“Mainstreaming climate resilience through MGNREGS: Learning from Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvannamalai”


Tiruvannamalai a district in Tamil Nadu has set a record for creating more than thousands of farm ponds in 30 days by leveraging the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS). This will also help the recently launched state climate mission in Tamil Nadu. 

What is the initiative  

This initiative focused on water conservation and building green infrastructure through interventions like creating mini-forests, pastureland development, rejuvenating the relevance of common property resources, etc. 

This example demonstrates the value of using existing mechanisms, an inclusive approach to facilitate climate resilience. 

How this will help in climate change mitigation and adaptation 

1) It will ensure adequate supply of water for agricultural and domestic purposes throughout the year. This will recharge local wells and other water bodies and contribute to water sustainability during non-monsoon periods. 

2) It will create assets that would make the local communities more resilient to imminent climate disasters. 

3)Enhanced agricultural production (increase in crop area, crop diversity and crop yield) and improved socio-economic conditions. 

How MGNREGA can be used for tackling climate change? 

Bulk of work undertaken in MGNREGA relates to water conservation and harvesting, irrigation, afforestation and rural connectivity. This can be used to build climate resilience Infrastructure. 

How this initiative can be implemented elsewhere? 

1) Convergence of both top-down and bottom-up processes-key stakeholders from various government departments, professional technical and experts should be involved. 

Example – Technology like Geographic information system was used in Tiruvannamalai and technical staff at the village panchayat level was trained to analyze spatial and non-spatial data. 

2) Converting the complex scientific information into data that could be understood and acted upon by village departments. 

Source– This post is based on the article “Mainstreaming climate resilience through MGNREGS: Learning from Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvannamalai” published in Down to earth on 14th Dec 2021. 

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