Ecosystem Functions

Revisiting Mountain Perspective: Reasons And Challenges

Jan 19th, 2015 | By
Van Mundoli in Chamoli-Photo Samvedi Dehradun-1

K N Vajpai: This article is in the series of responses to an article on ‘Mountain Perspective’ at Link. It looks in to the aspects of mountain perspective and specificities as mentioned by Dr. N. S. Jodha during 1992s, and compares them in present  context. However, there are a number of doubts upon the relevance

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Climate Change Threatens India’s Native Plants

Jan 9th, 2015 | By

If India is to save hundreds of endemic plant species from extinction as a result of climate change it may need to resort to interventions such as assisted migration and expansion of existing protected areas, says a new study. Vishwas Sudhir Chitale, researcher at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and corresponding author of the

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Government Admits Hydropower Projects Aggravated 2013 Uttarakhand Floods

Dec 11th, 2014 | By
Flood aftermath in Kedarnath, a huge land mass towards Mandakini cut of

The Centre on Monday admitted for the first time that hydropower projects had “direct and indirect impact in the aggravation of floods” that hit Uttarakhand in 2013, killing hundreds and leaving thousands homeless. It also said that the projects caused “irreversible damage” to the environment and enhanced landslides and other disasters. Filing its affidavit in

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Phewa Lake to Get Lost in 39 Years!

Oct 31st, 2014 | By

Phewa Lake will get completely covered in next 39 years if not looked after, experts said. At a programme organised by Pokhara Sub-Metropolitan City (PSMC) and Kaski District Development Committee (DDC), stakeholders have expressed their serious concern over conservation of the one of the most popular tourist destinations of the nation. Speaking at the function,

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Looking Into Chure Ecosystem

Oct 30th, 2014 | By

Nepal’s economy which is dominated by agriculture is heavily dependent upon the monsoon. Thus, we need to understand the processes of the monsoon and its importance before heading towards big chapters on climate change. But as we always want to catch a big mouse even though that mouse is not valuable still we love to

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Can’t Take the Heat

Oct 12th, 2014 | By

As ocean temperatures rise over the next century, fish will migrate to cooler latitudes, according to projections by fisheries scientists at the University of British Columbia (UBC). As a result, many regions of the tropics could become “hotspots” for local fish extinctions, which could in turn threaten ecosystems and human livelihoods. The results, based on

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Tackling the Water-energy-food Nexus Without Reinventing the Wheel

Oct 9th, 2014 | By

The water, energy and food (WEF) nexus has become a key concept for understanding the complexities of and interdependencies among the water, energy and agricultural sectors. It has become so key that this year’s World Water Week, organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) in September, was centred around this theme. Given the known

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Development Disturbing Islamabad’s Ecology, Say Experts

Sep 5th, 2014 | By

APP: Environmentalists claim Pakistan is already among the top ten countries where unusual weather patterns are making major environment impacts, and the situation might further deteriorate in the coming years if attention was not paid to issues related to climate change. An environmentalist at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Kashif Salik, said the capital’s environment

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Heat Wave Offers Glimpse Into Climate Change

Aug 25th, 2014 | By

An unprecedented marine heat wave that swept the Southeast Indian Ocean in 2011 has given FIU scientists a glimpse into the future of climate change. The heat wave caused the loss of more than 90 percent of the dominant seagrass in some regions of Shark Bay, Australia. Since seagrass meadows provide habitat for many ecologically

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Future Crop Production Threatened by Extreme Heat

Aug 21st, 2014 | By

Climate change impacts on crop production are complex and diverse. Their assessment is challenging as the impacts result from a variety of biotic and abiotic stressors (and their interactions), diverse crop responses to stress, as well as farmers’ management adaptations made in response to changing socio-economic and climatic conditions. Further, farmers’ adaptations produce their own

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Will the Real Montologist Please Stand up?

Jul 11th, 2014 | By
Vinay-in Lumgaundi 2011

‘Since its dictionary existence hasn’t caught on, expecting ‘montology’ as a possible new academic discipline to work its way through could only be preposterous. Isn’t it risking one’s own career path in already established disciplines in favor of a yet-to-be-created discipline? Will it not subsume some of the current dominant areas of ‘expertise’ concerning mountains?There

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Arctic Warming Upsets Birds’ Breeding Calendar

Jul 8th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: Arctic migrants are nesting up to seven days earlier as the world warms. The sandpiper makes a beeline for the Alaskan shores, to join the phalarope on the beach and the songbirds in the woods − and all because the winter snows are melting earlier. Conservation scientists Joe Liebezeit and Steve Zack –

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Lessons From the Success Story of Great Himalayan National Park

Jul 1st, 2014 | By

On 23 June, UNESCO decided to put the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) Conservation Area in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh on the World Heritage List, acknowledging it as one of the world’s most important and significant natural habitats for conservation of biological diversity, containing threatened species of outstanding universal value. Set up in 1984,

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Need to Rewrite the Mountain Perspective!

