Orfalea Center Thematic Research Cluster
Future Infrastructures: Water, Energy and Justice
Society for Creative Opportunities and Participatory Ecosystems (SCOPE)
Society for Creative Opportunities and Participatory Ecosystems (SCOPE) is a nonprofit organization pursuing research and action on the conservation of ecosystems, particularly the unique ecosystem of the East Kolkata Wetlands in India. The EKW receives the most of Kolkata’s wastewater and treats it in an ecological agricultural process through community knowledge and practices to produce fish and crops which in turn feed the city. The EKW is a Ramsar listed “wetland of international importance” but has been subject to increasing threat of real estate encroachment and eviction. SCOPE works with the community members of the EKW for the purposes of research, conservation, livelihood generation and overall improvement of life. To know more about SCOPE’s work, visit their website here.
The Future Infrastructures Cluster is happy to partner with SCOPE to support several of their projects during the summer and fall of 2020. The outcome of this partnership includes the following:
I. From Farm to Housing
The short film, From Farm to Housing (2020), documents the unique wastewater ecosystem of the East Kolkata Wetlands and the conservation efforts of SCOPE at the wetlands. You can watch the film here.
II. Oral History of the Pandemic
In partnership with the ORFALEA Center, SCOPE has created an oral history video archive of the East Kolkata Wetlands that gather testimonies from the villagers about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cyclone Amphan, and the agricultural efforts of SCOPE in the wetlands. The archive features five interviews with the villagers who share their individual stories of pandemic life and agricultural difficulties.
Pramila Sardar’s Story:
Deben Munda’s Story:
Nirapada Munda’s Story:
Kalomoni Munda’s Story:
Kartik Sardar’s Story:
III. Wetland Conference 2022
In August 2022, SCOPE co-organized a conference titled “Connecting Wetland Narratives to Action Plan: A Stakeholders’ Dialogue.” The conference prioritized the voice of wetland workers, and in particular, the role of women in wetland conservation. The conference was widely attended by members of the wetland community, government officials, activists, academics, students, and members of the general public. You can read HERE conference concept note, the conference report, and an Action Plan that was suggested to the Department of Environment at the end of the conference.