Mangrove forest in India

Priority area Environmental protection and resource conservation Protecting eco-systems and adapting to climate change

Protecting the quality of India’s soil, water and air, and conserving the biodiversity of the Indian sub-continent are matters of national and global importance. To date, however, the Indian government has made only limited progress towards curbing high environmental degradation and mitigating the impacts of climate change. German activities for protecting the environment and natural resources in India focus on agro-ecology and water management, forest conservation and adaptation to climate change.

Agro-ecology and water management

Joint Declaration of Intent on Agroecology and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources (Lighthouse Initiative)

Between the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare of the Republic of India

File type PDF | Date of status 05/2022 | File size 134 KB, Pages 6 Pages

In May 2022, the BMZ and the Indian agriculture ministry, along with other relevant ministries, agreed on a flagship initiative: Agroecology and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources. This initiative, in which the private sector, academia and civil society are also involved, is supporting the Indian government in transitioning the country’s agricultural ecology towards more resilient soil and food systems, and in realising sustainable management of natural resources. The BMZ is providing up to 300 million euros for these efforts up to 2025.

The goal of this partnership is to further strengthen Indo-German cooperation in the context of various forms of environmental and agro-ecological farming in India. These activities are aimed at improving soil quality and its water storage capacity, increasing small farmers’ incomes and reducing their spending on fertiliser and pesticides. The change to sustainable, climate-smart and/or agro-ecological farming practices is meant to reduce the risk of harvest losses and improve adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
The BMZ is also fostering the sustainable and efficient use of available water resources, and the processing and refining of agricultural products. As a result of Indo-German cooperation activities carried out so far, 2.7 million hectares of land can now be sustainably farmed using climate-smart methods and 3.4 million people have seen their incomes increase.

The BMZ is also active in India through its Special Initiative “Transformation of Agricultural and Food Systems”, where support is being provided, among other things, for a Green Innovation Centre. The centre teaches farmers about environmental farming, soil protection and food security, and it supports poor farmers in various value chains striving to increase their incomes.

A man irrigates plants at the Green Innovation Centre in Rukka, India, which was set up with support from the BMZ.

A man irrigates plants at the Green Innovation Centre in Rukka, India, which was set up with support from the BMZ.

A man irrigates plants at the Green Innovation Centre in Rukka, India, which was set up with support from the BMZ.

Conservation, restoration and sustainable use of forests

The aim of Indo-German cooperation efforts in this area of intervention is to conserve biodiverse forest ecosystems through intelligent management, restore important habitats and increase their resistance in the face of the impacts of climate change. The intention is to conserve the natural resource base that the local people depend on for their livelihoods and improve their lives.

The focus here is on the Himalayan region and on other federal states with large areas of forest. In these areas, efforts are being made to prevent the felling of timber, create alternative income opportunities and promote sustainable, participatory approaches for environmental farming and forest management.

Adaptation to climate change

Indo-German cooperation is also aimed at helping the rural population of India and the official authorities responsible for rural regions prepare for climate change. Germany and India are jointly engaged in registering and evaluating climate risks, and drawing up strategies for climate change adaptation and plans for local development, and developing appropriate financing models. Sustainable, resource-saving farming practices and modern production methods are intended to give smallholders in particular the tools they need to increase their yields and protect themselves against financial risks, and also enable them to safeguard their livelihoods despite changing climatic conditions.

So far, seven federal states with 155 million inhabitants have received support for adaptation planning.

As at: 02/08/2022