Integrated Mountain Initiative

Events

Inaugural launch of Future Earth Report 2020 in Sikkim, hosted by ECOSS

Inaugural launch of Future Earth Report 2020 in Sikkim, hosted by ECOSS

The inaugural issue of Future Earth Report 2020 was launched on February 22nd, hosted by Eco-tourism & Conservation Society of Sikkim (ECOSS), IMI’s Sikkim Chapter. The event was attended and proceeded by people of cross-connecting fields in sustainability, resources, waste management, academia, etc., who held speaking sessions, spoke about their presentations, and started discourses among each other about the risks to the environment that were, in fact, a series of interconnected phenomena that caused these risks as the report educated, which held countless testimonies, research work, and just heaps of data regarding the climate emergency. The major risks that showed up more frequently in the surveys of the report were, Climate Change, Extreme Weather, Biodiversity Loss, Food Crises and Water Crises. The report has spoken, in retrospect, about almost all the anthropological factors leading to environmental degradation, about the multi-level action plans from an individualistic level elevating up to the biggest demographic to the peak global levels, the holistic approach of the report makes it a highly intriguing and educational report for people of all schools of thoughts. 

Dr Rakesh Ranjan, Prof. Geology, Sikkim University addressed the gathering as the proceedings began with the inaugural event. “Future Earth is an international research-cum-policy initiative supported by the International Council for Science, various United Nations agencies and organisations, Belmont Forum and so on. The main goal of Future Earth is to develop the knowledge required for societies worldwide to face challenges posed by global environmental change and to identify and implement solutions and opportunities for a transition to global sustainability.

Future Earth works to facilitate research and innovation, build and mobilize networks and shape the narrative, turning knowledge into action.

Future Earth Secretariat has a unique and innovative structure, which comprises five global hubs, which function as a single entity, and are located in Montreal, Paris, Tokyo, Stockholm and Colorado. Various regional centres complement future Earth Secretariat and offices spread across the globe. 

The “Future Earth” Regional Office for South Asia was established at the Divecha Centre for Climate Change on 9th July 2016 and completed three successful years now. I am a member of the Governing Council for South Asia.

The regional office for South Asia has its domain spanning over the SAARC countries (includes Sikkim), Myanmar and Indian Ocean Island countries. The main goal of Future Earth is to develop the knowledge required for societies worldwide to face challenges posed by global environmental change and to identify and implement solutions and opportunities for a transition to global sustainability. Future Earth will develop strategic knowledge for responding effectively to the risks of global environmental change. 

Future Earth builds on more than three decades of global environmental change research as part of these programmes and networks with 20 Global Research Projects and 8 Knowledge-Action Networks. 

To answer the obvious question of what the report holds, Future Earth and its partners have produced a wide range of publications in research and engagement, including a monthly newsletter, strategic documents and reports including “The Anthropocene”, the “10 Climate Insight Series” which includes the latest insights in climate science synthesised for The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). One of the latest reports is “Our Future on Earth Report, 2020”, which is being launched today. 

As a Global Awareness Program, this report is being launched, not only here, but in various global hubs and regional centres and Universities in various parts of the world. 

This report provides a narrative on the current state of our planet and the future of our global society is building together. “Our Future on Earth” report is a global effort, with authors and an editorial board from over 20 countries. It is targeted to decision-makers, media, educators and many more– to help shape the narrative and advance global action. 

And perhaps most importantly, we want to use this launch as a moment to elevate the multiple voices around us and within our research and innovation network, to collectively make a statement and call the world for action.”

The 2020 report has talked about different angles like how charting the future is in the hands of humans due to the inevitable population explosion, how dialling the collective heat that has only been in the increase can be facilitated by humans themselves, how to spur radical changes by changing the mind-set in an individualistic and atomised approach through lifestyle choices; to angles on political issues like rethinking global security, governing the water bodies that are international waters, connecting different socio-environmental practices of different places in a giant web of life of the planet. 

“I am always critical of reports but I think it is an excellent report to go through,” said Roshan Rai, DLR Prerna/ member Zero Waste Himalaya, as he took the podium to address the contents of the report a to critique on various points in the report from a waste management window of perspective. 

Roshan, speaking on the premises of the critique on the report further added, “Is it enough to have a change in the mind-sets, and then critically whose mindsets should change?” He talked about how from 8th standard where Global Warming was talked about to now while we are talking about the Climate Emergency, this was fascinating.

“For me, Climate Emergency is directly correlated to Waste emergency as waste reflects the human production and consumption system. Waste is the product of the linear consumption and production under the premises of unlimited growth which is equated with development, but the resources are limited so you cannot have unlimited growth.”
Waste hasn’t been a prominent feature in the report as the global risks went or generally as well if the discussion was opened. It has been the area of discussion as our state goes with multiple people trying to fight and fix the issue but globally this issue doesn’t get the stream time of thoughts that it should get.

