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United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
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Policy Updates

The Third Business and the 2010 Biodiversity Challenge Conference, in conjunction with the UNEP Business and Industry Global Dialogue, will be held in...
Convention, Declarations, Strategies, Agendas and Legal Instruments that have a bearing on the Himalayas and their inhabitants.
The first stirrings of an international consciousness for mountain issues were felt at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, and resulted in Chapter 13 in Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment & Development. The Declaration was adopted by more than 178 governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment & Development (UNCED), and the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) has tracked its implementation at the local, national, regional and international levels. This was reaffirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, as well as through the declaration of the International year of Mountains in 2002. There are several other international agreements and protocols, many of which also have a reflection in country policies and laws, that have a bearing on mountain regions. This policy and regulatory environment is constantly evolving and we strive to keep you up-to-date on policy developments with respect to mountain regions and in particular the Himalayas, through this section.
see - New developments in international policies with impacts on the Himalayan region
Convention on Biological Diversity
in International Convention
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has 3 main objectives: (a) To conserve biological diversity; (b) The use biological diversity in a sustainable fashion; (C) To share the benefits of biological diversity fairly and equitably. The treaty defines biodiversity as "the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems." Parties to the Biodiversity Treaty "affirm sovereign rights over the biological resources found within their countries, while accepting responsibility for conserving biological diversity and using biological resources in a sustainable manner." One of the most controversial issues addressed by the Biodiversity Treaty is intellectual property right related to biological and genetic resources. This issue is closely linked to equity issues. Although much of the Earth's biodiversity is found in developing countries, these countries have not necessarily benefited equally with developed countries from industrial, medical, agricultural, and other uses of biological and genetic resources. A related topic is the role indigenous people play in maintaining biodiversity. Another major issue addressed by the treaty is the level of financial commitment required of developed countries in support of developing countries.
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New developments in international policies with impacts on the Himalayan region
The focus of climate change issues as being a key factor in Human Development [supported by the IPCC reports that have identified the Himalayas as being data deficient & key to the well being of almost 40% of the human population] has led to fairly strong and urgent action being initiated at the national and international stage. India has, for the first time, come up with an action plan explicitly targeting the Himalayas and is taking a holistic approach to the issues involved. Major social changes are occurring the region starting from the continuing unrest in the Western Himalayas covering Afghanistan and Pakistan, Pakistan & India; the major structural changes in Nepal that have plagued the country for more than a decade; increasing influx of persons from Eastern China into Tibet and the related underlying issues of cultural genocide, as some call it; the various insurgency movements in Eastern Himalayas in India; the border disputes that are a part of the legacy of colonialism. All this and the related jockeying for position and power are leading to vast amount of resources being pumped into the region. The World community through the UN agencies, the EU and others has been providing funds and sponsoring research into Himalayan issues. While all this is in some way promoting economic development in the region it is also causing disruptive changes in the social patterns that have prevailed for quite a while. Economic inequity for the region is alarming and with the Gini coefficient at 0.47 for urban Nepal, is representative of much that needs improvement. [The Gini coefficient measures the inequality of income distribution within a country. It varies from zero, which indicates perfect equality, with every household earning exactly the same, to one, which implies absolute inequality, with a single household earning a country's entire income.] Add to this the social inequities that are a daily part of Himalayan life and we get a sense of the volatility of the situation and the 'fits and starts' approach that countries have been taking to tackle the concerns of their citizens and their international commitments.
Rio Declaration on Environment and
Reaffirming the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, adopted at Stockholm on 16 June 1972, and seeking to build upon it, with the goal of establishing a new and equitable global partnership through the creation of new levels of cooperation among States, key sectors of societies and people, which respect the interests of all and protect the integrity of the global environmental and developmental system and recognizing the integral and interdependent nature of the Earth the Rio Declaration expounds 27 Principles that form the basis...
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Resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly - Natural disasters and vulnerability
Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters
To promote a strategic and systematic approach to reducing vulnerabilities and risks to hazards and it underscores the need for, and identifies ways of, building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters. The plan of action identifies a need to enhance international and regional cooperation and assistance in the field of disaster risk reduction through: The transfer of knowledge, technology and expertise to enhance capacity building for disaster risk...
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International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Tampere Convention on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations
 in International Development  Policies
To reduce or remove regulatory barriers to the use of telecommunication resources for disaster mitigation and relief, including to the provision of telecommunication assistance. Where "Disaster" means a serious disruption of the functioning of society, posing a significant...
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Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters
 in International Human Rights  Policies
The UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters was adopted on 25th June 1998 in the Danish city of Aarhus at the Fourth Ministerial Conference in the "Environment for Europe" process...
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The Biological Diversity Act Of India, 2002
 in India Policies
The Biological Diversity Act 2002 (No.18 of 2003), enacted by the Indian parliament, is a significant umbrella legislation to conserve the biological diversity of the country and related knowledgebase and facilitate fair access to these. Being a signatory to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity...
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India Policies
Education in Voices Gallery

