Neha Sinha, Indian Express, April 12, 2010
India, China and Nepal are set to launch a joint conservation initiative for the Mount Kailash landscape. The conservation will be meant to tackle the issue of glacial melt, biodiversity conservation and, interestingly, also have a mandate for cultural conservation in the Himalayan region. This would be a first-of-its-kind trans-boundary conservation initiative in the area. “Concerns of climate change and glacial melt form a backdrop for the programme. We will be looking at biodiversity conservation and also work together for glaciology,” Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told The Indian Express. The trans-boundary programme will be launched in about two weeks.
The Environment Ministries from China and Nepal will be involved in the project, which has been launched under the guidance of International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Ramesh had visited China last year, with an agenda for co-operation in the fields of glacier conservation and saving the tiger. He also met the Nepali Environment Minister recently, with the same mandate.
“This particular project was discussed during my last visit to China,” Ramesh said. “All three ministries will be contributing to the project.” From India, Wildlife Institute of India, GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development along with the state Forest Department of Uttarakhand will take part. The first phase of the project will last 18 months. A way forward is expected to emerge after ICIMOD commences with a training workshop next week at GB Pant Institute.
It remains to be seen, however, how areas in Tibet, which will fall under the landscape, will be involved. China has at least once raised the issue of conservation of the Tibetan Antelope, the Chiru, in India.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on Mountains and Climate linked issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last five years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in the Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>