About the Programme Our Team Partners Alternative Futures CDKN
Policy Voices Best Practices Research Finding
Journal Articles/Books Policy Briefs Reports Studies Training Manual Films
News Features Opinion
Gender Environment and Climate Change
Agriculture & Allied Climate Change Disaster Management Gender

About the Programme

Gender and State Climate Change Action Plans in India : Research and policies to enable poor women and rural communities adapt to climate change.


  • Focus on 4 State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCCs) to incorporate gender component
  • Gender analysis, including gender budget analysis, of government's climate change adaptation-related policies, programmes and schemes at the State level
  • Scientific study of adaptation interventions in the farming sector with an added gender lens

  • Women shoulder the responsibility of getting fodder and firewood but are walking further and further for these dwindling resources in the wake of climate change.

  • Almora women being trained to make vermicompost to increase soil fertility on their farms. Women dominate agriculture in Uttarakhand and need government support for climate change adaptation.

  • Villagers install thermometers to record local temperature variations as part of a scientific study on climate change and agriculture in drought-prone Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh.

  • An ongoing study in three agro-climatic zones measures local precipitation levels at the village level to help farmers plan their agriculture activities.

  • Socio-economic impacts of climate change need to be better understood and addressed at the local level where gender disparities are more intense.

  • Fisher woman Mewa Bibi says decreasing rainfall and higher temperatures in Tikamgarh (MP) have reduced her income following loss of some fish species and reduction of fishlings.

  • Somwati Agarwal in Chhattarpur (MP) relies on poultry for food, income and organic manure. Investing in small cattle helps women adapt better to climate vagaries.

  • An inter-departmental round-table on 'Gender and Uttarakhand State Climate Plan' hosted by the state government, November 2012, Dheradun.

  • Elected women leaders from Panchayats taking training on 'Gender, Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security' to know what they can do to adapt to climate change. Training supported by CGIAR-CCAFS. Training Manual available on site. Video courtesy: CGIAR-CCAFS

  • Mr.Manohar Dubey, Executive Director, EPCO, talks on climate change and gender in the context of Madhya Pradesh

  • Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (right), Uttarakhand and Vice-chancellor, Doon University, discuss climate change and gender in the context of hill women.

  • Picture documentation on women and climate change being released at a function to discuss climate solutions for India's Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) document.

  • Members of CANSA submitting the outcomes of 'National Consultation on Adaptation and Disaster resilience in India's INDC' to Mr. Prakash Javdekar, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India.

Policy & Practice


11 Jun, 2014

Grain banks contribute to women's empowerment

Madhya Pradesh: The Madhya Pradesh Rural Livelihoods Project (MPRLP) is being implemented in nine districts of the State. Grain banks are one such initiative that is helping small and marginal farmers at the time of drought and crop failure.

Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal: Grain bank is based on the traditional concept of keeping aside a little grain everyday for use in times of distress. Grain banks are being promoted in the flood-prone regions of Gorakhpur district in Uttar Pradesh and in the Sunderbans in West Bengal. 


14 Apr, 2014

Arti Srivastave, Directorate of Women Welfare, Uttar Pradesh

“The Department of Women Welfare has been trying hard to bring all the women welfare related programmes and schemes under a single one. However, we have also been facing several challenges. Moreover, there is no interdepartmental coordination within the government. For instance, with regard to agriculture and livestock benefits for women, the Department of Women Welfare doesn’t have any linkage with the Department of Animal Husbandry.” (October, 2013).


10 Apr, 2014

Dr. A.K. Sikka, Deputy Director General (Natural Resource Management), Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi

"Central sector insurance schemes for crops and livestock must address the holistic issue of climate change vulnerability, agriculture and gender through a portfolio insurance for livelihoods because adaptive farming is about a basket of diverse agriculture-based activities. Development sector schemes contribute towards coping with climate change but adaptation expenditure is about building ecological and livelihood resilience. We need to address this matter." (March, 2014).


