Restoration can revitalize watersheds and communities. Villagebased restoration projects can be an effective route to restoring vital watershed functions and increasing the productivity of local ecosystems. In turn, this can increase farm income and make available more fodder and forest products that directly benefit village livelihoods and build the local economy.
Consensus-building is key to community effort. To be effective, watershed restoration requires participation from a wide array of families from across the social spectrum. The Darewadi experience shows that generating consensus among these social groups is not only possible, but also the most practical way to avoid conflicts and promote fairness. If decision-making is based on simple majority (or supermajority) rule, it can easily end up marginalizing the concerns of the poor.
Nongovernmental organizations provide crucial support. NGOs such as the Watershed Organisation Trust can play both a catalytic and capacity-building role in participatory watershed restoration programs. Experience shows that watershed programs without such an NGO partner do not stand the same chance of success. In Darewadi, WOTR