Indo-German Environment Programme in Rural Areas (IGEP-RA)

Project description

Title: Indo-German Environment Programme in Rural Areas (IGEP-RA)
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Government of Germany
Country: India
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, Government of India (MDoNER)
Overall term: 2015 to 2019

India. A sensitive, mountainous urban habitat. © GIZ


Climate change has a long-lasting impact on natural resources, economic activities, food security, health, society, and physical infrastructure and society in general. More than half of India’s population of one billion people lives in rural areas and their livelihoods depend on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, and forestry. Hence, climate change adaptation measures are of national importance in order to ensure the protection of rural livelihoods, to preserve the country’s natural resources, and to foster sustainable development.

The Indo-German Environment Programme in Rural Areas (IGEP-RA) works at the central level with the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), and the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER). It comprises three components: the Climate Change Adaptation in Rural Areas of India (CCA-RAI), the Umbrella Programme for Natural Resource Management (UPNRM) and the Climate Change Adaptation – North Eastern Region of India (CCA-NER). They aim to reduce climate change risks and to enhance the adaptive capacities of all the actors involved.


The Indian Government is successfully implementing key activities reacting to climate change such as the policy formation and the introduction of new concepts, strategies, technologies, and methodologies to cope with climate change.

India. Urban habitats need environmentally friendly development. © GIZ


Key activities of the programme are:

  • The CCA-RAI provides policy support to the Government of India for integrating climate change adaptation measures into the national and state development planning process. Hence, it contributes to addressing risks of climate change to the most vulnerable sectors. Additionally, CCA-RAI focuses on strengthening capacities and knowledge of communities, planners, and decision-makers so that they are better equipped to deal with climate variability and change.
  • The UPNRM combines technical and financial cooperation to facilitate blended (loan cum grant) financing to promote rural livelihood projects that are based on natural resource management. The loan eligibility of proposals is assessed by applying five guiding principles: the projects must support the poor, be needs-based, be environmentally sustainable and practice good governance and promote community participation.
  • The CCA-NER supports the MDoNER and the State governments of Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Sikkim to implement climate-resilient policies and promote measures to minimise the impacts of climate change for people in rural areas. Moreover, CCA-NER aims to improve the livelihoods of people in rural areas through resource-saving and climate-resilient agricultural practices.


Climate Change Adaptation in Rural Areas (CCA-RAI):

  • Pilot adaptation projects in four states, targeting more than 7,500 households, demonstrate approaches for integrated climate change into local development planning processes for further replication and upscaling.
  • States and union territories successfully access climate funds from international and national funding sources. Seven states have already accessed about 19.6 million Euros from the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) and targeting approximately 42,394 beneficiaries.
  • 54 training programmes on climate change adaptation are being implemented in four partner states, covering approximately 1,200 officials and other relevant stakeholders. Capacity building programmes for media on climate change are being conducted covering more than 200 media personnel.
  • The Indian State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) investment plans for 4 states are being developed with a focus on understanding financing gaps and identifying financing sources.
  • Policy instruments on priority topics like Loss & Damage (L&D) due to impacts of climate change and Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) systems for climate adaptation interventions are adopted at the national level. 

Umbrella Programme for Natural Resource Management (UPNRM): 

  • Under UPNRM, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development approved around 330 projects that promote livelihoods and natural resource management with an investment volume of approximately 84.79 million Euros (79.28 million Euros loan and 5.38 million Euros grant). These projects are being implemented by non-governmental organisations, producer companies, cooperatives, corporates, government corporations, banks, microfinance institutions, and community based organisations (CBOs) across 22 states in India. 
  • About 0.91 million Euros were invested by private companies (corporate social responsibility) for the implementation and leveraging of the UPNRM projects.
  • The incomes of over 0.3 million households in areas that participated in the projects were increased by 30 per cent on average.
  • 10 climate smart business models have been developed, which are based on successful pilots undertaken under UPNRM and are being taken up for mainstreaming with financial institutions. 
  • One commercial and 10 regional banks have already adopted business models developed by NABARD aiming at resource-efficient and climate resilient rural development.
  • For natural resource management (NRM) financing, environment, social and governance framework, rapid need assessment framework, market capacity assessment framework, guiding principle matrix for screening of projects and capacity building of the implementing partners have been developed and can be applied as comprehensive NRM financing approaches by any agency.
  • Based on UPNRM experiences three policy papers “Agriculture Demand Side Management: Challenges, Opportunities and Way forward”, “Integrating Gender Perspective into NRM and Climate Financing” and “Impact of Goods and Services Tax on Farmer Producer Organisations” are available for learning and adoption by NRM stakeholders.  
  • Under digital initiatives of UPNRM, GIZ successfully piloted a web based loan monitoring system with 20 borrowers for capturing early warning signals for mitigating the risks of the loan portfolio.  This system has the potential to be taken up by financial institutions which are engaged in NRM financing.  

Climate Change Adaptation in the North-Eastern Region:

  • Sector policies are mainstreaming climate change in all project states.
  • Two pilot projects are promoting resource-efficient and climate-resilient organic agriculture and have increased household incomes by 20 per cent.
  • Six pilot projects are aiming to secure the livelihoods for the rural population under changing climatic conditions.

Additional information