10 Apr, 2014

Padmaja Mehta, Senior Economic Adviser, National Mission for Empowerment of Women, New Delhi

"There is now a lot of talk on climate change but agricultural impacts on women following climate change have been ignored. Women do suffer more than men. They do most of the back‎-breaking work. I do support the findings of Alternative Futures' research on this issue. If we talk about inclusiveness, then women need to be given more voice in capacity building, decision-making and ownership of land among other things. I feel more research should be carried out on this issue"  (March, 2014).


10 Apr, 2014

Dr. Y. G. Prasad, Principal Scientist (Entomology), Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture, Hyderabad

"Seed is a very serious constraint after droughts when farmers are unable to plant crops in rainfed areas. In the last 10 years we have seen 3 droughts - very widespread, significant droughts. Availability of seed is critical to adaptation. I think farm-saved seeds are key for adaptation following droughts and women have a great role to play in this.” (March, 2014).



09 Apr, 2014

Alok Ranjan, Agriculture Production Commissioner, Uttar Pradesh

"Womens self-help groups can act as farmer producer groups to access credit, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. The National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM)  provides for  this. The benefits of dairy programmes mainly go to women as they perform the major labour  though generally, I agree, more women-centric  schemes are needed.  It will be good to introduce gender budgeting as this will help departments evolve more gender-centric provisions." (May, 2013).


09 Mar, 2014

Nutrition gardening can tackle malnutrition, poverty

In the last few years, malnutrition among the small and marginal farmer families in the Sunderbans, West Bengal, has further deteriorated. This has followed more frequent climate change-induced disasters like floods and cyclones which have destroyed acres of cropland.

Small and marginal farmers, especially women took up cropping of multiple food crops on the small plots around their homes to ensure them food and nutritional security through the year. Both in West Bengal and in the floodplains of Gorakhpur, East Uttar Pradesh, women farmers used their small front yard and/or backyard to grow different kinds of grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits through intercropping and crop rotation. Around 15-20 varieties of crops, including leafy and other vegetables, legumes, roots and tubers, spices and herbs, are grown in these gardens throughout the year. The different food crops fix soil nutrients.


09 Mar, 2014

The importance of managing Common Property Resources (CPRs)

West Bengal: Marginal and landless farming families of West Bengal suffer from chronic shortage of food, fodder and firewood, leading to male migration, which in turn increases the burden of work on women. The rapid disappearance of grazing lands along with reduced access to forests or common lands is creating an acute crisis for fodder. Conversely, common properties like fallow lands, water bodies, river and pond banks, embankments of irrigation canals, roads and railway tracks etc. either remain unutilized or are degraded due to overuse by communities, resulting in soil erosion and disruption of the local ecosystem. 

About six years ago, a local initiative began to revive fallow and degraded lands for use by local communities. Currently, across the State, this ‘common property resource (CPR) management’ has spread to over 50 groups comprising 1,055 members.


09 Mar, 2014

Rainwater harvesting and water management reduces drudgery

Uttarakhand: Abode of all rivers, the hilly regions of Uttarakhand are nevertheless beset by water scarcity. Villagers in districts Almora and Nainital are taking up roof rainwater harvesting with the help of a local organisation. Climate change, with erratic rainfall, higher temperatures, delayed snowfall and early drying of ponds, has further aggravated the problem. Rainwater harvesting has helped conserve water during monsoons for later use and also controlled soil erosion.

West Bengal: The Chhotonagpur range in the western region of West Bengal gets rain only for 2 months and faces drought the rest of the year. The soil on this undulated topography is rocky lateritic with very low water retention capacity. Excavation of ponds is difficult and expensive because the rocks are almost impenetrable. So the ponds are usually very shallow and, after the monsoons, cannot hold water till next summer. Wells also dry up in summer. Women have to spend 5 hours walking 5 Km daily to get water for their daily needs. 

National Policy

14 Nov, 2013

National Policies and Climate Change Adaptation

A number of national policies, programmes and schemes are implemented in the State level, dwarfing in some sense the quantum and resources of State-level policies and programmes. Several of these national level policies and programmes have a gender component but how far are these able to help women adapt? Especially when there is a move towards ‘greening’ of these policies by focusing them on activities that will help rejuvenate natural resources and improve livelihoods of people dependent on them.



