New Growth Measures in Himalayan Region: Himalayan Day 2012

Sep 10th, 2012 | By | Category: Agriculture, Biodiversity, Climatic Changes in Himalayas, Development and Climate Change, Disasters and Climate Change, Earthquake, Ecosystem Functions, Energy, Environment, Events, Forest, Government Policies, India, Information and Communication, Land, News, Opinion, Resilience, Vulnerability, Water

HESCO: Himalayas have been soul of the country by virtue of cultural, ethnic, ecological and economical values. It has not been guarding country’s border only but constantly serving its human by enriching soil, air, water etc. Unfortunately importance of Himalayas was always underestimated for its integral role in overall development of the Nation. Deterioration of Himalayan system due to inadequate attention has threatened our Life Supporting Resources. Status of forest, water, air soil has become alarmingly grim. There are two facts that need to be seriously brought to cognizance.

Life cannot sustain without natural resources and Himalaya is the major donor of the same. Since Himalayan health largely decides climate, economy and ecology of the nation, substantial attention to its native become equally important as latter shape its ecology and environment.

Himalayan communities had always been deprived of any pervasive development which their counterpart enjoyed. They suffered in past but never resented because of their candidness.  Statehood to Himalayan states of course has been one of the initiatives to address socio-political issues but because of inappropriate approach, desire development scale could not be scored.

Recently long negligence of Himalayan system has caused larger adverse impacts. The sustained delivery of life support resources is threatened. This system has begun to cease due to degenerating governing factors. The impact of adversity is not only limited to Himalayan community only but its curse are visible everywhere now.  Scarce water discharge, poor soil and air quality are some of them.

The issue is debatable in two fronts. Whether Himalayas should only be considered in isolation as a nature commodity or its inhabitants should be considered the integral part of the system deciding its behavior. Himalayan growth must be measured along with the state of its native.

Rural health will help Himalayan health and so of the country. There must be specific approach to rural Himalayas where development should more focus on enriching natural resources besides routine development activities. There must be resource regenerating employments opportunity for rural Himalayas. This would help its native and country as a whole.

It is high time to open a debate on status of Himalaya and its efficacies to serve communities. There have been a number of movements to conserve Himalayan resources but unfortunately they don’t have much to claim in saving Himalaya’s dignity. It is often now resonate whether saving of Himalaya is the responsibility of its native only? The larger benefit of Himalayas have been taken by its counterpart be it a water, forests or soil. These resources have been shrinking fast and ultimate brunt has to be born by everyone of us.

Natural resources are governed by law but various statutes on natural resources have hampered sustainable local developmental activities that go in harmony with nature. It can not be denied that in some cases legislations have brought some relief to nature at national level but more often the cost of implementing such laws is borne by the local communities who are deprived of using these resources for their sustenance.

Moreover, there has not been any Resource Credit Mechanism that would have compensated local needs of the community in lieu of such deprivations. The forest is denied to local community who can not benefit from natural resources. The gigantic rivers emanating from mountains fulfilling electricity and irrigation needs of the country have not been of much use to local communities. The Himalayan region also serves as border guard, fulfilling air, soil and water needs. But these indirect benefits have not been much acknowledged in our overall national development plans. The Himalayan communities have thus been facing severe jolts of national environmental protection accomplishments and are the primary victims of lopsided approach.

Himalayas deserve attention because of ushering, guarding and catering resource needs of the whole nation. This calls for a serious discussion at national level with the highest body of justice, which is the community. Himalayan day is being celebrated to discuss the above mentioned issues. The day is being organized across the Himalayan states, in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and northeastern states by a number of social organizations committed to conservation of the Himalayas. The celebration attempts to draw attention of planners, policy makers and people at large to promote overall common interests.

The discussion issue of Himalayan Day of this year focused on whether we need a New Growth Measure for the Nation? This measure will be environmental centric and will highlight the growth/addition of water, forest, soil etc in the given year. This is important mainly because of gross negligence of environment in recent past and the consequences replacement of the same are to be encountered in the future.

“The Himalayas are in danger. The government must wake up… Its exploitative policies destroying the ecology and making people migrate out of the region,” said Anil Joshi of the Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organisation (HESCO), who is behind the campaign. September 9 is celebrated as ‘Himalaya Day’.

Source: HESCO and CHI Mountain Voice

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