K N Vajpai: We boast, we host, and we are lost!
It sounds the legacy of mighty Himalaya and its people. Here, agencies seem boasting the urgency and the welfare of mountain ecosystem (!), while people in the region are hosting their dialogues with utmost care, and then they are lost somewhere. The remains of such shows become reports in office files and implementation a nightmare to our extenders and communities
The upcoming Bhutan Summit in Nov 2011 also known as ‘Climate Summit for Living Himalaya’ might have the same fate.
The summit is in context to the urgency of building resilience to buffer the impact of climate change and generate resources for adaptation, capacity building and technology transfer without waiting for any such global agreement in four host South Asian countries. The summit is convened by Governments of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India, that will lead to adoption and endorsement of next 10 years climate change adaptation road map to ensure food, water, energy security vis-à-vis maintaining biodiversity for the region. It also mandates financial collaboration in the implementation of road map and creation of a regional expert group to advice government in such actions.
India is given the responsibility of ‘Food Security and Livelihood’ core group meeting and regional consultations. To note, interesting it that, not many people from Indian Himalayan region are aware about such consultation and what road map is going to be prepared at such meeting in New Delhi.
Not many existing platforms were used for per-consultations, discussions and knowing the community perceptions, before developing a road-map and agreement for the Ministerial meeting in Thimphu (Bhutan), during November 2011. Of the 11 Indian Mountain states, we didn’t observe any consultation taking place at state level, to know what the people in Western or Eastern Himalayan region think about their food security and livelihood, given that agriculture is not very much practiced in this region due various ecosystem dysfunction, population pressure and climatic vulnerabilities.
The proceedings of the meeting mainly focus on agricultural technologies, while the pressing issue of livelihood didn’t get much attention. However, the present scenario is that, livelihood is among the most important aspects of planning in this region, and the way forward relates to promoting Agro-forestry models, Horticulture, Eco-tourism and wise water use, among others.
The dilemma of Himalayas is that, there is dearth of agencies those work inclusively without boasting themselves. Another concern is that, we host such events without thorough consultative processes, which in real sense require serious considerations. And the third challenge is that we come-up with very superficial road-maps those have no practical meanings.
And, we are lost!
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of Climate Himalaya group.
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>>