The exercise is a pilot covering three sites that aims to establish a process of obtaining clarity with respect to heirloom and traditional agricultural genetic resources. The sites selected were Gampla, Millaniya and Udukumbura in the Kandy District of the central province of Sri Lanka.
The project looks to mainstream agrobiodiversity conservation and their specific uses within various agro-ecologies for livelihood purposes while also obtain clarity and provide coaching on preparedness and adaptation of agrarian livelihoods to climate change.
In these efforts, the GMSL looked at the various parameters that affected farming livelihoods including availability of genetic resources including livestock and the prevalence of their knowledge and uses as well as means and methods of harmonizing the human-environment interface, optimizing ecosystem services and managing a conservation centric reimagining of primary livelihoods.
Specific attention was paid to improving the prevalence and use of alternative grains to rice such as millets, low water agriculture, minimal input agriculture as part of a paradigm shift while also creating awareness among farmers and providing them with coaching on participatory plant breeding techniques, propagation, preservation and distribution of plant genetic materials as well as optimizing ecosystem services by improving green cover. The process not only planned to change the cropping mixes and methods but also postharvest value addition and links to markets while encouraging the zero-distance argument through local genetic diversity fairs and improved local consumption of high nutritious, toxin free foods.
Most importantly also, the project studied the ever increasing problems related to the human-wildlife conflict and the methods of mitigating the issues and reducing the competition between natural and cultivated ecosystem components.