Himalayan Region Current Affairs - 2020

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India attends IUCN’s 7th Regional Conservation Forum held at Islamabad

International Union for Conservation of Nature organized the 7th Regional Conservation Forum in Islamabad, Pakistan. Secretary of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change represented India at the forum. More than 500 representatives from different countries, corporate sector and NGOs participated in the forum

Reports from the Forum

  • Rapid melting of Himalayan Glacier to cause food and water shortage to 800 million people in South Asia and South-East Asia including China.
  • 36% Glaciers in the regions of Himalayas and Hindukush are to vanish by 2100.
  • The Himalayan and the Mekong basin are at greater risks. Failing to take timely actions will affect millions of people in the region
  • The Shrinking Glaciers are the biggest challenge to the policy makers. This is because they contribute to the seasonal run off. This is very common in the climatically drier western regions. It increases the risks of outburst floods adding to the expansion of unstable proglacial lakes.
  • The increasing Global Warming is decimating the glaciers of Hindu Kush Himalaya region. In the coming years, it is predicted that if current situation continues, the entire food production base in the region might get vanished.
  • The rate of Global Warming is greater than in any other part of the world
  • 10 inches of ice melted in the Himalayan region between 1975 and 2000. However, this increased twice by 2016. Between 2000 and 2016, the ice melting in the region increased to 20 inches.

Significance

  • The Hindu Kush Himalayan region is the origin of 10 major river basins. IT provides livelihoods to over 240 million people directly and around 1.9 billion people indirectly. Around 3 billion people are dependent on the food produced in the basin.
  • The Himalayan Glaciers are considered the third pole of the world mainly because of the sheer volume of the ice they hold.

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Union Territory of Ladakh gets Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development

Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Prakash Javadekar approved the proposal of New Regional Centre of the GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development at Ladakh.

Objectives

  • To promote alternative and innovative livelihoods for climate change vulnerable cold-desert communities
  • To strengthen and establish the solutions and approaches towards addressing water scarcity.
  • To facilitate conservation of important cold desert habitats and biodiversity
  • To foster climate smart communities in the Himalayan landscape

About the Institute

The GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development has its headquarters located at Kosi-Katarmal, Uttarkhand. The regional Centres of the institute are located in

  • Kullu-to cover the Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh regions
  • Srinagar-To cover Uttarkhand region
  • Gangtok-To cover Sikkim and West Bengal hills
  • Itanagar-to cover North Eastern Region

The institute caters to environment management, policies for sustainable development of communities and conservation of natural resources in the Indian Himalayan Region.

Significance

The Trans Himalayan landscape lies above 3,000 Mean Sea Level and is characterized by extreme cold climate. It has very sparse vegetation. The annual rainfall in these regions is 9-10 cm with more than 300 sunny days.

The Institute helps in understanding the landscape and its components in a better way. This will aid in developing strategies and implementation plans for addressing the issued of environmental conservation and sustainable development.

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