Jul 1st, 2014 | By
Dhol-Keshar singh Bisht-a

Tagged as fragile, remote and marginal, these three aspects have featured prominently in discussions and deliberations concerning development in the mountains in our part of the world. Retired but active academician N S Jodha, a former senior staff with the Kathmandu-based Integrated Center for International Mountain Development, has been credited for using these three features

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Coastal Warning for Vital Atlantic Habitats

Jun 26th, 2014 | By

Rising temperatures, increasingly acidic seas and human destruction will drastically change the nature of the coastal seas of the north-east Atlantic over the next century, scientists predict. According to new research in the journal Ecology and Evolution, it will completely alter the forests of kelp and the maerl beds of coralline algae that serve as shelter and

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Flow Chart Unclear for Glacial Rivers

Jun 19th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: A new study examining river basins in the Asia region suggests that amounts of water supplied to the area by glaciers and rainfall in the Himalayas will increase in the coming decades. At first reading, that looks like good news, as an estimated 1.3 billion people in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, China and

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Melting Glaciers, More Rain to Swell Himalayan Rivers

Jun 2nd, 2014 | By

The Hindu: As the climate warms, increased melting of glaciers and more rain along the Himalayas is likely to enhance the flow of water into the big rivers that arise in this vast mountain range, according to research just published. Researchers in The Netherlands and Nepal used high-resolution modelling to study how a warmer climate would

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Insects Get Light Relief From Warming

Jun 1st, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: Europe’s butterflies are fading in the sunlight as the summers warm − while some species of shrubs and trees in the southern hemisphere are growing less as winters become milder. Lead author Dirk Zeuss, of Philipps-University Marburg in Germany, and fellow researchers report in Nature Communications that as the climate of Europe begins to

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Climate Change and Pakistan

May 3rd, 2014 | By

Tribune: The recently released report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of experts formed by the United Nations, makes for some scary reading. The report concludes that the devastating effects of climate change are already visible. According to the report, polar ice caps are melting, water supplies around the world are shrinking,

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The Dams of India: Boon or Bane?

Mar 17th, 2014 | By
Upper Brahmaputra also known as Siang River Arunachal Pradesh State, India

The Guardian: Assam, the northeastern Indian state, east of Bangladesh and bordering China to the north, is an area described by politicians as India’s ‘future powerhouse’ and is a key focus point of the country’s dam building programme. The ambition of planners in New Delhi is not in doubt. So far plans for more than 160

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Miles to Go

Mar 12th, 2014 | By

Republica: Nepal has adopted Sustainable Development Agenda for Nepal (SDAN), 2003. The agenda is developed with support from the UNDP and WWF. It is a major policy tool for all development plans, policies, and strategies. Specifically, the Sustainable Development Agenda for Nepal (2003), and the Sustainable Community Development Program (Nepal Capacity 21) guide periodic plans and

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Climate Change ‘Raises Extinction Risk’

Feb 28th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: Environmental scientists believe they have a blueprint for extinction. They report inNature Climate Change that they have identified those factors that might make a species more likely to slip away into eternal oblivion as the planet warms and climate conditions change. It turns out that they knew them all along. There is, the researchers

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Population of Migratory Water Birds Declines in India

Feb 18th, 2014 | By

Press Trust of India: The population of migratory water birds has been decreasing in India every year and their migratory pattern has also seen a change due to global climate changes, a census has revealed. The migratory pattern of these birds has been changing due to global climate changes, declining wetland habitats, various local threats and

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Half of Plants May Move in Warmer World

Feb 16th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: By 2100, vegetation patterns will be shifting in almost half the land area of the planet, according to new research in the journal Global and Planetary Change. Song Feng of the University of Arkansas in the US and colleagues in Nebraska, China and South Korea have taken a long cool look at what the

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Warmth Spurs Plants to Move or Bloom Earlier

Feb 3rd, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: Scientists are one step closer to solving one of the puzzles of the natural world’s response to climate change: why one species migrates and another does not. Tatsuya Amano of the University of Cambridge in the UK and colleagues report in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B that there could be a relatively simple

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Climate Change Pushes Himalayan Honey Bees to Higher Altitudes