Tsering Murup
Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir

“Education is there for the new generation now, during my time such facilities were not available...”
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Dr. Ambedkar Medical Aid Scheme in Programmes & Schemes
The Scheme aims to provide medical treatment facility to the patients belonging to low income families among the Scheduled Castes, suffering from serious ailments related to Kidney, Heart, Liver, Cancer and Brain or any other life threatening diseases including Knee surgery and Spinal surgery...
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Programmes Database
Cultural diversity in the mountains: Issues of integration and marginality in sustainable development
 in Policy Research & Critiques
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...
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Environment:Environmental concerns have taken centre stage across most parts of the world though a common understanding of causes and solutions appears illusive at present. Nowhere has this been more clearly demonstrated than at the COP-15 meeting at Copenhagen in Dec'09 where 192 countries failed to come to any common understanding, let alone any legally binding agenda. Find here international policy documents that relate to the environment and ecology, biodiversity, forests and associated aspects such as community rights over forests, traditional knowledge, trade in forest products...
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Sustainable Development:The whole issue of sustainable development has been severely impacted by the need to balance the rights and aspirations of less developed economies with primarily carbon based energy engines driving these initiatives. The issue of per capita emission targets across the board and the currently unviable costs of a low carbon model make it a challenging issue that looks to get even more murky as rhetoric and bluster seem to be on the increase. This section deals with international policies aimed at holistic and balanced development with consideration of development rights and environmental sustainability...
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Culture, Rights:While much has been done on regarding culture and rights of indigenous people, the harsh economic environment over the last couple of years due to melt down of financial systems across large parts of the world is leading to these issues being relegated to much lower down the scale of importance. The efforts to mainstream people and provide a bare minimum of goods and services to the marginalized communities is often not attuned to the softer but equally important issues. An assortment of conventions and declarations that seek to ensure psychological well-being of the communities, including their social, cultural, political and economic rights...
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Special Groups:The failure to achieve closure at the WTO meetings [the Doha round] and the vexing question of agricultural subsides across certain developing countries / groups implies a long and tough road ahead. Though much is being done by civil society players, 'voting with their purse' as it were, in terms of overall international trade figures, these are miniscule in absolute terms, though showing a surge in terms of the low base of a few years ago. This section contains policies and laws that apply globally and aim to ensure fair & responsible trade, sustainable economic development and rights of all economic players...
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Trade & Economy:The slippages in achieving the targets set under the MDG's seem to suggest that due efforts and necessary funding to achieve the goal of protection of rights and needs of various categories are lacking. With even the normal patterns of unemployment and lack of shelter, (to take the most obvious indicators of economic health in an economy) affecting the man in the street rather severely, it seems unlikely that adequate attention to these groups is being provided. Know about the international policies that seek to protect the rights of and address the needs of especially vulnerable and marginalized groups, such as children, women, indigenous people...
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