A People’s Manifesto for the Western Himalayas Mountain region, April 2019
An integrated model of ecological development for the Western Himalaya
Mountain regions need developmental solutions that build ecological resilience while
addressing socio-economic challenges by involving the voluntary sector wherever
Accessible and sustainable livelihoods relevant to the region
For livelihoods in the region to be meaningful, sustainable and ‘climate-proofed’, they
need to be remunerative ecological livelihoods that are accessible to all and provide
an alternative to unnecessary migration
Community-led conservation of forests and wildlife
Effective wildlife and forest conservation requires policy and practice that recognises the rights of forest dwellers and makes community involvement in conservation a priority, ideally through responsible community ownership of forests
Dispersed, environment sustaining and economically remunerative tourism
Dispersed, environment sustaining and economically remunerative tourism for the largest possible numbers - respectful of the region’s carrying capacity - is the kind of tourism required in the Western Himalaya
Waste management and civic engagement for tackling waste generation at source
Behavioural and attitude change related to consumption, production and management of waste is required to effectively mitigate the emerging problem of waste in the Western Himalaya
Mountain regions across the world face a similar set of challenges despite a rich natural resource base. The Himalayas in particular are facing unprecedented climate impacts, experiencing warming at faster rates than other regions.
The Western Himalayan region in India, which constitutes the three states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, is a unique landscape in terms of its geology, ecology and cultural heritage.
Mountain regions across the world face a similar set of challenges despite a rich natural resource base.
- inaccessibility / remoteness and fragility of ecosystems
- disenchantment with agriculture owing to prolonged neglect
- people migration (often male and large-scale, disparately affecting youth)
- heterogeneity of cultures and marginality based on gender and caste
- diversity based niches and human adaptation mechanisms
- higher vulnerability to climate change and a growing threat of natural disasters
- unsustainable tourism and its accompanying waste management issues
The Himalayas face unprecedented climate impacts, experiencing warming at faster
rates than any other region or mountain range.
Home to 2.95 crore people spread across three states - Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand - this region is a contiguous landscape (as apparent from the map above), even though it is not a culturally homogeneous region. However this contiguous tri-state region needs a distinct mountain specific development model, different from the prevailing development model for individual states or the plains.
Read the detailed manifesto here.
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