Khandepar river located in the Western Ghats (Biodiversity Hotspot) State of Goa, is a west flowing river and a tributary of the Mhadei, also commonly known as the Mandovi river. It receives relatively less attention and not much is known of its riverine biodiversity or the communities and livelihoods that are intertwined with the river. We at BookWorm Trust and Foundation for Rivers and Ecosystems, would like to carry out community based mapping activities to highlight resource use, biodiversity and arrive upon solutions to tackle climate change related grievances, using a democratic approach coupled with science and traditional knowledge.
Bookworm Trust has carried out several such exercises, in collaboration with libraries across the Mhadei river. Nhoi, a project to document the River through drawing and stories has resulted in a set of 13 mural panels on paper, the Nhoi Storyboard and audio visual documentation that recorded personal statements on the histories, culture and reflections on the river and its many influences on the lives of its people.
Our River, Our Life – has its roots from the Cauvery river, in Coorg District of Karnataka and has slowly evolved into a web based platform www.ourriverourlife.com, to enable grassroots initiatives for river monitoring, documentation of flora & fauna to highlight river ecosystems and enable climate change tracking, through tools such as ‘Flood Monitoring’.
- Field based activities with children, and drawing upon their experiences while enabling learning through hands-on activities.
- Community based mapping of the river with citizens of all age groups, through the Bookworm Trust, network of libraries, linking directly to a lesser known river system- Khandepar in Goa.
- Identifying important resources and resource use, through storytelling and participatory mapping.
- Riparian corridor surveys using scientific methods coupled with traditional enthno- botany knowledge to enable long term flood mitigation and conservation of native flora in the agro- forest zones.
- Introducing technology based flood monitoring, through the web app- ‘Flood Watch’.
- Finding solutions through community participation to enable restoration ecology, along the riparian zone.
- Submit a report and restoration guide to the Goa Forest Department and local NGOs, who are interested in long term partnership with the Khandepar river community.
- Publish and share work widely through the Bookworm Trust network and Our River, Our Life platform, to highlight Khandepar river, its biodiversity and people.