The Energy and Resources Institute, (TERI) in association with National Mission on Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMHSE), the Planning Commission of India and OXFAM India organized a panel discussion on ‘Climate Change and Sustainability of Himalayan Ecosystem’. The Energy and Resources Institute, (TERI) in association with National Mission on Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMHSE), the Planning Commission of India and OXFAM India organized a panel discussion on ‘Climate Change and Sustainability of Himalayan Ecosystem’. The purpose of the panel discussion was in sync with the goals identified by the United General Assembly in announcing December 11 as ‘The International Mountain Day’.
The discussion deliberated on challenges and opportunities in the perspective of climate change impacts that are influencing the sustainability of Himalayan ecosystems, making it hazardous and vulnerable for around 55 million people residing in and around the region. In addition, the role played by the Himalayas in regulating the overall weather patterns in Indian subcontinent make them indispensable for the livelihood of many as well.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ashok Jaitly, Director, Water Resources Division, TERI, said, ‘The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) has been endorsed as the regional Knowledge Hub for Water and Climate Change Adaptation in South Asia by Asia Pacific Water Forum (APWF) and organizing this panel discussion was aimed at knowledge sharing’. He also added, ‘We organized this interaction to highlight the importance of International Mountain Day for the Indian context, encourage future research in the Himalayan region by forming strategic alliances and partnerships as well as to showcase TERI’s commitment in finding sustainable mountain development solutions’.
‘Climate, natural resources and livelihood have an extremely profound interconnection, especially in the context of the Himalayan region. In the purview of climatic changes, this delicate balance between the trios is at peril. Though the challenges are high, such platforms are a step towards the right direction. Garnering knowledge partnerships is the way to tackle the sustainability issue in this region and essential in awareness building’, said, Mr. Michel Anglade, Regional Programme Manager Policy and Campaign, Oxfam.
The importance of mountains in our life is enormous. Making up one fifth of the world’s landscape (library.thinkquest.org), the majestic mountain ranges across the globe are not just a visual treat but a supply source for millions depending on the mountain ecosystem. Providing a high range of biodiversity from food, hydroelectricity, fresh water, timber and minerals, the mountain ecosystem is becoming increasingly significant in our live and protecting the mountain biome our responsibility.
Press Release by TERI
Climate Himalaya NEWS:
During the deliberations and various technical presentations, the panelists highlighted the importance of mountains and recognizing them as hotspot for climatic changes. It was also highlighted that, given the action plan of Government of India’s National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) and its sub mission ‘Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem’ that has a vision towards Himalayan Glaciers, Bio-diversity conservation, Wild Life , Traditional knowledge among others, the Government needs to pro actively work in line with its mission statements in Indian Himalayan region.
Dr. Bhutiyani, a Scientist at SASE (Snow and Avalanche study Establishment) presented his research that contained 100 years data on annual precipitation and glacial melting aspects from three research stations of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand mountain states of India. His research revealed that, in last 100 years there is on an average increase of 1.6°c annual mean temperature leading to decrease in average annual precipitation, while the winter precipitation remained constant. He further mentioned that, due to this, the research records declining pattern of snow fall in last 30 years, average increase in rainfall and decrease in river discharge. The research also revealed that there is no uniform pattern of temperature variation and it shows cooling in high altitudes and otherwise in lower altitudes. He informed that, SASE is working on various snow harvesting measures in Himalayan Mountains towards adaptation to climatic vulnerabilities.
The Oxfam India’s team stated about their future strategy to work in Himalayan Mountains of India on ‘Good Food Campaign’ that focuses on organic agricultural practices. The representatives from Meghalaya and Nagaland emphasized upon need of more research in forestry and agriculture sector, gender sensitive planning and considering traditional ecological knowledge in various mountain development and climatic adaptation strategies. It was also emphasized that the existing public, private and civil society institutions in the region should come together on various research, knowledge sharing and capacity building aspects to address the knowledge gap, linkages, better governance and capacity building needs. The Panelists further emphasized to focus on various agro-forestry measures, more coordinated efforts and synergies among local and regional institutions, need of networking and linkages, knowledge sharing mechanism in research, better communication strategies and developing models towards agriculture sustenance.
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on the mountain and climate related issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last two 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 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>>