Himalayan sectoral colaboration platform

Himalayan region is one of the most biodiversity and natural resources rich mountains in the world which caters to the need of a large population. The Himalayan ecosystem is subject to the implications and consequences of a) natural-caused changes, b) anthropogenic-caused climate change, and c) modern-day developmental paradigms. The Himalayan ecosystem contributes to India's ecological security by providing forest cover, feeding perennial rivers that provide drinking water, irrigation, and hydropower, conserving biodiversity, providing a rich base for high-value agriculture, and providing spectacular landscapes for sustainable tourism. Due to the realized importance of this region as a key ecosystem service provider, it is imperative that educational institutions, research organizations, government agency, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) actively cooperate with each other. These stakeholders have the potential to bring in the connection among Science, Policy and Practices and improve the interaction of scientific community with potential employers.

In this direction, an academic platform for cooperation has been formed among Kumaun University (KU), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), and the NGO Central Himalayan Environment Association (CHEA). JNU, situated in the capital city of New Delhi, is one of the leading central universities of India with specialization in environmental assessment of mountainous landscapes as a socio-ecological unit and have over the years conducted many studies focused on sustainable development in the region. KU and CHEA, both located in the Himalayan state of Uttrakhand provide a blend of local knowledge and benefits of closely interacting with communities on ground.

The cooperation among these institutions was initiated in April 2018, following which the concept of platform was discussed during the meeting of 8th March, 2019. A formal agreement was first established between the KU (Department of Geography) and the CHEA on the 5th April, 2019, with JNU formally joining on the same day. The main aim of this agreement was to coordinate the quality training of future specialist who will work on sustainable development and natural resource management in the region. This platform is intent to identify the needs of the employers in the region who invest in development of sustainable management of natural resources. Specific programs for personal training with industrial practice and the joint monitoring and evaluation of such training is also included as one of the key objectives of this platform. The involved institutions are actively engaged in carrying out knowledge transfer programs like seminars, summer school, round-table discussions and as well as field activities which exposes partners to on ground conditions of the region. This is expected to enhance the understanding of training needs and development of specific modules which are tailored for local needs. Another coordinated activity is the joint development of teaching material, which incorporates the sustainable development and management strategies of natural resources in the region. Detailed information about the platform, stakeholder meeting and organized training events can be found in the respective links.

Other resource partners who are an extended part of this platform include the academic partner Royal University of Bhutan (RUB), which is one of the initial partner institute of SUNRAISE project, and two NGOs – Aarohi and TIINEC, who have joined the consortium (letters be Aarohi and by TIINEC) during the development of the collaborative platform. RUB provides a parallel outlook into the conditions and needs of the communities who live in similar conditions, but yet different due to governance structure of the country. The two NGOs bring in their expertise in working with rural communities and geospatial techniques and have a focus on the revival of traditional culture, which is recognized to be more efficient and effective in resource management. Integration of such institutions to the existing collaborative platforms can enhance the scientific and academic knowledge transfer capacity and thus help in achieving the goals of SUNRAISE project. Other similar institutions are intended to join this platform in the future and strengthen its functioning.

Institutions and parties with an interest in the platform are welcome to join. Prof. P.C. Tiwari, Department of Geography, Kumaun University (pctiwari@yahoo.com) is the nodal person for the platform and the focal point of the platform is Dr. Pankaj Tewari, Executive Director of Central Himalayan Environment Association (pankutewari@gmail.com and executive_director@cheindia.org).

Our activities (also see in SUNRAISE events)

  • 09 September 2021 - Himalaya Diwas 2021, webinar
  • 04 September 2020 – National workshop on “Adaptation and Resilience Building Challenges for the Himalayan Communities: Climate Change and Covid-19”
  • 10 May 2020 - Webinar on COVID 19 – Himalayan Environment by Special Center for Disaster Research (SCDR), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi India
  • 10-14 February 2020 - Winter School on SAGA GIS, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India
  • 03-07 February 2020 - Winter School on QGIS, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India
  • 02 September 2019 -  Workshop on Heritage Conservation & Management, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India
  • 07 August 2019 - Workshop on Google Earth Engine (GEE) for Beginners, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India 
  • 27 June - 28 June 2019- Climate Change Adaptation Through Improved Coordination Between Government Line Departments and Community Institutions in Middle Himalaya - Stakeholder Workshop, Kumaun University, Nainital, India
  • 25 March - 5 April 2019 - Climate Change Awareness Programmes in Ramgad and Kulgad Watersheds, District Nainital, Uttarakhand, India
  • 22 May 2018 - SUNRAISE stakeholder consultations in Nainital, India
  • 21 May 2018 - International Stakeholders' Workshop at UGC-HRDC, Kumaun University, Nainital, India
  • 18 May 2018 - SUNRAISE stakeholder workshop at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India