Feb 1st, 2014 | By

Republica: Himalayan cliff honey bee, the insect known for its ingenuity in making its colonies in places where humans and predators do not have easy access, has lately started to prefer higher altitudes for habitat. According to apiarists, the stinging winged insect heavily searched after, mostly by humans, for the sweet nectar called honey it

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How the Threat to Lions, Leopards and Wolves Endangers Us All

Jan 28th, 2014 | By

They are the planet’s most prolific killers – and also some of nature’s most effective protectors. This is the stark conclusion of an international report that argues that lions, wolves, pumas, lynxes and other major carnivores play key roles in keeping ecosystems in balance. It also warns that the current depletion of numbers of major predators threatens

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Climate Change’s New Menace: Mountain Tsunamis

Jan 20th, 2014 | By

The raging torrent hit in the morning, as Gopal Singh Bhist and his son, a cook and the leader of a pony train, prepared for work. In minutes, the Mandakini river had breached its banks, sending a crushing hammer of water, ice and rock through the Himalayan villages in this north Indian state of Uttarakhand.

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Climate Change Alters Land Map of India

Jan 19th, 2014 | By

Hindustan Times: The adverse effects of climate change are being felt on more than a fourth of India’s landmass over the last four decades. While some parts of the country have turned arid, others have witnessed more rainfall. A study by the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA) at Hyderabad has revealed that about 27%

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Regulating Biodiversity in India and Nepal

Jan 15th, 2014 | By

In a world marked by climate change, biodiversity is important for food security. Several international treaties regulate adaptation, access to and sharing of plant genetic resources. However, the treaties must be implemented in the laws of individual countries if they are to have an effect ‘The diversity of plant varieties is under threat. For several

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Swiss Wildlife Heads Uphill Fast

Jan 13th, 2014 | By

Climate News Network: Alpine ecosystems are on the rise. Between 2003 and 2010, plants have managed to scramble up another eight metres of mountain slope. On the way up, they were overtaken by butterflies, which collectively gained another 38 metres of higher ground.  Alpine birds in turn fluttered an average of 42 metres higher. Tobias Roth

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Biodiversity Panel Gives Indigenous Knowledge Core Role

Jan 13th, 2014 | By

Sci Dev Net: Indigenous and local knowledge is set to play a major role in biodiversity and ecosystem management, a meeting of an intergovernmental body has heard. At its second meeting — held in Antalya in Turkey, last month (9-14 December) — the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services (IPBES) decided to extend its focused assessments of such knowledge

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The Fight to Save the Western Ghats

Jan 5th, 2014 | By
edit- the fight for web--621x414

The Western Ghats, spread over six states in western and southern India, cover an area of approximately 165,000 sq. km. They are home to a unique ecosystem in the country that is under threat from human activities. Nearly 59% of this area has been exploited: habitation, plantation or agriculture. Only 41% of the area is

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Destruction of Mt K’njaro Ecosystem is Affecting Tourism, Caution Experts

Jan 2nd, 2014 | By

The Guardian: The number of visitors to Mt Kilimanjaro, the country’s most popular attraction is likely to drop in the near future, experts have warned. Prof Willy R. Makundi, climate change expert and advisor to the United Nations issued the warning yesterday, urging the government to take serious measures to protect the forests from wild

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Flood-Resilient Streams Protect Mountain Farms, Villagers in North Pakistan

Dec 17th, 2013 | By

Thomson Reuters Foundation – Flood-prone streams that until recently threatened the lives, incomes and properties of mountain communities in Pakistan’s Hunza-Nagar valley are now much less dangerous, and are even helping boost harvests, after work enabling them to better withstand weather extremes. The natural water channels have been reinforced and widened to allow more glacial

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Apple Orchards Dying As Hills Get Warmer

Dec 14th, 2013 | By

Times News Network: With apple trees failing to get required chill hours during winters and frequency of snowfall decreased over the years, many fatal diseases have gripped orchards in Kullu district, which has impacted annual apple production in the region. Total area under apple cultivation in Kullu district is 24,000 hectares and nearly 85% of the total

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Farming Practices Critical To Preservation Of Endangered Bird Species

Nov 16th, 2013 | By

In contrary to conventional beliefs that presence of human settlements within the Black Necked crane (BNC) habitat impedes conservation of the endangered bird, a research has found out that human settlement and farming practices are critical to its preservation. The research findings were recorded by a team of researchers from the agriculture ministry who recently

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Indian Himalayan States Discuss Climate Change Action Plan

Oct 8th, 2013 | By
IHCAP region consultation

SDC/IHCAP: The state governments of the Indian Himalayan Region came together for the first ever regional  consultation meeting to discuss their State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCC) and specific linkages to the National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) on September 18-19, 2013. The regional consultation meeting was organised by the Indian Himalayas

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The Himalayas, A Special Report

Oct 8th, 2013 | By

With one-fifth of the world’s population relying on seasonal Himalayan melting, the disappearance of the Third Pole is sending warning signs. Floods, droughts, wildfires, windstorms, water contamination and illnesses plague the 1.3 billion people who live in the watersheds directly supplied by glacial melt from the Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH) region. The waterways of Afghanistan, Bangladesh,

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The IPCC Report – Where Now?

