Participatory Approach of Watershed Development in developing countries.

The first generation of watershed management operations in developing countries in the 1970sand 1980s gave priority to protection of downstream assets, particularly reservoirs, and tendedto adopt engineering solutions. In the 1990s, a new generation of developing country watershedmanagement operations focused more on the problems of natural resource management andpoverty reduction in upland areas, using farming systems and participatory approaches.

The participatory approach is a huge success for the management of watershed and the resources. The participatory approach is based on some guiding principles like,

-Poverty can be alleviated and eradicated when people realize their creativepotential, come together and organize themselves based on self-help andcommunity objectives.

-A watershed is not just a naturally occurring hydrological unit. More importantly,it is the area of survival and base of sustenance of all those living within it. It,thus, becomes necessary to draw the inhabitants together, generate a commoninterest and foster a common purpose.

- Participatory and well-managed watershed development enhances the ecologicalresource base of a rural economy and creates sustainable livelihood opportunitiesfor the watershed community.

- A participatory approach involving all concerned, i.e. the watershed community(village), NGOs and Technical Support Organizations, is necessary, as integratedwatershed development involves a variety of skills, disciplines and competencies.

- The coming together of people's initiative and supportive institutional and policyframework could create conditions favourable to the unfolding and establishmentof a people's movement for environmental regeneration on watershed basis.