Sustainable Mountain Development Summits


We are perhaps best known for the Sustainable Mountain Development Summits (SMDS), which we started in May 2011 (Nainital, Uttarakhand). Sikkim, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh hosted the 2012, 2013 and 2015 summits respectively. Mountain themes such as water, community forestry, disaster risk reduction, and mountain agriculture were deliberated over in great detail at each event. Key outcomes from the SMDSs include the Gangtok Declaration, and a joint declaration by 14 Members of Parliament (India) to recommend the establishment and inclusion of a Working Group on mountain issues in the country’s 12th Plan.

Visit out events page to find out when is the next SMDS and see how you can participate.

IMI’s
5th Sustainable Mountain Development Summit
at
LEH (Ladakh), 20-23Sep2016

The Fifth Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS) was organized by the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) and Snow Leopard Foundation in collaboration with the Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) at Sindhu Sanskriti Kendra in Leh on the 20th to 23rd of September 2016. The three day event which deliberated on subjects of water security and skill for development in the mountains was inaugurated by Hon’ble Chief Minister Dr. Nirmal Singh. He emphasized on the importance of such conferences and the need to discuss region specific issues that affected development in mountain states such as Ladakh.

The summit was attended by Parliamentarians; Ministers and MLAs from various Mountain States, the Council Members of the Leh Hill Council, Central and State Government officials, policymakers from region, civil society participants and a host of delegates from bilateral and multilateral organizations like the UNDP, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), WWF, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) amongst others. Having a vision based in holistic and sustainable development, the aimwas to draw upon reliable praxis and scholarly inputs, meaningful experiences with the involvement of leaders so that the summit adds actionable value to mountain states in their development efforts.

The Summit discussed the themes of Water Security and Skills for Development in the Mountains. Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Dr. Amita Prasad addressed the delegates of the Summit on various aspects on the Union Governments’ policies and efforts in the area. Ms. Jyotsna Sitling, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship informed the participants about the continuous focus of the Government on skilling for employability and the relevant schemes and programs run by the government. Various issues on these themes in mountain areas and the Ladakh specifically were discussed by glaciologists, specialists, researchers and from across the country including speakers from within Ladakh itself. These technical sessions provided a platform to mountain states to exchange ideas, share knowledge and learn from success and failures of tried and tested models.

The Legislators and Policymakers’ Meet, a parallel session organised on the first day of the summit was chaired by Chairman LAHDC, Dr. Sonam Dawa Lonpo and co-chaired and moderated by P.D.Rai, Member of Parliament- Lok Sabha, Sikkim. The legislators and bureaucrats agreed that Water should remain a State subject as the issue of water security is fragile and varies from state to state. Ladakh is a region of extreme water stress and the delegates expressed interest in conducting research on glaciers, groundwater levels in the area and running pilot projects on subjects like traditional practices of irrigation and conservation techniques.

The summit also showcased the 5th edition of the Himalayan Photography Competition. Photographs highlighted the culture, biodiversity, landscape and livelihoods of the Ladakh community with entries mainly from the region itself.

The valedictory session of the summit was chaired by Shri Jual Oram, Hon’ble Union Minister of Tribal Affairs who assured support of the Government of India to initiatives of the Integrated Mountain Initiative. Mr. Oram also emphasized that the Government is committed to the development of the mountains and supports the local initiatives of craft, agriculture, eco-tourism and renewable energy amongst others in the Mountain States. He also urged all participants to take back learnings from the Summit to far flung mountain regions which are home to some of the most backward tribes of India, to help develop the region economically and socially. Chief Executive Council, LAHDC and also the patron of SMDS-V, Dr. Sonam Dawa Lonpo expressed great hope that “the knowledge gained from this summit will be taken back to all our homes, villages, town and cities to make a mark change in effective utilization of water and to work towards development of regional skill altogether”.


Meet of the Mountain States


We held the first Meet of the Mountain States (MoMS), a more intimate and informal gathering than SMDS, in November 2011 in New Delhi. The event’s main goal: disseminate the latest developments through reports of the SMDSs among the IMI diaspora and policymakers.

MoMS is also a forum for advocacy to sensitise national policymakers about mountain issues. The event reinforces the commitment of civil society organizations to take forward the cause of sustainability in the development of mountain regions.

Since 2011, two more MoMS events have been held in New Delhi 2013 and 2014. MoMS 2014 was a two-day event that drew on the International Mountain Day theme of mountain farming, with topics ranging from best practices and organic entrepreneurship among Himalayan farmers, to the effects of climate change on mountain farming, and the creation of a separate Ministry for Mountains.


“Fifth Edition of Meet of the Mountain States (MoMS V) held in New Delhi (10Feb2017)

The Fifth Edition of the Meet of the Mountain States (MoMS) organized by the Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) was held at WWF (India) Secretariat in New Delhi on 10Feb2017. The Meet deliberated on subjects of water security, skill development and disaster risk reduction in the mountains. The Meet was inaugurated by Hon’ble Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju. Members of Parliament, Dr. Thokchom Meinya (Manipur), Shri Vincent Pala (Meghalaya),   Shri Jitendra Chaudhury (Tripura), Shri. P.D. Rai (Sikkim) and former Member of Parliament Shri Tarun Vijay were also in attendance. Shri Rijiju released the proceedings of Sustainable Mountain Development Summit V held in September 2016 in Leh.

Shri Rijiju stressed on the need to work in convergence to ensure sustainable development in the mountain regions of India. He also highlighted the dilemmas of livelihoods in the development context and environmental consequences of development facing the mountain cities which has led to severe damage in valleys of Kullu and Manali and hill cities of Mussoorie, Nainital amongst others.

The Meet was convened by Shri Alemtemshi Jamir, President of IMI and former Chief Secretary of Nagaland. Several eminent leaders of the development sector from organisations such as FAO (UN), NECTAR, UNDP, NSDC, ICIMOD, SDC, WWF and senior officials from ministries and government departments were in attendance. There was rich sharing of ideas by the officials and the development agencies with respect to building collaborative action plan for mountain. They emphasized the need for stronger mountain partnerships and integration of sustainable development goals into mountain development. Skill development emerged as one of the areas where a lot can be done.

The Meet was convened by Shri Alemtemshi Jamir, President of IMI and former Chief Secretary of Nagaland. Several eminent leaders of the development sector from organisations such as FAO (UN), NECTAR, UNDP, NSDC, ICIMOD, SDC, WWF and senior officials from ministries and government departments were in attendance. There was rich sharing of ideas by the officials and the development agencies with respect to building collaborative action plan for mountain. They emphasized the need for stronger mountain partnerships and integration of sustainable development goals into mountain development. Skill development emerged as one of the areas where a lot can be done.

The next major meet of the IMI, is the Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS) VI scheduled to be held at Aizwal, Mizoram in Sep2017.”