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Himalaya Conclave held at IISWC


By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 31 Jan: The Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation (ICAR-IISWC) and Sparsh Himalaya, Dehradun, jointly organised the Himalaya Conclave on 29 January at IISWC to discuss the success stories of various research Institutes and organisations functioning in the Uttarakhand Himalayas.
Dr M Madhu, Director, IISWC, welcoming the participants and the dignitaries highlighted the significance of the Himalayas, Himalayan ecosystems, people. He emphasised that IISWC has long-standing experience on soil-water technologies, watershed management and sustenance of Himalayan ecosystems and resources.
Padma Bhushan awardee Dr Anil Joshi, Director, HESCO, spoke on the vulnerability of Himalayas and called for integrated management of Himalayan resources so as to maintain an ecological balance, and biodiversity besides countering the ongoing climate change impacts.
DGP Ashok Kumar informed the participants that rural development should become part of the development of upper Himalayas including education, healthcare, sanitation besides horticulture and ecotourism based interventions. All these would help retain the people in the natural settings.
Padma Shri awardee Basanti Devi, Jagar Artist, emphasised the protection of local culture and skills, preferably linking these with and livelihood. Traditional crops including cereals and medicinal plants needed promotion by scientists and state machineries. She explained the culture of Uttarakhand Himalayas through folk songs.
Padam Shri awardee Kalyan Singh Rawat of Maiti called for the systematic protection of grassland (Bugyal) ecosystems of the Upper Himalayas above 3000 m AMSL, which he termed as biodiversity hotspots of the Himalayas that help maintain the purity of the Ganga and other rivers of the region. Citing the poor state in the present of such important and delicate ecosystems, he called for multifarious approaches to conserve them.
Dr Kalachand Sain, Director, WIHG, emphasised the needs of integrated approaches involving multi-disciplinary experts, multi-parametric analysis and domain knowledge to tackle the natural calamities experienced in the Himalayas. A disaster-resilient society should be created by bringing in adequate awareness, mock-drills and technological support provisions, he suggested.
Dr JP Pachuri, Professor, Himalaya University, emphasised understanding the social issues confronting the Himalayan sustainability. Dr DR Purhohit, HNB Garhwal University, called for checking the migration of farming communities and technological interventions to retain the youths and farmers in the Himalayan villages. Local breeds of cows and farm animals needed to be studied for potential and promoted for farming and the local economy.
Dr Lakshmi Kant, Director, Vivekananda Parvatiya Krishi Anusandhan Sansthan (ICAR-VPKAS), Almora, informed participants that the institute is working on the improvement of quality and quantity of crop production through hybrids and improving genetic productivity of crops. Dr PR Ojasvi Head, H&E Division, IISWC, presented a stock of technologies that are being generated at IISWC for soil-water conservation, water resource development, and climate-resilient production.
Dr Ashok K Mohanty, Jr Director, IVRI, Regional Station, Mukteshwar, Dr RP Singh, Director, Directorate of Foot and Mouth Disease (ICAR-DFMD), Mukteshwar, Dr Mamta Arya, Officer-in-Charge, ICAR-NBPGR, Research Centre, Bhowali, Dr Arun Kishor, Officer-in-Charge, ICAR-CITH Regional Centre, Mukeshewar, spoke on various technology and other knowledge products being developed for the benefit of farming communities, farm animals and sustenance of Himalayas.
Poonam Chand, Additional Director, Tourism Department detailed promotional programmes and schemes including ecotourism, nature-based tourism, revival of traditional tracks of Char-dhmas and home-stay provisions.
Ajay Ramola and Savita Mohan, Sparsh Himalaya, emphasised the need for proper documentation of traditions, culture and indigenous knowledge.
Dr M Muruganandam, Principal Scientist and OIC (PME Cell), IISWC, and Seema Sharma, Sparsh Himalayas, coordinated the Conclave. Around 120 scientists, technocrats, professors, and stakeholders participated.