Located between the outer limits of urban and regional centres and the rural environment, they represent a wide range of uses, such as water catchments, forestry, recreation and productive farming. They also offer a unique ambience and lifestyle. Peri-urban areas are considered important in the context of food security and improving livelihoods, but nevertheless compete with scarce urban resources like land, water, energy and labour. The scale of urban and peri-urban agriculture is also substantial, with approximately 800 million people across the globe practising it. Peri-urban agriculture provides food and livelihood security to the vulnerable populations living in the area, and its role in terms of providing food and ecosystem services is vital.
Safeguarding peri-urban ecosystems is critical, as they provide critical services for climate resilience and disaster risk reduction by acting as protective barriers
against hazards. They also enhance the resilience of community to withstand, cope with and recover from climate change impacts and disasters through providing many livelihood benefits, such as food, firewood, clean water and so on. Increasing urbanisation process is transforming the ecosystems and generating new risks. Recognising the economic value and multiple benefits of healthy ecosystems acting as natural buffers are important for reducing risks and contributing to urban resilience and sustainability.
GEAG’s initiatives examine the links between ecosystem services, urbanisation and resilience to disaster and climate change in four cities of Indo-Gangetic Plains in eastern India. GEAG has also been advocating for the protection of peri-urban spaces which play a vital role in building urban resilience.