DRAFT G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development Framework for Developing Vision 2040 Background Mountains play an important role in maintaining significant share of water, biodiversity, food, energy, etc., and hence critical for world environment. In recent years mountain development has attracted significant attention particularly after the Rio Conference (1992) and subsequently the Rio+10 and Rio+20 events. Government of India clearly emphasises on mountain development and appropriately launched the National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE). The Himalayan region, considered the youngest mountain chain in the world, is highly fragile to natural processes and anthropogenic activities, such as adverse impact of climate change, deforestation and forest degradation, land use change, land degradation, natural disasters, and encountering unplanned infrastructure development. As a consequence biodiversity, forests and glaciers are under increasing stress in several parts of the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR). The general economic condition of the native communities in IHR is far below the average; they are marginal people with minimal political representation in decision. It is argued that the sustainable development and future wellbeing of Himalayan people must be based on sound scientific facts and by devising appropriate actions and policies for efficient use of mountain resources. It highlights the need of promoting environmental sustainability and human development in IHR based on innovative researches, communication and partnerships among all concerned. The region is generally considered data deficient that hampers its economic growth and poses a challenge to its sustainable development. There is truly a need of a global/national knowledge centre on Himalaya to cater latest and authentic information, and data base related to diverse disciplines so that researchers, professionals, planners and general public can use it for the benefit of the region. G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED) is undeniably well placed to take up such mission for the IHR. GBPIHED Mandate and Core Competence GBPIHED was established by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India in 1988-89 as an autonomous institute with its Headquarters located at KosiKatarmal, Almora. It also comprises four regional stations at Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh (Northeast Unit), Pangthang (Sikkim Unit), Srinagar (Garhwal Unit) and Mohal (Himachal unit) to cater the regional needs. Besides the Institute also has one Mountain Division placed at MoEF&CC. The focal point for Institute’s R&D activities is the IHR. Currently GBPIHED focuses on six broad research themes; it conducts innovative researches in a broad range of environmental fields with the goal of integrated and sustainable development of the IHR. In past 25 years it has developed core competence and database in selected priority areas. GBPIHED: A profile of thematic areas of activities, core competence and ongoing activities Thematic areas • Environmental Assessment and Management • Watershed Processes and Management • Biodiversity Conservation and Management • Socio Economic Development • Capacity Building and Development of Knowledge Products • Biotechnological Applications Core Competence Ongoing activities • Natural resource assessment and management • Water resource conservation, • Biodiversity characterization, monitoring, conservation and management • Documentation of indigenous knowledge systems • Environmental physiology, plant tissue culture and microbiological applications • Environmental impact assessment and environmental management plans • Wasteland development and restoration • Resource mapping for rural planning and management • Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of hydropower Projects • Climate change impacts on ecosystem services • Ecological, Social and Policy Implications of Changing Water Resource Scenario • Biodiversity patterns under changing resource use and climate scenarios • Farming Systems and Changing Climate Regime • Ecotourism and biodiversity conservation • Capacity Building for NRM • Conservation & sustainable utilization of Himalayan biodiversity • Extremophiles from Himalaya The Institute has established collaborative relationships with several national/ international research organizations to advance the Institute's research outreach and scientific revelation. It has undertaken joint projects with ICIMOD and engaged in transboundary researches, namely Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation & Development Initiative (KSLCDI), Khangchendzonga Landscape Conservation & Development Initiative (KLCDI), and Landscape Initiative for Far Eastern Himalaya (Hi-LIFE), with GEF-UNEP-FAO initiative on Global Pollination, and with Earth Watch Institute in Citizens-Science Programme on assessment and quantification of forest ecosystem services with special emphasis on pollination in the Indian Himalayan agro-ecosystems. Through Integrated Ecodevelopment Research Programme (IERP) the Institute also