Integrated Mountain Initiative

Events

Mountain Legislators' Meet, Shillong, Meghalaya

Mountain Legislators' Meet, Shillong, Meghalaya

Mountain Legislators’ Meet was held in NEC, Shillong, Meghalaya bringing together legislators from different mountain states to deliberate on and examine key policy measures and highlight issues from the vantage point of the mountain states.

The conference, convened by Hon’ble Member of Parliament from Tura, Ms Agatha Sangma, chaired by Hon’ble MP of Shillong, Shri Vincent Pala, and co-chaired by Shri P.D. Rai, Former MP of Sikkim (LS), was attended by MPs, MLAs and representatives of Autonomous District Councils from Meghalaya, Uttarakhand, Ladakh, Sikkim, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura and members of IMI, MIMDI, Swiss Development Corporation, SELCO Foundation and ICIMOD.

Discussion points:

  • Sensitization of general public, bureaucracy and politicians on the issues of climate change and the ways in which legislators can use policy instruments for adaptation.
  • Need for integrated effort to address key issues of the region.
  • Role of youth and entrepreneurs.
  • Importance of alternative sustainable livelihoods to traditional practices like Jhum Cultivation.
  • Importance of adding environmental education in the school and college curriculums.
  • Importance of data and micro-data in guiding policy and the lack of data in IHR.
Sustainable Mountain Development Summit VIII, Shillong, Meghalaya

Sustainable Mountain Development Summit VIII, Shillong, Meghalaya

Sustainable Mountain Development Summit VIII Shillong Meghalaya 2The 8th Sustainable Mountain development Summit (SMDS-VIII) of the Integrated Mountain Initiative was held in North Eastern Council, Shillong, Meghalaya from 4-6th November. The annual Summits are a key convergence platform to share experiences, discuss issues of sustainable development, identify gaps and collectively work to arrive at policy recommendations. Every SMDS is based on a clearly laid out theme and is part of a strategy leading towards a more effective coordination amongst the Mountain States to influence policies.

This year’s SMDS solidified the learnings from the past SMDSs to come up with an effective strategy for sustainable development by building an ecosystem for young entrepreneurs. The identified areas critical to building an enabling ecosystem for entrepreneurs in the IHR was deliberated upon – Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Agri-business, Sustainable Tourism.

The Summit was inaugurated by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma. Emphasising on the gap between policies and action in the grassroots, Conrad Sangma said that this gap can be bridged only through entrepreneurship. He highlighted the urgency to build up the potential of the youth to face the future which is likely to be disrupted by climate change and emerging technologies, particularly Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Through the course of the summit, presentations were made by representatives from ICIMOD, SDC, IMI, NEC, SELCO Foundation, TRIF, ADB, amongst many others. On both the days, the deliberations were divided into two parallel thematic sessions. Other inspirational stories of entrepreneurs from different states fuelled the discussions on sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable energy, agri-business and sustainable tourism, and their potential as livelihood options in the mountain regions. The two days of discussions threw up many ideas for follow-up, but almost all emphasized on the need for an entrepreneurial ecosystem by convergence of government, civil society, industry and financial institutions. It was also underlined that there was urgent need to revitalize all government extension services.

Legislators' Dialogue on Water Policy in the IHR, Bengaluru

Legislators' Dialogue on Water Policy in the IHR, Bengaluru

A High Panel Parliamentarians/ Legislators’ Dialogue was held on 25th September in Bengaluru during the Water Future Conference to discuss water issues in the IHR. The conference was attended by about a dozen MPs, MLAs and representatives from Uttarakhand, Ladakh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and members of IMI, World Bank, Divecha Centre for Climate Change, United Nations University (UNU) and officials from national and international institutes of excellence including Future Earth and Global Water Futures.

It was organized by Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) and supported by Divecha Centre for Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science and Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP).

