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ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Readings on Climate Change, Desertification and Disasters, and other environmental problems that beset the ecologically fragile Himalayas
The Himalayas are under threat! Deforestation is laying vast stretches barren, several rare and endemic species are threatened with extinction, and droughts & floods are a recurrent phenomena. The Himalayan region has been declared a ?Biodiversity Hotspot?. Although astoundingly rich in natural wealth, it has lost 70% of its original habitat and its flora and fauna are in grave danger. Several species have probably been lost to the world forever, and the populations of several others are rapidly reducing, threatened both by anthropogenic impacts and climate change. The Himalaya is also one of the nine newest hotspots identified (named on 2nd Feb. 2005) which implies that it has not had the advantage of receiving the conservation attention that the 25 hotspots identified about 15 years back have had. This makes it a priority site for protection and sustainable management today.
Title: A Model Citizens Charter for Disaster Management in Uttaranchal (India)
Author: Pande, R.K. and Pande, R.
Source: Journal of Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 16, No. 5, 2007
Year: 2007
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstracts:  This is a link to an abstract. The purpose of the paper is to persuade all partners in disaster management to take action and also to bring the government and people together to interact and work for the reduction in the impact of natural hazards in Uttaranchal, India. According to the author, policies and planning for disaster management are State subjects in which the participation of the community is negligible. Therefore, he proposes the setting up of a Citizen's Charter of Disaster Management as an appropriate tool to bring in citizen-centric governance so as to minimise errors and wastage, this will also ensure the use of a scientific approach, along with the participation and cooperation between the government and citizens and help in enforcing existing rights.
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Title: A Regional Perspective For Snow Leopard Conservation In The Indian Trans-Himalaya
Author: Bhatnagar, Y.V. Mathur, V.B. and McCarthy, T.
Source: National Workshop on Regional Planning for Wildlife Protected Areas, 6-8 August 2001
Year: 2001
Publisher: Wildlife Institute of India
Abstracts:The Trans-Himalaya – the vast bio-geographic region in the cold and arid rain-shadow of the Greater Himalaya, is home to the endangered snow leopards for which protected areas (PAs) have been set up. Harsh climate and topography provides limited agricultural land and pastures, and few alternatives to resource dependent human communities in and around the protected areas (PAs). The paper deals with the current concerns and emphasizes the need for participatory management, alternative zonation of existing PAs and the revival of the ‘Project Snow Leopard’.
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Title: A Strategy for Conservation of the Tibetan Gazelle – Procapra picticaudata in Ladakh
Author: Bhatnagar, Y.V., Seth, C.M., Takpa, J., Haq, S., Namgail, T., Bagchi, S., and Mishra, C.
Source: Conservation and Society, Volume 5, No. 2, 2007
Year: 2007
Publisher: Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE)
Abstracts:  Tibetan gazelle (Procapra picticaudata) is endemic to the Tibetan plateau. Although its conservation status is believed to be secure, the study initiated by the authors in 2000 shows a steep decline in the gazelle population in Ladakh, India. The article deals with the anthropogenic factors responsible for this and the land use and socio-economy of pastoral communities that share the gazelle’s range. It also outlines a species recovery strategy for the Tibetan gazelle.
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Title: Changes in Agricultural Biodiversity: Implications for Sustainable Livelihood in the Himalaya
Author: Saxena, K.G., Maikhuri, R.K. and Rao, K.S.
Source: Journal of Mountain Science, Vol. 2, No 1, 2005
Year: 2005
Publisher: Journal of Mountain Science
Abstracts:  Himalayan mountain system is distinguished globally for its rich biodiversity. With increasing emphasis on growing cash crops, the agricultural biodiversity is changing and there is added stress on forest resources. Farmers have gained economic benefits but at the cost of increased vulnerability to environmental stress. The paper summarises the traditional practices in place, changes and their implications and the strategic options for improvement through the use of traditional manure, management of on-farm trees, and participatory agro-forestry along with policies for economic benefits to local people from non-timber forest products.
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Title: Cultural diversity in the mountains: Issues of integration and marginality in sustainable development
Author: Mehta, M
Source: Mountain Forum
Year: 1995
Publisher: Mountain Forum
Abstracts:  Apart from their rich biodiversity, mountain regions also exhibit a diversity of cultures resulting from niche-specificity of steep mountainous topographies, their relative isolation and the necessity to maximize production while minimizing risk and conserving resources. The paper explores the convergence of mountain cultural diversity with issues of sustainable and equitable development in highland areas, and the innumerable ways in which the local culture can help to implement sustainable development programmes.
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