Sustainable livelihood program is conducted with sustainable livelihood framework to understand the complexities and principles of poverty. This framework provides guiding action to address and overcome poverty to become self-reliant, placing the rural poor at the center of inter-related influences that affect their creativity of livelihood for themselves and their households, by identifying constraints and opportunities. WOREC address the need for sustainable livelihoods with the promotion of bio-intensive farming systems with a focus on link between food insecurity and gender based violence.
The concept of bio-intensive farming system is based on the agro-ecological principles of sustainable organic agriculture system and participatory rural development. There principles include the scientific optimization of organic recycling, participatory and sustainable management of natural resources, participatory research and extension, and higher degree of economic self-reliance of farm households against external techno-economic shocks. The concept mainly focuses on empowerment of people’s organizations, conservation and utilization of PGRs, eco and health-friendly rural system, equitable access to natural resources and public service and sustainable technology.
To promote sustainable livelihoods for farmers, WOREC applies an approach entitled ‘Model eco-village where various aspects of the traditional village are addressed alongside livelihoods and income generation.
Eco-village is a rural human settlement with all members committed to sustainably managed locally available natural resources with integrated comprehensive human rights based approach to meet their social, spiritual, psychological, physical (including technological) and economic needs without any negative impact on natural ecosystems, resources, climate and health. Eco-village thus addresses the social, spiritual or cultural, ecological and technological and economical discrepancies and instabilities through sustainable community based structures, practices and concepts from holistic rights-based perspectives. Eco-village covers social, physical, and cultural aspects. Each system has subsystems that interact with each other.
Currently, WOREC has been implementing 3 livelihood-focused projects in close coordination and collaboration with district/regional/national level GOs/NGOs across 6 of the 75 districts of 4Nepal. With the project interventions, the communities have got better exposure to bio-intensive farming system, new agricultural technology and inputs. As a result, low remunerative cereal based farming system has been changing towards remunerative commercial cash crop production. These changes have been witnessed in the form of intensification of natural resource (through the use of local seeds, compost and bio-fertilizers) use in general and in relatively accessible areas, in the form of commercial orientation of vegetable farming. However, the causes of concern have persisted or new issues have emerged as the challenges to agricultural sustainability and household economic security of the people. These issues call for further support to the communities to bring about sustainable transformation of agricultural systems from subsistence-oriented economy to more efficient market-oriented system in existing as well as in other needy areas of the working areas.
WOREC uses following criteria and indicators for an eco-village. These criteria are based on understanding among selected traditional villages. WOREC used these criteria to select traditional villages (16 villages: 5 in Udayapur, 3 in Siraha, 3 in Dang and 5 in Salyan districts) for transformation.
At present, WOREC is working to transform 15 traditional villages in Udayapur, Siraha, Dang and Salyan into Eco-village. Danuwar community in Baireni village of Udayapur district has already been declared as Eco-village.