National mission for Himalayan studies launched

SHILLONG: Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI), New Delhi in collaboration with Martin Luther Christian University, Shillong, North-Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCORMP), Shillong and State Council of Science, Technology and Environment (SCSTE) organised the National Mission for Himalayan Studies in the campus of MLCU on Friday.
The consultation deliberated on the topic, ‘Understanding Mountain People’s approach and practices in combating climate change – Research to Renewal and Reforms’. The deliberation started with an address by Dr. Glenn C Kharkongor, the chancellor who spoke about the frequency and severity of natural events manifesting climate change.

Panel speaks on climate change
Fantry Mein Jaswal, the secretary of the IMI, made a presentation on the objectives behind organising the round-table in the city. She outlined the aims and objectives of IMI for the last 7 years in the Himalayan region before launching the Meghalaya chapter of IMI open.
The technical session subsequent to the inaugural session was chaired by TTC Marak, retired principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF), which saw seven presentations being made on wide ranging issues concerning climate change.
The first presentation by Neha Bharti, principal investigator, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Chhaya Vani Namchu, programme co-ordinator, IMI dwelt on the ongoing National Mission on Himalayan Studies Projects being executed by IMI and TERI.
Jonathan D Syiemlieh of TERI cited some traditional knowledge based climate coping technologies. Aiban Swer, OSD, MBDA, talked about the ongoing implementation of Meghalaya Climate Change Acton Plan.
W.L Narry from the Water Resources Department of the state spoke about the vulnerability of water resources as a result of climate change.
P.J Dutta, Assistant Director, Horticulture, dwelt on the adaptation technologies practiced by the farmers in rural areas of the state.
Prof. B.K Tiwari of NEHU spoke about linking research with community in mitigating the impact of climate change. Patricia Mukhim, Editor, The Shillong Times, drew attention towards the role of media in spreading awareness about climate change.
The deliberation of this session was followed by a panel discussion on climate change and traditional knowledge available with the community in mitigating it.
Dr. Subhasish Das Gupta, HoD, DETE, MLCU spoke about the roadmap for the newly launched Meghalaya Integrated Mountain Development Initiative (MIDMI) which would strive for adhering to and pursuing the principles and objectives of the parent body.
MIDMI would adopt a Meghalaya centric approach while studying environment related problems and the effect of climate change.
The Meghalaya chapter would function as a think-tank and help in the formulation of policies with regards to water security, spring rejuvenation, breeding of indigenous species and community livelihood generation taking into account the vast traditional knowledge available with the community in coping with the impact of climate change.
MIDMI office bearers
An adhoc committee of the newly formed MIDMI was constituted with Dr. S. Chaudhari, MD, NERCORMP and Dr. S. Kakoty of IIM, Shillong as Advisory Board Members. TTC Marak was made the president, M. Dollo as vice president, Dr. S. Das Gupta, HoD, DETE, MLCU, as secretary and Gardinia Nongbri as joint secretary.

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