Among the speakers who proceeded the event was Karma Bhutia the founder of iShippo who gave his presentation with the aspect of tech, speaking about how alarming global warming morphing into a climate emergency is, he educated about how supply and demand cycle affects the climate in an individual level and how technology can be a major factor. From CIA sharing images of melting glaciers from its spy satellites in cognizance of the alarm of climate emergency to ramifications of a whole beach rendered with human trash after an influencer couple took a picture in a remote beach, Karma’s presentation covered a web of topics.
“Unless every individual takes it on themselves to educate the masses through every other individual so they can also do little of their bit towards the planet, we will miss the boat and all people can do will be saving enough to buy a ticket to Elon Musk’s Mars colony spaceship and say ta-ta bye-bye to this planet”, Karma concluded.

Mr R.P. Gurung from Ecotourism and Conservation Society of Sikkim (ECOSS) and Ms Priyadarshinee Shreshtha, World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) Team Leader, Khangchendzonga Landscape Office, Sikkim, took turns in taking the mantle of summarizing the chapters in the report. 

Mr PD Rai, former Member of Parliament concluded the event with a thank you note to everyone present there and stressing on the fact of how propagating the knowledge about the report letting people know about the people who are actually doing work to heal the planet is incumbent.

“In a nutshell, the report is there out in the world, share it with other five-ten people, go out and talk about it. There is a thing called Future Earth, there are people out there who are working tirelessly on issues which will get dearer and dearer to us as we go along.”, PD Rai concluded by sharing info on how only a few hard copies were printed to shed light on the things that can be done to achieve sustainability.

Meet your Legislator: Climate Change townhall in Aizawl, Mizoram

Meet your Legislator: Climate Change townhall in Aizawl, Mizoram

Meet your Legislator Climate Change townhall in Aizawl Mizoram 2Meet your Legislator Climate Change townhall in Aizawl Mizoram 2‘Climate Change Townhall’ was organised in Aizawl by IMI with Mizoram Sustainable Development Foundation (MSDF). It was attended by Prof F. Lalnunmawia, Hon'ble MLA and Vice Chairman, Horticulture Development Board, Govt. of Mizoram, students from various colleges and other stakeholders. This gave the students a chance to speak about their biggest concerns related to climate change in Mizoram. Mizoram has the highest vulnerability to climate change in all of IHR. Changing rainfall patterns and rising temperatures are forcing them to move away from traditional farming.

Meet your Legislator: Climate Change townhall in Kohima, Nagaland

Meet your Legislator: Climate Change townhall in Kohima, Nagaland

‘IMI collaborated with Young Indians (Yi) Nagaland Chapter to conduct an interactive session with students on climate change under the ‘Meet your Legislator’.

It was attended by Shri Mmhonlumo Kikon Hon’ble Advisor IT&C, Science & Technology, New & Renewable Enegy and Mr. Neichute Doulo, CEO, Entrepreneurs Associates and founding member of IMI from Nagaland as the Panel Speakers. Advisor Shri. Mmhonlumo Kikon spoke about the initiatives of the Government in Solid Waste Management, as well as focusing on the initiatives to improve access to LPG and biogas.  These talks were followed by an interactive question-answer session to the panellists. During the hour long session, the students asked a number of questions touching on Deforestation, initiatives that the students can do to promote civic sense, promoting environmental awareness and concerns among the political leaders, roles of NGOs in the state vis-à-vis Climate change initiatives and the short term-long term impacts of the efforts they make today. There was also a painting competition organized amongst the students on the theme ‘Unchecked effects of Climate Change in Nagaland – Year 2030’.

Meet your Legislator: Climate Change townhall in Churachandpur, Manipur

Meet your Legislator: Climate Change townhall in Churachandpur, Manipur

‘Climate Change Townhall’ was organised in Churachandpur district by IMI in partnership with Centre for Community Initiative and Nest Lamka. It was attended by Pu Ginmuan Ngaihte, MCS, Pu CT Lian, Pu Gouzamang Guite, MDC and students from various schools. The common concerns of the students which emerged from the session included deforestation, drying streams and springs, menace of single-use plastic, waste management and the need to balance ecology and development. The students were urged to take practical initiatives at the household and individual level to prepare for climate change adaptation while shared innovative ideas on community partnership to address the growing plastic problem.

'Towards a climate resilient Manipur' State Legislators' Dialogue in Imphal

'Towards a climate resilient Manipur' State Legislators' Dialogue in Imphal

A State Legislators’ Dialogue was organised by Manipur Forum for Sustainable Mountain Development (MFSMD) and Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI), supported by Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India on 14th November in Imphal. It was attended by Lok Sabha MP Dr RK Ranjan, Outer MP Dr Lorho Pfoze, PHE Minister L Dikho, Ukhrul MLA Alfred Kanngam S Arthur, Hill Areas Committee Chairman TT Haokip as well as ADC members. It was also attended by IISC-Bangalore Professor NH Rabindranath, Directorate of Environment and Climate Change Deputy Director Dr T Brajakumar, and IHCAP Science Policy Officer Divya Mohan.