Oct 7th, 2013 | By

CNN: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has now published the first part of its Fifth Assessment Report, AR5. It says humanity is largely responsible for the recent warming of the Earth, it re-tells the Panel’s familiar story of rising temperatures and sea levels, of melting glaciers and ice sheets. Described by some as “conservative”

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Bubble May Burst for Fossil Fuel Giants

Oct 7th, 2013 | By
coal mines

CNN: The giant corporations powering the fossil fuel industry are warned that they face a damaging backlash if they try to resist the mounting pressures of climate change legislation and high-profile campaigning The financial and economic muscle of the global fossil fuel industry’s corporate behemoths will not protect them from the costly effects of negative

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Erratic Weather Threatens Livelihoods In Pakistan

Oct 7th, 2013 | By
Pakistan flood and cc

SciDevNet: In recent years, climatic stresses, particularly droughts and floods, have devastated yields and caused crops to fail for many farmers across Pakistan. Erratic rainfall — particularly in rain-fed areas like Taxila, 20 miles northwest of the capital, Islamabad — has further exacerbated farmers’ problems and led to a slump in yields. With four dry winters in

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Seti Flashflood Was Not Caused By Climate Change: Scientists

Oct 7th, 2013 | By
Seti in Nepal

Republica: Experts have concluded that a devastating flashflood in the Seti River last year was not caused by climate change. A report prepared after a yearlong by a panel of experts including scientists from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States, concluded that the sudden deluge in the river on May 5,

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Mountains And Climate Linked Disasters: Less Concerned Actors

Oct 1st, 2013 | By

Climate Himalaya: Disaster related early warning systems are available in South Asian countries like Nepal, and neighbouring countries like India should learn and adopt such technologies in their region. A side event at 4th Global Meeting of Mountain Partnership was organized by Climate Himalaya and Centre for Environment Education India at Erzurum, Turkey on 18th

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4th Global Meeting Reaffirms Mountain Agenda In New Strategy

Sep 18th, 2013 | By

In the fourth global meeting of ‘Mountain Partnership’ 17-20 September, at Erzurum in Turkey, over 100 members from around the globe endorsed a new improved sustainable mountain development strategy for 2014-2017. During 1992, at Rio Earth most of the world’s nations at the UN Conference on Environment and Development signed a plan for action, ‘Agenda

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India’s Law To Feed Poor Threatens To Gobble Up Climate Funding

Sep 13th, 2013 | By
food crisis india

Thomson Reuters Foundation: India’s National Action Plan for Climate Change, a hugely ambitious programme requiring billions of dollars, is being starved of funds, officials say, as a new law aimed at giving food to the needy threatens to eat up a large chunk of government spending. In 2009, the government set up eight national missions

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Climate Change May Speed Up Forests’ Life Cycles

Sep 13th, 2013 | By
Trees in rainforests, such as these in the Ecuadorian Amazon, might end up absorbing as much carbon as they release because of global warming.

Science Daily: Many climate studies have predicted that tree species will respond to global warming by migrating via seed dispersal to cooler climates. But a new study of 65 different species in 31 eastern states finds evidence of a different, unexpected response. Nearly 80 percent of the species aren’t yet shifting their geographic distributions to

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Environmentalists Observe Himalaya Day

Sep 12th, 2013 | By

Hindu: A group of environmentalists and civil society activists observed Himalaya Day and demanded a comprehensive policy to protect the world’s longest and tallest range and its ecosystems on Thursday. Observing the Himalaya Day for the first time, members from about 22 organisations released a Himalayan people’s manifesto, urging the government to formulate a focused

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Bhutan Looks To Become World’s First 100% Organic Country

Sep 11th, 2013 | By
Lotto Zam, a Bhutanese woman farmer, sells tomatoes and other produce at a market in Shaba, Bhutan.

