Abstract for:Socio-Ecological Approach to Livelihood: From Theory to Proof of Concept

Most of the livelihood development programmes in India are drawn with singular focus on income enhancement through standard solutions that are based on rationalities of surplus generation, profit maximization and individualization. Often, such approaches and programmes on livelihood development disconnect farms from farming system, and people from nature, leading to adverse ecological, social and economic outcomes. There is a need to change the lens through which communities, governments, practitioners see and try to address the issue of strengthening rural livelihoods. The project team has been working across diverse ecological and social geographies, over the past year and has evolved the Socio-Ecological Approach to Livelihoods (SEAL) from a theoretical framework to a proof of concept. It now provides an approach to integrate social-economic and ecological functions and their dynamic interactions as critical to the livelihood outcomes. Through this research, we aim to identify key operational pathways for strengthening resilience of ecosystems and farm based livelihoods in the rainfed regions of India.