supports extra mural research programmes in the IHR. It clearly reflects that the Institute is well-placed to promote green development and play a key role in policy development at national as well as in the fora of state governments on behalf of Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. Vision building for GBPIHED The Himalayan ecosystems and communities, while moving towards sustainable growth, face many key challenges. The Institute visions for sustainable growth of the IHR by evolving economic and integrated management strategies for natural resources and building communities resilience to climate change and disaster risks, and to act as a national inter- state agency for cooperation for the sustainable development of the region. Accordingly it plans to build a vision for next 25 years as GBPIHED Vision-2040. GBPIHED: Guidelines, Action Plans and Policy Documents • • • • • • • • • Action Plan for Himalaya for its Sustainable development Guidelines for Location Planning, Rain Water Harvesting and Application of Green Roads concept in hills Action Plan for Siwalik Area Development Village Environment Action Plan (VEAP) Action Plan for Conservation of Biological Diversity of Indian Himalayan region (IHR); and, Strategy and Action plan for Wild Plant Diversity of India under NBSAP State-of-Art Review of Glacial studies, Glacial Retreat and Climate Change Planning Commission Task Force Report for Comprehensive Development of Hill States and Hill Areas Feasibility Document for Cold Desert Biosphere reserve (CDBR) Guidelines for sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem (G-SHE) Since the Institute is working extensively in the Himalayan region over the past over 25 years, it has comparative advantage over other agencies in the IHR. In order to address some of the key challenges of the IHR, the Institute requires further strengthening. It would evolve from present status of developmental research and knowledge advisory furthering to knowledge management and policy planning in medium term, and finally heading as a Global Institute for Sustainable Development of Himalaya by 2040. Therefore, the vision of GBPIHED need to be based on strengthening of R&D and advancing better understanding between science, society, policies and practices for sustainable development of the region. For this purpose the Institute needs to generate and stimulate science and traditional knowledge based information about the diverse facets of sustainable development, and to use its R&D to advance understanding between science and society through strengthening policies and practices of sustainable development, and their implementation for the benefit of the people of IHR and their surrounding environment. Key challenges in IHR • Poverty and subsistence agriculture • Conservation and management of natural resources • Climate change and disaster mitigation • Promotion of clean energy • Building economic resilience and spatial planning for the sustainable development • Public health, education, communication and behaviour change • Livelihood promotion • Developing skills through education, training and capacity building Framework for Vision Building The process The Institute intend to evolve as a stimulating, informative and critical R&D centre and forum for intellectual debate on significant environmental issues by building, advancing and strengthening relationships and understanding between science, society, policy and practice of sustainable development. It plans to unfold and facilitate perspectives from a wide range of disciplines and methodologies in both social and natural sciences to develop integrated knowledge about the processes responsible for environmental change. The R&D would address on global and national priorities and initiatives, strengthen ongoing R&D on areas of the Institute’s core competence, building on past successes, focusing on gaps and convergence, suggestions from interim reviews (done independently by Prof. KS Valdiya and twice by IIT Roorkee), and prioritizing activities as per stakeholders concerns to address key challenges for sustainable development of the IHR. Some key areas could be issues of fragility, conservation of genetic diversity and livelihood supports, developing appropriate land use planning and watershed management practices, promotion of ‘best practices’ norms for infrastructure construction, encourage cultivation of traditional varieties of crops and horticulture using organic farming, develop multi-stakeholder partnerships, promote model for tourism-inflows consistent with the carrying capacity and protect unique mountain landscapes with ‘incomparable values’ in forestry sector, environment, urbanization, tourism, planning, etc. The ultimate goal of the Institute would be developing programmes/activities/ thematic areas/actions in the form of Centre of Excellence that would be engaged and contribute in policy making, and devising good governance and management of natural resource and conflict resolution. Such centres would undertake evidence based researches in policies and issues in governance relating to resources and institutions. Besides it would also