Plastic debris is harmful to marine ecosystems and in India alone, 12 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean every year. More than 20 million livelihoods across the 8,000km Indian coastline depend on the ocean. The economic impact of pollution on coastal communities is devastating, especially for fisheries and municipalities that rely on tourism.
Baeru (meaning ‘roots’ in the Kannada language) is a women-led climate action organisation which aims to strengthen coastal India's resilience to climate change. It does this through a three pronged approach: government partnerships, infrastructure development, and livelihoods generation for coastal communities, especially women.
It is building a circular economy and improving livelihoods by providing tools to fishing communities to retrieve ocean plastics on their fishing expeditions, paying them a good price for their high value finds which are then sorted by the women of the coastal communities and sent for processing.
TRANSFORM is providing mentoring and funding to help scale the operations as well as helping to facilitate industry connections. The initiative is providing further support with project management; monitoring and evaluation; scaling ground level operations; improving the quality of processes; and deepening the scale of impact.
With a focus on upskilling, Baeru trains women to collect and segregate the waste and uses its low-literacy supportive waste management app as a tool to input data and monitor the waste. It also draws insights from the nature of waste collected and then advises and educates the communities on ways to reduce waste through awareness programmes such as its flagship programme, Culture for Climate, which leverages local arts and culture.
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