Rishi Valley Education Center - Special Development Authority (RVSDA)

Project Brief: The main goal of the project is to conserve the germplasm of the vulnerable, threatened and endangered local plant species that are of livelihood significance to the community in the Rishi Valley area
Project Type: Community Based Interventions (description)
Primary Focus: creating resources (description)

Secondary Focus: children of dalits/tribals

Area: Rural
Supporting Chapter Contact: Seattle
Status: current / ongoing
Project Steward: Sumana Reddy
Project Partner(s):
Other Contacts:
Project Address: , Rishi Valley Education Center,Krishnamurti Foundation India,Madanapalle,
ANDHRA PRADESH  517352
Tel: +918571280622/280582
Stewarding Chapter: Seattle
Nov 2015SeattleUSD 1995
Jun 2014SeattleUSD 1015
Aug 2013SeattleUSD 1527
May 2013SeattleUSD 1000

Total = $5537

RVEC is located in a rural landscape where the main sources of livelihood are agriculture and pastoralism. Due to increasing pressure on the local land and water resources, several local plant species (fodder, fruit trees, fuelwood, medicinal plants) are becoming endangered. A preliminary list of these plant species has been developed in collaboration with the community. Some of these species are also listed in the IUCN Red List of threatened, vulnerable and endangered plant species (See Annex 1). Several of these local species have livelihood significance for the community. RVEC intends to develop its private lands to establish a biodiversity park where these local endangered and threatened species will be planted and maintained. The main activities will include:

1. Collection of seeds / saplings of these local species. The seeds / saplings may be sourced from (i) the surrounding Reserve Forests using the assistance of the local community and the Forest Department (ii) Keystone Foundation (iii) Kaigal Environmental Education Programme (iv) Palani Conservation Council and any other appropriate sources.
2. Establishing a water source and associated distribution system including drip / sprinkler systems;
3. Establishing a local nursery to raise saplings;
4. Creating soil moisture conservation structures, where necessary, in the proposed project site;
5. Planting the saplings and where required dibbling the seeds of the selected species;
6. Fencing and protecting the project site from encroachment;
7. Maintenance of the Biodiversity Park;
8. Developing a system for sustainable harvesting of material (including seeds/saplings, fruit, leaves, roots etc.) from the Park;
9. Developing the Park as an educational centre both for the community and other educational institutions.
10. Creating child-friendly guides to the flora and fauna of the Park for students.
Project Goal for the Rishi Valley Special Development Authority (RVSDA)
The main goal of the project is to conserve the germplasm of the vulnerable, threatened and endangered local plant species that are of livelihood significance to the community in the Rishi Valley area.

Purpose of the Project
The purpose of the project is conservation of biodiversity while ensuring sustained and inclusive development of the community. This conservation zone will serve as (i) a repository from which the community can source seeds and saplings to restore the commons and sustain livelihood e.g. to re-vegetate grazing lands, grow fruits, medicinal plants, fuelwood and fodder in the common lands (ii) a resource for education � both for students and teachers and the community at large, (iii) a model initiative to revive endangered, vulnerable and threatened floral and faunal species and (iv) a demonstration site for the surrounding community on soil and moisture conservation techniques in a drought prone area.

Another valuable contribution of the conservation zone will be to educate the coming generation of rural and urban youth in the vital necessity of conservation in both theoretical and practical ways so that they can come back full circle to the land.
RVEC is actively involved in the welfare of the local population in this drought prone part of Andhra Pradesh. They have successfully implemented innovative Rural education programs, developed ecologically sound methods of conserving water, developed hardy varieties of rice suitable to grow in the area. The health center is responsible for providing quality care to the surrounding villages.
This is a Donor Specific Project initiated by the alumnus of Rishi Valley School