Over-exploitation of natural resources resulting in their severe degradation, diminishing water resources, declining forest cover, depleting energy sources, loss of biodiversity and generation of various kinds of wastes are the issues to be addressed on priority in India. About 45% of total geographical area of the country is degraded due to various processes of land degradation with water erosion affecting maximum area of 93.7 m ha. Land degradation causes 5% to more than 50% decline in total agricultural output every year and a loss of around 8 m tonnes of plant nutrients occurs due to water erosion annually. Intensification of agriculture in irrigated regions has also resulted in many second generation problems viz; water logging and salinization, soil sickness, nutrient imbalances etc. Hence, efficient management and utilization of land, water and vegetation resources to meet the growing basic human and animal needs in terms of food, fibre, fodder, timber and fuel continues to be an issue of utmost concern for policy makers, planners, conservationists and environmentalists.
For detailed analysis and deeper understanding of region specific problems and setting up priorities for research and development in natural resources, a three day conference, ELSTRM-2007 was organized by the Indian Association of Soil and Water Conservationists, Dehradun at Chandigarh. The conference brought together more than 250 top most experts from the country on a common forum to discuss these issues. These deliberations were synthesized in the form of a chapter by the presenters. This book in all has now 59 chapters under six broad themes. Under natural resource appraisal theme status of soil erosion, land degradation, surface and ground water availability and quality, impact of human and livestock on biodiversity and land quality were discussed. Efficient techniques of water harvesting systems, ground water utilization and multiple uses for sustaining productivity were discussed under rainwater management for sustainable productivity. Alternative land use systems for improving land degradation and enhancing economic returns were discussed at great length in section 4. The topic under institutional mechanisms and policy issues were benefit sharing mechanism among stakeholders, capacity building and community empowerment, impacts and implications of watershed guidelines and gender and equity issues. State’s experiences on these burning issues were shared by state department heads and eminent scholars and future thrust were highlighted. It is hoped that the book will prove very useful to scholars, managers, policy makers and society at large in achieving environmental and livelihood security for the people of the country.
Dr. R.P. Yadav, presently working as Principal Scientist (Soils), CSWCRTI, Research Centre, Chandigarh, has served many natural resource managements institutes of ICAR. He has worked in diverse fields like Soil Survey and Land Evaluation, Water and Nutrient Management, Resource Inventory, Resource Conservation and Integrated Watershed Management. Dr. Yadav has more than 60 research papers in national and international journals, 1 book, 10 technical bulletins, 15 book chapters and many articles to his credit. Preparation of Soil Erosion Maps of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi and Soil Resource Maps of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are among the important national assignments to his credit.
Dr. A.K. Tiwari, M.Tech from I.I.T. Kharagpur and PhD from I.I.T Roorkee is presently the Head at CSWCRTI Research Centre, Chandigarh. He joined Agricultural Research Services (ARS) of ICAR in 1978. He has vast and varied experience of research in the field of hydrology, soil and water conservation, water harvesting and watershed management. In the year 1998, he was invited by University of Georgia (USA) for post doctoral studies. He specialized in modeling spatial and temporal variation of sediment yield from watersheds. He was deputed as international consultant at UNDP Mongolia for training on water harvesting and as watershed management expert on invitation from government of Ethiopia. As a Head of the centre he promoted research, training and consultancy programme in the field of natural resource management in the Shivalik region. He has more than 100 publications to his credit including research papers, book chapters, bulletins, reports and excerpts in proceedings of national and international conferences.
Dr. (Mrs) Pawan Sharma is Principal Scientist at CSWCRTI, Research Centre, Chandigarh, since 1999. She did M. Sc. (Botany) from H.P.U., Shimla (1975-77) and Ph. D. from Uppsala University, Sweden (1981-85). She worked as Pool Officer at School of Life-sciences, J.N.U., New Delhi (1986-89) and as Assistant Professor (Agril. Biotech) at AAU, Jorhat (1989-90). After direct recruitment as Sr. Scientist, she worked at Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal (1990-98). She has obtained many prestigious fellowships through stringent international competition, e.g. Visiting Scientist Fellowship by Swedish Institute (1981-84), NASA Planetary Biology award by NASA, USA (1987), IDRC (Canada) consultant award (1987) and United Nations Environment Protection Fellowship (1992). She has published more than 80 research papers, book chapters, bulletins and popular articles in the field of cyanobacterial nitrogen fixation, clay-microbe interactions, alkali soil reclamation and biological measures for rehabilitation of eroded Shivalik region. Her present research aim is to develop a sustainable and eco-friendly farming system for rainfed degraded lands, through use of improved composts, biofertilizers and bio-agents. She is also studying the effects of vegetation changes on runoff, soil loss and soil stabilization in forest watershed.
