9th edition of Sustainable Mountain Development Summit.

11 December 2020.


The ninth edition of the Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS) in Dehradun began on 11 December 2020.

 Theme for this year:  Emerging Pathways for Building a Resilient Post COVID-19 Mountain Economy, Adaptation, Innovation and Acceleration. 

Highlights of the Summit:

  • The summit focus sed on the overall objective of building pathways toward a resilient and sustainable mountain economy in the context of a post COVID-19 scenario and Climate Change.
  • The 2020 edition was hosted by the Sustainable Development Forum of Uttarakhand (SDFU) in Dehradun.
  • It was held virtually, the event was beamed on various online media platforms and Facebook pages. 

  • The RS Tolia Memorial Award, recognising efforts of individuals and organizations that have made an impact in integrating and addressing the issues of mountain communities, was also presented to  Dr Ajay Rawat, an eminent scholar and environmental activist on the concluding day. 
  • The concerns of the IHR – land and habitat degradation, climate change, decrease in crop genetic research, illegal trade, human-wildlife concerns and lack of investment in the biodiversity sector were discussed.
  • The need for  ecological restoration, boosting regional and interstate cooperation, curbing illegal trade, reviving traditional farming practices, strengthening capital and awareness of the BMCs, imparting quality environmental education and encouraging rural unemployed youth to participate in environmental conservation and protection activities was also highlighted.
  •  The summit planned for data sharing via knowledge sharing through the Indian Himalayan Youth Network/Alliance SDGs and Indian Himalayan University to provide compensation for ecosystem service
  • The IMI Council decided engage with each state chapter to work out a state action plan, encourage their participation for a common national agenda and work together for research mobilization and implementation of the plans.
  • The SMDS-X will be held in the Darjeeling-Kalimpong Hills of West Bengal in 2021 and will be hosted by Darjeeling Hill Initiative(DHI)

Significance of Mountain Ecosystems in India.

  • Himalayas are the major mountain ecosystem in India.
  •  Himalayas is one of the thirty-six world biodiversity hotspots.
  •  The report International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development says that the region encompassing Hindu Kush Himalayas holds more than 240 million people.
  • It also says that more than 1.9 billion people depend on the Hindukush Himalayan region for food, water and energy.
  • The region is also called “The Third Pole” as it stores more snow and ice as compared to any other region in the world. 
  •  Above all, more than 25% of world population are directly or indirectly dependent on Hindukush Himalayan region.
  • Therefore, it is essential to conserve these mountains.

Third pole and climate change

  • Climate Change has become the major concern to the third pole.
  • The climate change has directly impacted the river systems and their basins.
  •  This has in turn impacted the wellbeing of millions of people.
  • The rate of warming in the third pole region is higher than the global average.

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