- Submitted by: India
- Topic: Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication
- Location: India
- Date of completion: 2006
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- This voluntary initiative came from Green economy policies, practices and initiatives
Natural Rural Employment Guarantee Act
Description/achievement of initiativeIndia's Natural Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) launched in 2006, is a Guaranteed Wage Employment program implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development. In its first two-and-a-half years, NREGA generated more than 3.5 billion days of work reaching on average 30 million families per year.
Source: World Resources Institute (2011) A Compilation of Green Economy Policies, Programs, and Initiatives from Around the World. The Green Economy in Practice: Interactive Workshop 1, February 11th, 2011
Natural Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) promotes wage employment and natural resource management in over 615 rural districts. The Act aims to enhance livelihood security of households in rural areas of the country by providing at least one hundred days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. Its auxiliary objective is strengthening natural resource management through works that address causes of chronic poverty like drought, deforestation and soil erosion and so encourage sustainable development.
In its first two-and-a-half years, NREGA generated more than 3.5 billion days of work reaching on average 30 million families per year. Women represent roughly half the employed workforce. NREGA has contributed to boosting the average wage of agricultural laborers by more than 25%. It improved ecosystem health through financing of rural works that address causes of drought, deforestation, and soil erosion. Crop and livestock production are also improved.