Innovation Projects

Mawtneng Village, located in Bhoirymbong Block of  Ri Bhoi District of Meghalaya, has implemented the innovative “Green Village” project in response to the adverse effects of climate change. The village has been actively involved in sustainable natural resource management (NRM) through various innovative projects aimed at preserving biodiversity, promoting organic farming, enhancing cultural heritage, and generating income for the community.

Chapter:”The Green Mawtneng”

“The Green Mawtneng” is a name synonymous with sustainable living in Mawtneng. It reflects the village’s commitment to protecting and promoting natural resources, fostering a clean environment, and enriching the community’s health and well-being.

Introduction (About the Grassroot)

Mawtneng Village, nestled in the Bhoirymbong Block of Ri Bhoi District in Meghalaya, exemplifies a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation through its “Green Village” project. In response to the growing threats of climate change, the village has adopted sustainable natural resource management (NRM) initiatives that prioritize the preservation of biodiversity, the promotion of organic farming, and the enhancement of cultural heritage. By recognizing the importance of a lush, green environment for the long-term health and well-being of its residents, Mawtneng Village strives to maintain a balanced relationship with nature while also advancing its economic development.


The “Green Village” project is driven by a vision of sustainable development, with a focus on governance innovation that seeks to protect the village’s cultural and natural heritage. Mawtneng’s residents are deeply committed to water management, environmental conservation, and the holistic growth of their community. Through the adoption of sustainable practices, Mawtneng Village serves as a shining example of how local communities can lead the way in combating climate change while preserving their unique cultural identity and promoting a brighter future for generations to come.

Scope of Work (About the Grassroot)

The Green Mawtneng project encompasses a diverse range of activities aimed at transforming the village into a model of sustainability, environmental consciousness, and cultural preservation. A key focus is the construction of a traditional museum that showcases Mawtneng’s rich agricultural heritage and cultural practices using traditional building materials and methods. This initiative educates both residents and visitors about the village’s past while fostering a sense of pride in its cultural legacy.

Another vital aspect of the project is the revitalization of the community reserve forest through the planting and nurturing of indigenous tree species. This effort not only supports local biodiversity but also contributes to sustainable natural resource management. The project also focuses on enhancing the village pond area by replacing cemented floors with indigenous grasses and developing an amusement park with swings and tree houses. These additions provide residents with relaxing spaces and beautiful viewpoints, blending nature with leisure and creating a more appealing atmosphere.

Green Mawtneng’s scope of work also includes initiatives to boost tourism and economic development, such as constructing boats for use on the community pond, which attract visitors and generate revenue for local education. Additional efforts include promoting plastic-free practices by using “sla lamet” leaves for wrapping and encouraging free kitchen gardens to promote healthy eating habits and food self-sufficiency. Overall, the project’s scope encompasses a holistic approach to community development, blending environmental sustainability, cultural preservation, and economic growth for the benefit of all residents.

Highlights of Implementation (About the Grassroot)

The Green Mawtneng project has implemented a variety of initiatives to enhance the village’s sustainability and cultural heritage. These include constructing a traditional museum using indigenous methods and materials to preserve local history and knowledge. Nurseries for native tree species have been established and maintained to support reforestation and biodiversity. Additionally, the community ponds and catchment areas have been developed to conserve water and create green spaces for the community.

The project promotes organic farming and encourages free kitchen gardens to boost local food production and healthy eating habits. It has also introduced local leaf-based packaging as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic. Boats and treehouses have been constructed to enhance tourism and generate income for the village. Moreover, key community areas, such as the museum’s front yard, have been renovated to improve aesthetics and functionality, enriching the overall experience for residents and visitors alike.

Financial Expenditure and Funding (About the Grassroot)

The Green Mawtneng project was granted a total amount of Rs. 500,000 to support its initiatives. The funding was divided into three installments: the first installment of Rs. 200,000, followed by a second installment of Rs. 200,000, and a final third installment of Rs. 100,000. These funds were allocated to various committees within the Mawtneng village in accordance with their proposals to facilitate diverse projects and innovations.

The financial support for Green Mawtneng comes from the Grassroot Innovation Fund, which is part of the Community-Led Landscape Management Project (CLLMP) managed by the Meghalaya Basin Management Agency (MBMA) and funded by the World Bank. This funding enables the village to implement sustainable and community-driven projects aimed at environmental conservation, cultural preservation, and economic development.

Impact Analysis (About the Grassroot)

The impact of the Green Mawtneng project is clear across several key areas, with one major outcome being the enhancement of local livelihoods. The project has created employment opportunities for the residents of Mawtneng, allowing them to work locally instead of having to seek employment in nearby villages. These opportunities come from project-funded labour on initiatives such as constructing boats, establishing a traditional museum, building a tree house, labeling land, and other innovative projects. These projects have provided income for the villagers and opened new avenues for economic growth.

In addition to boosting livelihoods, the project has also positively affected local biodiversity and wildlife preservation. By creating shelter and habitat for diverse bird species, the project supports ecological balance and helps protect native wildlife. The use of local “sla lamet” leaves for wrapping has significantly reduced plastic waste and promoted traditional practices, leading to improved cleanliness and environmental sustainability within the village.

