25 Sep :A memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed today between The Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Despite the rich biological and cultural resources, this region faces serious limitations owing to its uniqueness in terms of fragility, marginality and inaccessibility, hence an appropriate cost-effective and environment-friendly Research & Development based technologies will be developed to address the environment and development issues of this region. Among the global mountain systems, the Himalayas is the most complex and diverse, and produces a distinctive climate of its own and influences the climate of much of Asia. The Indian Himalayan region (IHR) is the meeting point of floral and faunal assemblage and culture of the Indian sub-continent.
GBPIHED, an autonomous institute of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, was established in 1988 near the birthplace of Bharat Ratna Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant at Kosi-Katarmal, Almora in Uttarakhand State. The Institute has emerged as focal-agency to advance scientific knowledge, to evolve integrated resource management strategies, demonstrate their efficiency for conservation of natural resources and to ensure environmentally sound development in the entire IHR. To achieve its mandate, the GBPIHED follows a multidisciplinary and holistic approach in its R&D programmes executed through its HQs and four regional units situated at Kullu (Himachal Unit), Srinagar (Garhwal Unit), Pangthang (Sikkim Unit) and Itanagar (North east Unit).
The ICIMOD, founded in 1983 and based in Kathmandu, Nepal, is an intergovernmental independent institution that has been established with the objective of promoting the development of an economically and environmentally sound mountain ecosystem and to improve the living standards of its mountain communities by bringing together a partnership of eight regional member countries of Hind-Kush Himalayan (HKH) region, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan, and institutions within and outside the HKH region.
The mandate of both the ICIMOD and GBPIHED although cover different geographical scales but have a common vision to contribute to the sustainable development of the mountains, especially the IHR. Although both the institutions have been closely associated with each other in the past through the ministry , the MoU will enable both the Institutions to increase the potential for mutually beneficial research work, enable efficient co-ordination and ensure the sustainability of partnership between the ICIMOD and Govt. of India. The important consideration of the MoU will be that both the Institutions will be able to appreciate each other’s comparative advantages and collaborate to achieve the environmentally sustainable development in the IHR through a mutually agreed mechanism for experience sharing on similar aspects in other parts of The Himalayan region, including other member countries.
The GBPIHED will act as a focal point of the Ministry of Environment & Forests to facilitate effective implementation of ICIMOD- Government of India R&D activities relating to the environment and development in the IHR. Both the Institutions will develop joint R&D projects in identified areas of mutual interest related to Himalayan region and try to cater a wide range of stakeholders including NGOs, community based organizations, national level research Institutions, Government. organizations, etc. The ICIMOD will ensure that perspective collaborative organizations from India submit summaries of project proposals to the GOI, represented by GBPIHED. The short-term exchange of scientists/young scientists, including their strategic partners will also be promoted within the two Institutions.
The MoU was signed by Dr. L.M.S. Palni, Director, GBPIHED and the Director General, ICIMOD, Dr. Andreas Schild. It shall be valid for a period of five years from today and shall be renewed thereafter for a period on mutually agreed terms and conditions.