Himalayan Mission: Creating Network of Stakeholders

Sep 21st, 2011 | By | Category: Adaptation, Advocacy, Capacity Development, Climatic Changes in Himalayas, Development and Climate Change, Environment, Glaciers, Governance, Government Policies, India, Information and Communication, M-20 CAMPAIGN, Mitigation, Website-eNews Portal

Dr. Akhilesh GuptaDr. Akhilesh Gupta: The Government of India launched the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) in 2008 which comprises of eight major national missions. The “National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE)” is one among them. The Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India has been entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating and implementing this mission.

The mission aims to understand the complex processes affecting the Himalayan Ecosystem and evolve suitable management and policy measures for sustaining and safeguarding the Himalayan eco-system. It also aims at developing, in a time bound manner, a sustainable national capacity to continuously assess the health status of the Himalayan ecosystem and assist Himalayan States in implementing actions selected for sustainable development.  The fragility of Himalaya calls for dedicated and concentrated efforts from all stakeholders.

The primary objectives of the mission include:

  1. Building Human and Institutional capacities on climate change related aspects
  2. Network knowledge institutions and develop a coherent database on all knowledge systems
  3. Detect and decouple natural and anthropogenic global environmental changes and project future trends on potential impacts.
  4. Assess the socio-economic and ecological consequences of global environmental change and design appropriate strategies for growth in the economy of the region.
  5. Study traditional knowledge systems for community participation in adaptation, mitigation and coping mechanisms
  6. Evaluate policy alternatives for regional development plans
  7. Create awareness amongst stakeholders in the region
  8. Develop regional cooperation to generate a strong knowledge and database for policy interventions.

The NMSHE will attempt to address a variety of important issues including;

  1. Himalayan Glaciers and the associated hydrological consequences,
  2. Prediction and management of natural hazards
  3. Biodiversity conservation and protection,
  4. Wild life conservation and protection,
  5. Traditional knowledge societies and their livelihood and
  6. Governance issues related to sustenance of the Himalayan Ecosystem.

The NMSHE has a large number of stakeholders ranging from government to non–government organizations, central ministries, academic institutions, civil society organizations, etc. Following are broad categories of these stakeholders:

-State governments of 12 Himalayan States- J&K, HP, Uttarakhand, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, West Bengal and Sikkim
-Central Government Ministries/Departments-
-Academic institutions and universities
-Scientific institutions under various ministries
-Technical bodies and agencies – Both State and Central Governments
-Defence and para- military organizations
-Training institutions in mountaineering
-Community based organizations
-Knowledge institutions in the private sector
-Non-governmental Organizations
-Public outreach and awareness organizations

The NMSHE is one mission which needs a unique implementation strategy. This is a mission where objective is not to just achieve certain time targeted goals but to put in place certain strategies and plans to achieve sustenance of Himalayan ecosystem on a long term basis.  This obviously cannot be achieved through actions by government alone and would need active participation and enrolment of all stakeholders. Efforts are being made to create a network of all major stakeholders and enroll them with the mission to discuss and debate possible strategies, actions and plans which can help achieving long term sustenance of Himalayan ecosystem.

Featured Photo Credit: Rakesh Sood, at Horn Bill Festival in India


Author: Dr Akhilesh Gupta has written this article for Climate Himalaya’s Guest Speakers column. Dr. Akhilesh Gupta is currently working as Head, Climate Change Programme Division of Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, wherein he is coordinating two National Missions on Climate Change under National Action Plan on Climate Change launched by the Prime Minister of India. He has been member of India’s core negotiating team on Climate Change for several meetings of UNFCCC and IPCC. Email


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of Climate Himalaya Initiative’s team.


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>>

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One Comment to “Himalayan Mission: Creating Network of Stakeholders”

  1. Suman K A says:

    Dear Dr.Gupta ji: Thank you for the informative piece and for the brief opportunity to meet with you at the NICRA – Climate Change Platform stakeholder gathering in Hyderabad recently.

    The stakeholder engagement for the NMSHE is a step in the right direction requiring a detailed mapping of the key stakeholders in the region as a critical first task.

    To make the process even more meaningful, Sir, may I suggest that NMSHE consider accessing the deep and wide Multi Stakeholder Platform(MSP) expertise of the Wageningen UR Center for Development Innovation , Netherlands.

    They have worked with players across 60 countries cutting across public and private sectors and in areas as diverse as agriculture, ecosystems governance and innovation and change. (http://www.cdi.wur.nl/UK/)

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