impart training and capacity building programmes in relation to decentralization, conflict resolution, and management issues related to local level governance, and decentralized planning. GBPIHED framework for sustainable development of IHR Deliverables To address the sustainable development in IHR the Institute requires a paradigm shift and undertake defined developmental researches (demand driven R&D), and upscale productorientated researches by taking feedback at different stages and producing interdisciplinary knowledge on the diverse environmental aspects. It would focus to devise strategies for sustainable development, and evolve, demonstrate and disseminate innovative technologies; strengthen policy advocacy and technological backstopping with more consultative exercises /brainstorming meetings with stakeholders. The Institute would deliver state-of-art methodologies/approaches as knowledge products, and generate fair understanding on dynamic processes of the Himalayan ecosystems. With its focused research outcomes and partnership/collaborations with other agencies the Institute will carry out policy advocacy for sustainable development of the IHR. It is planned that by 2025 the Institute would act as a centre for managing knowledge for development, a platform for regional cooperation and an interstate forum for sustainable development. By 2040 the Institute is expected to take a lead as a Global Institute for Sustainable Development of Himalaya, acting as mountain policy repository leading selected Thematic Centres of Excellence along with global mountain partnership. Resource support To achieve the above said goals/ targets the Institute would require scientific manpower and monetary support, which could be achieved as proposed below: Scientific and Technical Manpower In order to achieve the envisaged goal of becoming a Global Institute for Sustainable Development of Himalaya in 2040, it is critical to increase manpower (Scientific and Technical); currently the number is only 37 scientists. There is also call for a continuous knowledge support to various State governments of IHR as well as to various trans-boundary initiatives. The increase in faculty would greatly help in raising the level of external funding to over 3 times by the two and half decades. Keeping this in mind recruiting faculty positions in different disciplines is absolutely necessary. Therefore it is proposed to increase scientific strength up to 63 scientists by 2025. It is also extremely important that by 2025 each major R&D theme has at least one representative scientist in all the Units. Further, another Unit in the northeast region and one in J&K be established in the next ten years. Thus the Institute is proposed to grow as a global knowledge centre for which specialized manpower will be required; hence the scientific strength should be increased to 100 by 2040. The positions of technical and administrative staff will follow the usual norms. This modest projection of faculty positions would markedly help in meeting the different objectives of the Institute. Besides permanent faculty, project based staff, consultants, visiting fellows and experts would also be recruited as per need and available funding. The Institute would also support a few short/long term internship students for skill and human resource development. Funding Pattern The Institute receives core funding from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India. The activities are, however, substantially strengthened through external funding obtained from different National (MoEF&CC, DBT, CSIR, DST, MoWr, MoRD, UGC, ICSSR, INSA, ISRO, ICAR, NEC, State Govts., etc.) and International (ICIMOD, UNESCO, NORAD, TSBF, CIDA-SICI, McArthur Foundation, BCN, UNDP, FAO, UNIDO, UNICEF, SDC, etc.) agencies. At the time of its establishment during 1989-90 the Institute received a total of Rs. 50 lakhs of core grant from MoEF, which has gone up to Rs. 1300 lakhs by 2015. The external funding support was negligible in 1989-90, however at present the faculty (37 Scientists) are generating about Rs. 400 lakhs per year (i.e. about 24% of total budget) from external sources. The Institute is expected to develop a road map for achieving self-sustainability in terms of financial resources. The Institute proposes to approach to National and International donors and private corporate houses for funds under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Thus, approximately 76% of total fund requirements (i.e. Rs. 7500 lakh) is proposed to be generated by the faculty from external sources by 2040 and the remaining 24% will be obtained from the MoEF&CC based on average rate of increase of about 4% per year. It is expected that the most sustained sources of funding would be corporate groups and international donors whose contribution would be Rs. 2250 lakhs by 2025 and Rs. 7500 lakh in 2040, besides the MoEF&CC. It may, however, be noted that enhancement of the Institute funding from external sources would highly be based on the number of faculty which should reach at least 63 by the year 2025 and 100 by 2040.
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