Bhutan is renowned for espousing Gross National Happiness but now the isolated Himalayan nation is also looking to become known as a world leader in organic farming.  “We are nearly all Buddhists. Being kind to the environment and the planet has a central meaning for us,” says Kesang Tshomo, co-ordinator of the Ministry of Agriculture’s

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Focus On Personal Expertise On Last Day Of Workshop

Sep 9th, 2013 | By
Bhutan mules

ToI: The workshop on ‘Implementation of Thimphu Statement on Climate Change: Integration of Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction’ culminated on Saturday. On the last day of the workshop, the delegates focused on capacity building initiatives, developing institutional capacities, developing personal expertise and legislative basis need to support an institutional structure for addressing the

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Agreement Inked For Stimulating Biodiversity Friendly Products

Sep 9th, 2013 | By
A man clears a water channel at a cauliflower field on the outskirts of Quetta, Pakistan, on October 14, 2011. REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed

Pak Observer: IUCN Pakistan and the Climate Change Division, Government of Pakistan signed an Agreement in Islamabad during the GEF Global Environmental Facility Steering Committee meeting. Representatives from all provinces and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) were also present at the ceremony. Under this agreement, activities will focus on stimulating market demand for biodiversity friendly

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Indian Floods Highlight Dangers Of Rushed Development

Sep 9th, 2013 | By
Kedarnath On 17th after flood

SciDevnet: The large-scale devastation and deaths caused by landslides and floods in the northern Himalayan state of Uttarakhand have highlighted gaps in India’s disaster preparedness, as well as a worrying neglect of environmental concerns in hilly areas. Scientists say a lake at the snout of the Chorabari Glacier was almost brimming over with glacial meltwater

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Pashmina Withers On The Roof Of The World

Sep 9th, 2013 | By
Pashmina in Kashmir

IPS: The famed pashmina shawl that keeps the cold away – in style and at a price – could itself have become the victim of winter. Thousands of goats whose fine wool is weaved into pashmina have perished in extreme cold being associated with climate change. Pashmina is drawn from Changra goats found in Ladakh

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Focus On Migration: Slow Down Himalayan Construction

Sep 9th, 2013 | By

Last month, India launched a satellite [1], INSAT 3D, that aims to improve early warnings of extreme weather events — such as the devastating floods and landslides that hit the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand in June — and aid search and rescue. Such a satellite could help mitigate future disasters. But along with technological improvements,

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Cultural And Social Exchange In Indian Mountains : SMD-III At Kohima, India

Jul 29th, 2013 | By

Sustainable Development Forum Nagaland (SDFN) – is a registered not-for-profit forum where the Naga civil society, academia, entrepreneurs, government and the media collectively discuss and work in facilitating the state towards a sustainable development pathway. The SDFN aims to facilitate dialogues, research and sustainable policy making in mind the state’s economy, environment and issues of

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Early Recovery By UNDP-What It Means To Uttarakhand

Jul 29th, 2013 | By

The UNDP  United Nations Development Programme, says that early recovery is a multidimensional process of recovery that begins in a humanitarian setting.  It is an integrated and coordinated approach, using humanitarian mechanisms, to gradually turn the dividends of humanitarian action into sustainable crisis recovery, resilience building and development opportunities. When a crisis strikes, UNDP works

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Disaster Relief: Avoid Old Mindset And Jargons

Jul 24th, 2013 | By

Climate Himalaya: In this article it is argued that Disaster Management practice in India need to change the old mindset of disaster relief, to include quick planning and actions, using verifiable space data and avoid delay causing detailed assessments in deciding any government run relief package. We need to be cautions against the current jargons such

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Worse Floods Ahead As Climate Warms

Jul 24th, 2013 | By

CNN: “Atmospheric rivers”, airborne corridors of concentrated moisture which carry huge volumes of water, are set to get wider and longer, causing more frequent and catastrophic floods as the atmosphere warms. Heavy and prolonged rainfall will cause both more frequent and more severe flooding across the United Kingdom and the rest of north-west Europe as

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यह तबाही तो होनी ही थी…

Jul 24th, 2013 | By

Nainital Samachar: लगभग 10 महीने पहले केदारनाथ से लौटते हुए रामबाड़ा की एक चाय की दुकान में बैठे हुए एक सिख सैनिक की बात आज बार-बार याद आ रही है। केदारनाथ में उन दिनों मन्दिर का प्रबन्ध देखने वाली पंजाब रेजीमेंट का वह सैनिक अपने किसी साथी को लेने के लिए रामबाड़ा पहुँचा था बहुत

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Nepal Boosts Early Warning System For Climate Hazards

Jul 7th, 2013 | By
A local community on the Rapti River of west Nepal checks the depth of water in the river during training on early warning alerts. Photo: Practical Action

TRF: Floods and landslides have hit Nepal hard this monsoon season, bringing high casualties in just the first few weeks. More than 40 people were killed in 17 districts during the second half of June, mainly in the hills of the mid-west and far-west regions, according to the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS), the country’s

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