Eco-Village Development (EVD) in South Asia – Evidence based advocacy at local, national and international level

Project Summary

DIB is currently coordinating a three-year advocacy project in South Asia in cooperation with national and regional partners in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. The aim of the project is to demonstrate and promote a wider dissemination of the eco-village development (EVD) concept at national, regional and international level through evidence-based advocacy. The EVD concept combines a number of low-cost technical solutions within sustainable energy, water management, agriculture, gardening and housing.

The project is drafted and coordinated by DIB and INFORSE Europe in collaboration with local partner organizations in South Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal). Through a variety of activities across the four countries and in international forums the project will demonstrate how these local technical solutions can contribute to poverty reduction with minimal greenhouse gas emissions. Within the EVD concept climate action is a driver for development and not a burden. During the first phases of the project three villages have been selected in each country and a combination of low-cost technical solutions have been established. These villages function as the evidence-base for the advocacy activities carried out during the project, which include national dialogue meetings, policy briefs and publications, presentation at the UNFCCC process, input to national hearings and participation in relevant forums.

Project Objectives

The overall objective of the project is to advocate for and encourage the development of eco-friendly solutions to reduce poverty in ways that limit greenhouse gas emissions (mitigate climate change) in South Asia.
In pursuit of this overall objective the project aims to:

  • Influence national decision-makers and climate negotiators to be aware of and better include local climate mitigation and adaptable solutions (including sustainable EVD solutions) as important elements in their national climate-related policies, as well as in their proposals for international negotiations, especially in the forthcoming Climate Conferences (COP21 in Paris, France and Bonn 2016, Germany).
  • To increase the awareness of local solutions in the rural population of these countries and encourage a low- carbon development path that fulfills basic energy needs and contributes to poverty reduction.
  • To demonstrate the use of eco-friendly solutions needed for pro-poor environmental sustainable development.

The EVD Concept

As mentioned above the EVD concept combines a number of solutions for poverty reduction within sustainable energy, water management, agriculture, gardening and housing. The solutions have all proven successful individually, but together they can provide the energy and resources needed for a development out of poverty for rural villages with minimal greenhouse emissions giving a prosperous vision for the future for rural areas.

Individually the solutions can provide e.g. a cleaner cooking atmosphere, light or better gardening amongst others. Together they can fulfill basic needs and provide energy and resources for increased income generation. Furthermore, with the focus on local solutions EVD does not generate dependency on central supplies of e.g. electricity and fossil fuels where the supply is too often erratic and costly. EVD is more than a collection of sustainable solutions, as it includes installation of the right solutions for each area and village, according to the climate, livelihood and needs. In addition, it includes the integration of solutions and stepwise development, where the villagers gradually attain the solutions as they are able to afford them and organize themselves to use them effectively. The solutions are not just technologies; they also include the training and support for permanent use and maintenance, as well as other frameworks such as funding mechanisms in order to have a long-term progression of living standards in a sustainable way.

Some examples of EVD Solutions

The EVD solutions are generally simple, easy to implement, low cost and with low emissions. See examples of solutions below:

  • Family-size biogas plants for cooking, light and slurry for fertilizer.
  • Roof rainwater harvesting.
  • Solar dryers made of affordable materials to dry food for own consumption and for income generation.
  • Climate adapted low-cost housing, reducing heating and cooling needs.
  • Tree nurseries.
  • Clean cooking solutions including improved cooking stoves and briquette to make charcoal from locally

available biomass for smokeless and pollution free cooking.

  • Low cost toilets, especially for the convenience of village women.
  • Agroforestry.
  • Solar (PV) lighting and solar lanterns.
  • Organic farming.
  • Micro-hydro for community electrification and small business development.
  • Simple pumps and pumping for improvements in sanitation and micro-irrigation.
  • Integrating micro-finance services for the EVD solutions.