monsoon is arriving later and later; rainfall is becoming more irregular. Heavy rainfall and droughts are increasing.

In order to alleviate the consequences of climate change, Germany's development cooperation programmes combine soil conservation activities with more efficient water use. This includes efforts to increase the fertility of degraded land through changed fertilising methods and better crop rotation, build water storage systems, and introduce erosion control measures. For example, fruit trees that are better able to cope with the irregular rainfall are being planted on slopes where erosion is a potential problem.

Farmers cannot influence the quantity or frequency of rainfall, but they are learning to live with the changed circumstances and to better cope with the consequences of climate change. This is reflected in their incomes, which have increased by 20 to 50 per cent as a result of the programmes.

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