Key discussion points:

  • Two critical areas of melting of glaciers and reviving springs were discussed at length as is the impact of the tourism sector in increasing water stress in the region.
  • Need for a comprehensive water policy for the states of IHR.
  • More exploration in areas of strengthening research, action and policy directions.
  • Need for establishment of a Mountain Solutions Programme which will include a Water Solutions Lab for the region for sustained and integrated effort to address key issues.
  • Scope of more interactive platforms between the scientific community, policymakers and communities to arrive at better solutions in building towards a water secure future.
Water Future Conference, Bengaluru

Water Future Conference, Bengaluru

A special session on 'Water Solutions for the 21st century in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR)' was chaired by IMI in the International Conference of Future of Water Earth, "Towards Sustainable Water Future" in Bangalore.  With the initiative of IMI Secretariat, the conference gave way to scope for future collaboration with Global Water Futures to work towards the creation of a Water Solutions Lab for the IHR.

Conclave of the Himalayan States, Mussoorie

Conclave of the Himalayan States, Mussoorie

The Conclave of Himalayan States was held to discuss the priorities of Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) and ways to address the unique problems they face in the 15th Finance Commission. It was possible due to the initiative of the Government of Uttarakhand under the guidance of Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. The Conclave brought together all stakeholders at the highest level.

The Conclave was attended by Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, 15th Finance Commission Chairman Mr. N.K Singh, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr. Rajiv Kumar along with Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Shri Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister of Meghalaya Shri Conrad K Sangma, Chief Minister of Nagaland Shri Neiphiu Rio and Deputy CM of Arunachal Pradesh Shri Chowna Mein. Other IHR states were also represented at the senior level.

The Conclave concluded with the adoption of the Mussoorie Resolution 2019 to work out strategies for Sustainable Development of Mountain areas in a collaborative manner.

The key points of discussion included:

  • Improvement of border infrastructure in IHR to mitigate migration from these areas.
  • Institutionalisation of the platform of the Himalayan Conclave to take the concerns of the IHR forward in the national development agenda.
  • Promotion of youth start-ups to find local solutions to mountain issues.
  • Need to factor in higher cost for development and maintenance costs, and historical infrastructure gap.
  • Demand for a higher percentage in horizontal devolution than the 7.5% for forest cover in the 14th Finance Commission.
  • Green Bonus to IHR states considering their contributions to environmental conservation.
  • Need to pay crucial attention to Water Resource Management, Climate Change, Agriculture, and Human Resource Development and Disaster Risk Reduction.
The Himalayan Cleanup

The Himalayan Cleanup

The Himalayan Cleanup was held across the 12 mountain states mobilising 15,000 volunteers across 200 sites, sorting and recycling waste and raising awareness locally as well as amongst the travel, transport and tourism sectors.

The Indian Himalaya is part of a global biodiversity hotspot with a high percentage of protected and community conserved areas, as well as being an important source of water for millions of people. Due to ever-increasing tourist footfall and changing consumption patterns, plastics have entered the remotest mountain environments where the terrain makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible to retrieve and/or dispose of plastic waste. Lack of awareness leads to burning of waste, dumping down hillsides or into streams and rivers.  Wildlife including red pandas and black bears consume plastic through food left in plastic packaging.

The Himalayan Cleanup’s waste audit revealed that the 5 biggest polluters in the IHR are Pepsi Co, Hindustan Coca Coca, Britannia Industries Pvt Ltd, Hindustan Unilever Limited and ITC Limited.

Meet of the Mountain States, New Delhi

Meet of the Mountain States, New Delhi

The 7th edition of IMI’s Annual Meet of the Mountain States (MoMS- VII) was held in New Delhi on 18th February, 2019. The meet followed up on the 7th SMDS, organized at Shoolini University, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, the theme of which was “Wellbeing of the Next Generation of Farmers in the context of Climate Change”.

MoM VII was inaugurated by Shri Ramnganing Muivah, IAS, Secretary, North Eastern Council (NEC), who released the proceedings of SMDS VII and the policy briefs of the National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS) project on “Understanding Mountain Peoples’ Approach and Practices to Combating Climate Change in the IHR”. The meet also gave an opportunity for discussion on emerging discourses on Mountain policies and reports. In this light, the event was further divided to incorporate panel discussions on the 15th Finance Commission and group discussions on the five NITI Aayog working reports as well as a presentation on the Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment Reports.

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