The traditional museum established by the project has facilitated greater knowledge and preservation of the village’s cultural heritage, enriching the community’s identity and pride. The project also encourages organic farming and kitchen gardens, leading to healthier food habits and greater food self-sufficiency within the community. Through its holistic approach to economic growth, environmental conservation, and cultural preservation, the Green Mawtneng project has made a lasting positive impact on the quality of life for its residents.

Overall Impact (About the Grassroot)

The Green Village project in Mawtneng has brought about numerous positive changes that have enriched the community in various ways. By promoting sustainable living and natural resource conservation, the project has instilled a culture of environmental responsibility and long-term stewardship within the village. This focus on sustainability has extended to fostering cultural heritage through the establishment of a traditional museum, where visitors and locals alike can learn about and appreciate traditional practices and agricultural methods.

Economically, the project has introduced new income streams through tourism activities such as boat rentals and the construction of treehouses, benefiting the community financially and promoting local economic growth. Additionally, the project has emphasized environmental stewardship and biodiversity conservation by supporting initiatives such as the creation of nurseries for indigenous tree species and the rejuvenation of the Community Reserved Forest.

Among the project’s significant achievements are the successful implementation of kitchen gardens, which have promoted healthier, organic food habits and food self-sufficiency. The project has also made notable strides towards achieving a plastic-free village by using “sla lamet” leaves for wrapping, reducing plastic waste and embracing traditional and eco-friendly alternatives. Overall, these initiatives have not only improved the quality of life for Mawtneng’s residents but have also set a positive example for other communities aiming to balance economic growth with environmental and cultural preservation.

Summary of Achievements (About Green Mawtneng)

Mawtneng Village has achieved a series of notable successes through its grassroots Green Village project. These accomplishments highlight the village’s dedication to sustainable practices, environmental conservation, and cultural preservation 🙂

  1. Traditional Museum: Construction of a traditional museum showcases Mawtneng’s rich cultural heritage and agricultural methods, providing educational opportunities and preserving village traditions.
  2. Nurseries for Indigenous Trees: Establishment of nurseries for indigenous trees supports the rejuvenation of the Community Reserved Forest and contributes to local biodiversity.
  3. Kitchen Gardens: Introduction of kitchen gardens encourages healthier, organic food habits and promotes food self-sufficiency within the community.
  4. Tourism Promotion: Implementation of activities such as constructing boats on the community pond, creating amusement park and building treehouses generates income for the community and fosters local economic development.
  5. Plastic-Free Village: Use of “sla lamet” leaves for wrapping has significantly reduced plastic waste, promoting traditional and eco-friendly alternatives.
  6. Shelter for Flora and Fauna: The project provides habitat and shelter for various flora and fauna, nurturing local ecosystems and supporting biodiversity.

These achievements demonstrate Mawtneng’s commitment to balancing economic growth with environmental and cultural preservation, setting an inspiring example for other communities seeking sustainable development.Top of Form

Community and Environmental Benefits (About the Grassroot)

The impact of the Green Mawtneng project is evident across multiple key areas, notably through the enhancement of local livelihoods. By creating employment opportunities for the residents of Mawtneng, the project has enabled them to work locally and reduce the need to seek employment in neighboring villages. Project-funded labor opportunities arise from initiatives such as constructing boats, establishing a traditional museum, building tree houses, labeling land, and engaging in other innovative projects. These projects not only provide income for the villagers but also open up new avenues for economic growth.

In addition to generating employment, the project has played a pivotal role in advancing environmental conservation and promoting sustainable living. By creating nurseries for indigenous trees to rejuvenate the Community Reserved Forest, the project supports biodiversity and ecological restoration. The shift towards using “sla lamet” leaves as a substitute for plastic wrapping has contributed to the village’s transformation into a plastic-free community.

Moreover, the emphasis on kitchen gardens has promoted organic farming, fostering healthier food habits and enhancing food self-sufficiency. These initiatives underscore the project’s holistic approach, blending environmental, economic, and cultural objectives. As a result, the Green Mawtneng project has made a lasting and positive impact on the quality of life for its residents, reinforcing the transformative potential of community-led initiatives in creating sustainable and resilient communities.

Conclusion and Future Directions (About the Grassroot)

The Green Mawtneng project stands as a testament to the transformative impact of grassroots initiatives on fostering sustainable and comprehensive development. By prioritizing natural resource conservation, organic farming, and cultural heritage preservation, the village has established a strong foundation for long-term growth and prosperity. As Mawtneng continues to build on these successes, it has the potential to become a model for other communities striving for similar goals of sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Looking ahead, the village can further expand its initiatives by exploring advanced eco-tourism opportunities, integrating renewable energy sources, and pursuing additional community-led projects that benefit all residents. Embracing innovation and collaboration will enable Mawtneng to strengthen its role as a beacon of sustainable development, inspiring other villages to follow its example and work towards a future of resilience and shared prosperity.


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