17 Jun, 2014

Sarpanch extols women farmers in Budheli Village, Gorakhpur (UP)

Sarpanch Balkesh from Budheli village (Uttar Pradesh) explains how women shoulder 75% of the agricultural tasks in his region, thereby being more vulnerable than men to climate change impacts.


12 Jun, 2013

Yoshoda Devi, District: Murzaffarpur, Bihar

“Most schemes or programmes that the government implements through the panchayat goes to those farmers who have land holding. Farmers having less or no access to land do not have the opportunity to benefit andmake use of these schemes. Women here niether own land in their names nor have any access to schemes”.


10 Jun, 2013

Sudha Gurwant, Village: Guna, Uttarakhand

“When I came into this village as a 13-year-old bride, it was green. We never had problems getting fodder. Over the years, I have seen our forests vanish. Thankfully, things are slowly recovering. Two years ago, I joined the van panchayat samiti and have seen what we can achieve if we work together. Thanks to the fodder I now get from our protected forest,  these days I earn most of my income from the milk I sell.”


10 Jun, 2013

Mewa Bibi, Village: Darretha, District: Tikamgarh, Madhya Pradesh

“In this pond, men share our work. But roasting fish and sorting it before sending them to the market is solely done by us women. At the market, we often sell our fish at better prices than men because we have sorted and graded the fish and we know their value better; and because we often negotiate harder with our customers. So we manage to save some money. But men get lower prices and then often just drink their earnings away!” 


12 May, 2013

Shanti Devi, Village: Aditah, Uttarakhand

“The burden of troubles at home as well as on the field falls on the shoulder of women, in order to address these challenges we women need to be empowered as informed decision-makers through awareness and training women for record keeping and maintaining accounts. Government or institutions like CHEA should take up initiatives such as constructing more mangers at the block level, promoting horticulture mobile teams, constructing more biogas plants like UREDA Biogas plant, providing resources and support for roof rain water harvesting to address the issue of water shortage.”

Photo Documentation

30 Sep, 2015

Women in the Frame: A photo-documentation of Women and the Challenge of Climate Change

This is a unique collection of photographs showing women’s vast and varied relationship with India’s environmental resources – land, water, forests and biodiversity – and how this relationship is being affected by climate change.


18 Apr, 2013

Adaptation interventions value local weather data and women's labour

Aberrations in the weather parameters, now a regular phenomenon has an influence on the agriculture based livelihoods. The study undertaken documented viable adoption models in three vulnerable climatic zones viz., Andhra Pradesh (drought prone), Uttar Pradesh (Flood prone) and West Bengal (Cyclone prone). In each state five villages were selected and in them five organic-agriculture practicing farmers and five conventional (chemical) practicing farmers were selected. 


09 Sep, 2013

Ways to cope with changing climate in cyclone-prone south Bengal

Manjusha Mukherjee

It was definitely a trip that changed my perspective.  I had never thought that our farmers, especially women farmers, would have this kind of understanding and awareness about climate change impacts and adaptation measures.

Madhya Pradesh Climate Portal

31 Dec, 2014

Climate change poses a huge risk for women: Aditi Kapoor

Aditi Kapoor,co-founder Alternative Futures and Fellow,Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD), spoke to Anupam Hazarika of OneWorld Foundation, India on how climate change and gender issues are interrelated, how civil societies can contribute to disseminate awareness and knowledge, how renewable energy can substitute fossil fuels and other related topics.

Women at COP 20 Blast Failure for Real Action in Lima

26 Dec, 2014

Women at COP 20 Blast Failure for Real Action in Lima

The UNFCCC's Women and Gender Constituency, representing women from all over the world, unequivocally expressed their agony and frustration towards the failed COP 20, Lima summit in Peru. The representatives urged the nations to concentrate on "System Change" before focusing on "Climate Change".