Dr. Pratap Singh is Principal Scientist (Agronomy) at Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Research Centre, Chandigarh. He did his M.Sc. (Agronomy) in 1972 and Ph.D. in 1993 from Agra University, Agra. He joined Indian Council of Agricultural Research in January, 1976. He has specialization in field of conservation agronomy for higher production in rainfed areas, rain water harvesting and its efficient utilization for supplemental irrigation to various crops, watershed management and agri- horticultural systems. Dr. Pratap Singh has published more than 87 research papers, book chapters, bulletins, popular articles, and reports. His research paper publications covered a vast range of national and international journal of repute.
Dr. Swarn Lata Arya is presently working as Principal Scientist (Agriculture Economics) at CSWCRTI, Research Centre, Chandigarh. She is involved in socio-economic evaluation of Integrated Watershed Management Programmes and their implementation at village level. She was conferred upon the “Outstanding Women Agricultural Scientist” Award for the year 1996 and Multi-disciplinary Team Research Award of ICAR (1994-95) for her significant contribution to social and environmental research leading to natural resource conservation and management. She has published more than 60 research papers in both national and international journals of repute, two books, technical bulletins, exclusively based on her field studies.
Dr. V.K. Bhatt is working as Senior Scientist (Engg) at Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Research Centre, Chandigarh. He joined Indian Council of Agricultural Research as a Scientist in August 1989. He did his M. Tech. in Agricultural Engineering from G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar in 1985. Later on he did his Ph. D. in Hydrology from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, in 2003. For the first time he applied artificial neural networks for estimation of peak flow from ungauged catchments in his Ph. D. work. Dr. V.K. Bhatt is having good experience in hydrological studies of watershed for Bundelkhand as well as for Shivalik region. Dr. V.K. Bhatt has published nearly 35 research papers in national and international journals of repute. He has worked on Soil and Water Conservation related consultancy projects of Punjab and Haryana.
Dr. Ram Prasad is Senior Scientist at Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Research Centre, Chandigarh. He did his M.Sc. (Horti) from Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and forestry, Nauni (Solan), HP. in 1988 and Ph.D. (Horti) degree from Indian Agriculture Research Institute, Pusa, New Delhi in 1993 with a brilliant record. He joined Indian Council of Agricultural Research service in July, 1994. He has developed various alternative land use systems for degraded Shivaliks and also rehabilitation of waste/degraded lands. He has also developed aonla based horti-pastral land use system. Aonla cultivation alone or in combination with fodder grasses has been widely accepted in Shivalik region. High density multi-layered model orchards have been developed under various watershed development projects. As a team member he has also carried out evaluation studies of various watershed development projects under NWDPRA. Dr. Ram Prasad has about 30 research papers, book chapters, conference papers, bulletins to his credit.
Dr. V.N. Sharda, presently Director of Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Dehradun, has a brilliant career and vast experience of more than 28 years of research, training and extension in the fields of Hydrology, Soil and Water Conservation and Watershed Management. Dr. Sharda critically evaluated the impact of planting Eucalyptus in natural grasslands, evolved the concept of Conservation Bench Terrace system and studied hydrological behaviour of mountainous and ravenous watersheds. He is recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Senior Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship of United States Information Agency in the area of environmental studies. In recognition of his outstanding contributions in the fields of Watershed Management, Water Conservation and erosion modeling, he has been bestowed with several awards which include the prestigious Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Puruskar, Jawahar Lal Nehru Award for the best Ph.D. Thesis, Vasantrao Naik Award of Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Intellectual’s Honour – 2003 “Uttaranchal Ratan”, a Citation by USDA-ARS, Fellowship and Recognition Award of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi and Fellowship of Institution of Engineers (India), Kolkata. He is a member of several national and state level committees and has more than 170 publications to his credit which include research papers in journals of national and international repute, books, book chapters, reports, etc.