KEY DISCUSSION POINTS:

  • Many staple/indigenous foods of the State have gradually started to vanish along with their native names from the vocabulary of the people as well.
  • With the coming of the Loktak project, more than 180 fish species of Manipur have disappeared.
  • Illegal logging in the forests which is leading to adverse impact on the environment.
  • Around 4 million springs/water bodies along the IHR (including from Manipur) have started to vanish and the water recharging capability of around 50 percent or half of the water bodies, has decreased.
  • Manipur has started experiencing extreme climate change, like getting around 52 mm of rainfall in just one hour or rainfall supposed to occur during monsoon season coming much earlier or much later.
Mountain Legislators' Meet, Shillong, Meghalaya

Mountain Legislators' Meet, Shillong, Meghalaya

Mountain Legislators’ Meet was held in NEC, Shillong, Meghalaya bringing together legislators from different mountain states to deliberate on and examine key policy measures and highlight issues from the vantage point of the mountain states.

The conference, convened by Hon’ble Member of Parliament from Tura, Ms Agatha Sangma, chaired by Hon’ble MP of Shillong, Shri Vincent Pala, and co-chaired by Shri P.D. Rai, Former MP of Sikkim (LS), was attended by MPs, MLAs and representatives of Autonomous District Councils from Meghalaya, Uttarakhand, Ladakh, Sikkim, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura and members of IMI, MIMDI, Swiss Development Corporation, SELCO Foundation and ICIMOD.

Discussion points:

  • Sensitization of general public, bureaucracy and politicians on the issues of climate change and the ways in which legislators can use policy instruments for adaptation.
  • Need for integrated effort to address key issues of the region.
  • Role of youth and entrepreneurs.
  • Importance of alternative sustainable livelihoods to traditional practices like Jhum Cultivation.
  • Importance of adding environmental education in the school and college curriculums.
  • Importance of data and micro-data in guiding policy and the lack of data in IHR.
Sustainable Mountain Development Summit VIII, Shillong, Meghalaya

Sustainable Mountain Development Summit VIII, Shillong, Meghalaya

Sustainable Mountain Development Summit VIII Shillong Meghalaya 2Sustainable Mountain Development Summit VIII Shillong Meghalaya 2The 8th Sustainable Mountain development Summit (SMDS-VIII) of the Integrated Mountain Initiative was held in North Eastern Council, Shillong, Meghalaya from 4-6th November. The annual Summits are a key convergence platform to share experiences, discuss issues of sustainable development, identify gaps and collectively work to arrive at policy recommendations. Every SMDS is based on a clearly laid out theme and is part of a strategy leading towards a more effective coordination amongst the Mountain States to influence policies.

This year’s SMDS solidified the learnings from the past SMDSs to come up with an effective strategy for sustainable development by building an ecosystem for young entrepreneurs. The identified areas critical to building an enabling ecosystem for entrepreneurs in the IHR was deliberated upon – Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Energy, Sustainable Agri-business, Sustainable Tourism.

The Summit was inaugurated by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma. Emphasising on the gap between policies and action in the grassroots, Conrad Sangma said that this gap can be bridged only through entrepreneurship. He highlighted the urgency to build up the potential of the youth to face the future which is likely to be disrupted by climate change and emerging technologies, particularly Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Through the course of the summit, presentations were made by representatives from ICIMOD, SDC, IMI, NEC, SELCO Foundation, TRIF, ADB, amongst many others. On both the days, the deliberations were divided into two parallel thematic sessions. Other inspirational stories of entrepreneurs from different states fuelled the discussions on sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable energy, agri-business and sustainable tourism, and their potential as livelihood options in the mountain regions. The two days of discussions threw up many ideas for follow-up, but almost all emphasized on the need for an entrepreneurial ecosystem by convergence of government, civil society, industry and financial institutions. It was also underlined that there was urgent need to revitalize all government extension services.

Legislators' Dialogue on Water Policy in the IHR, Bengaluru

Legislators' Dialogue on Water Policy in the IHR, Bengaluru

A High Panel Parliamentarians/ Legislators’ Dialogue was held on 25th September in Bengaluru during the Water Future Conference to discuss water issues in the IHR. The conference was attended by about a dozen MPs, MLAs and representatives from Uttarakhand, Ladakh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya and members of IMI, World Bank, Divecha Centre for Climate Change, United Nations University (UNU) and officials from national and international institutes of excellence including Future Earth and Global Water Futures.

It was organized by Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) and supported by Divecha Centre for Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science and Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP).

Key discussion points:

  • Two critical areas of melting of glaciers and reviving springs were discussed at length as is the impact of the tourism sector in increasing water stress in the region.
  • Need for a comprehensive water policy for the states of IHR.
  • More exploration in areas of strengthening research, action and policy directions.
  • Need for establishment of a Mountain Solutions Programme which will include a Water Solutions Lab for the region for sustained and integrated effort to address key issues.
  • Scope of more interactive platforms between the scientific community, policymakers and communities to arrive at better solutions in building towards a water secure future.
Water Future Conference, Bengaluru

Water Future Conference, Bengaluru

A special session on 'Water Solutions for the 21st century in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR)' was chaired by IMI in the International Conference of Future of Water Earth, "Towards Sustainable Water Future" in Bangalore.  With the initiative of IMI Secretariat, the conference gave way to scope for future collaboration with Global Water Futures to work towards the creation of a Water Solutions Lab for the IHR.

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