3rd November 2014, Down to Earth

06 Nov, 2014

What IPCC says about India

The IPCC synthesis report, released on November 1, outlines the effects of climate chnage on all regions of the world. Given below are the implications of climate change specifically for India and Asia, with observations from the synthesis report and the draft IPCC assessment report (AR 5).

UN Women

06 Nov, 2014

World Survey on Gender Equality and Sustainable Development

Linking gender equality with sustainable development is important for several reasons. It is a moral and ethical imperative. Efforts to achieve a just and sustainable future cannot ignore the rights, dignity and capabilities of half the world’s population. To be effective, policy actions for sustainability must redress the disproportionate impact on women and girls of economic, social and environmental shocks and stresses.

The Hindu, 28Th October 2014

05 Nov, 2014

Widening gender gap in India

India slipped 13 spots from its last year’s ranking of 101 on the Gender Gap Index by the World Economic Forum. It has performed poorly in removing gender-based disparities, ranking 114 out of 142 countries in World Economic Forum’s 2014 gender gap index, scoring below average on parameters like economic participation, educational attainment and health and survival.


17 Jun, 2014

Modi Govt commits to 33% reservation for women in Parliament

Recognizing the important role that women play in the development of society and growth of the nation, Government commits to provide 33% reservation to them in Parliament and state legislative assemblies.

Amar Ujala, Nanital, 22 December 2013

22 Dec, 2013

Impact of climate change on the lives and livelihoods of rural women in Uttarakhand

Impact of climate change on the lives and livelihoods of rural women in Uttarakhand.


12 Nov, 2013

Forest connections

Of course, the ground reality is that there are still gaps in women’s participation in the VPs and at the core of this is a lack of awareness about the rules as well as policy inadequacies. In a bid to analyse government policies that can help communities, and especially women, adapt to climate change, Alternative Futures (AF), a New Delhi-based development, research and communication group, has collaborated with CHEA. 


10 Nov, 2015

24 hours of reality and live earth

Come be a part of the time as the world is changing for better! Watch us on http://www.24HoursOfReality.org, The Huffington Post, and http://www.AOL.com
On November 13-14, climate experts and activists, celebrities and musicians from across the world are coming together to broadcast their demand that the global leaders must sign a strong agreement on tackling climate change in Paris COP 21 this year. 
Alternative Futures is going to be a part of the live broadcast. 
Personalities like Elton John, Jon Bon Jovi, Hozier and WALK THE MOON will be joining US Vice President and Climate Reality Chairman Al Gore in the round-the-clock call to action. 
Note: In the light of the recent terrorist attack in Paris, the broadcast has been suspended.  


14 Sep, 2015

Consultation to Propose Indicators for Climate Change-related SDGs and UNFCCC Bonn Debrief

 A half day Consultation to Propose Indicators for Climate Change-related SDGs and UNFCCC Bonn Debrief was organized by Alternative Futures (AF) in collaboration with Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA), Action 2015 and Women 2030 Network on 10th September, 2015 in New Delhi focusing on four climate change-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 7,12,13 and 15. Participants proposed modifications in indicators existing suggested ones and also added indicators. These are being communicated to representatives of government and the civil society engaging with the SDGs process.


21 Jul, 2015

National Consultation on Adaptation and Disaster Resilience in India INDC

A National Consultation jointly organized by CANSA, AADRR, Alternative Futures and Development Alternatives in partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India on ‘Adaptation and Disaster Resilience in India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)’ will be held on July 23-24, 2015 in New Delhi focusing on three key areas: food security and agriculture; water security; and forests and biodiversity.


13 Mar, 2014

Gender, Agriculture and State Climate Action Plans: Policies and Practices Sharing research findings

Alternative Futures, New Delhi is organising a half day roundtable on ‘Gender, Agriculture and State Climate Action Plans: Policies and Practices’, on March 13, 2014, from 4.30 pm to 7.30 pm at India International Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi.


22 Feb, 2013

Conference on Equity, Adaptation and Sustainable Development

The two day conference focuses on the most urgent challenging and emerging key issues within the global and national climate discourse.