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On Innovations & Technologies
Collecting Fog water
Pine needles for fuel!
Insect Trap
A scatter of responses to the development challenge of the Himalayas- innovations in energy, education, irrigation, livelihoods.

The Himalayan region, though immensely rich in resources, remains behind the plains regions in the concerned nations on almost all development indices. Historically neglected because of its terrain and excluded from the mainstream, the development gap between this region and its neighbouring plains has persisted into present times. Significant contributors to this continuing development gap are the socio-ecological differences between the Himalayan region and the mainstream plains areas. Often policies are developed for the populous plains, and applied in the Himalayas with a disregard for the socio-ecological differences, and hence fail frequently.


To effectively bridge this development gap, it would be necessary to develop technologies and policies that are socio-ecologically adapted to Himalayan conditions and cultures. For instance, alternate models of delivery would be required for the provision of education and health services in the remote villages across the Himalayas. Technologies for land and water management need to be adapted to the steep gradients and severe climate of the Himalayas.


Several concerned individuals, organisations, researchers, from the Himalayan region and outside it have recognized the need for Himalaya-specific solutions and have worked to develop innovative approaches and technologies with the aim of addressing the problems and needs of the Himalayan region. Many of these Himalayan experiments have proved their mettle and show the way for others who seek to bring about development in the Himalayan region. This section presents a compendium of various Himalaya-focused innovations and initiatives undertaken within the Himalayan region, as well as replicable or adaptable technologies and methods developed and implemented in similar regions in other parts of the world.

Collecting Fog water
Water scarcity is a problem faced by many in the world today. With increasing industrialization, increasing population and climate change related abnormalities; water has become an important issue. Some researchers even foretell that war for water amongst nations may soon be a real possibility. The hill population of Nepal also suffers from inadequate water supply. People in the region struggle everyday to fetch water from great distances. Government water supply systems are not effective in these areas due to the physical location of settlements.

Realizing the need for an alternative source of water, NEWAH started implementing fog water collection schemes. NEWAH is a national level NGO established in 1992 that specializes in the field of drinking water provisions, health promotion and sanitation. NEWAH fog collectors produce between 2,000 and 5,000 ltr of water per day in the summer months. At present their projects are functioning...

Appropriate Technologies


Land & Water Management



Infrastructure & Services



Technologies for Water Management
It is one of the realities of the Himalayas, that while being considered as the 'third pole' in terms of fresh water source for the large populations in the plains and the start of the 10 major river systems of Asia, the people in the hills are themselves unable to access their required water needs with a reasonable effort. Much of the drudgery faced by women in the hills involves ever-lengthening trudges to collect water for their daily household needs. The impact on agricultural activities is even more pronounced with the changing precipitation patterns in terms of frequency, intensity and seasonality; reduced ground water recharge impacting spring flows; change of cropping patterns requiring greater amounts of water; the gradual replacement of traditional, low yielding but resilient species for more standardised but high input species. Add to this the load of the tourism industry, with the attendant influx of a large number of persons during the lean summer months and the picture that emerges is not too encouraging. Understanding the impacts of climate change and glacier movements are an area of...
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Biomass as an energy source
Farming: The Natural Way
There was a time when chemical fertilizers were the be all and end all in farming. With increasing awareness regarding the...
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Pedalling for Prosperity Low Cost Water Pump
Improved Water Mills
Collecting Fog water
Water scarcity is a problem faced by many in the world today. With increasing industrialization, increasing population and climate...
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Vetiver Eco-engineering for Slope Stabilization
 in Projects & Initiatives
Project INDEPTH, had pioneered the use of deep seismic reflection profiling for geophysical and geological studies designed to develop a better understanding of the geological structures and tectonic movements of the Himalaya-Tibet region. During Phase I of the project (summer of 1992) carried out in the summer of 1992, INDEPTH...
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Projects & Initiatives
Political Ecology of Timber Rights in the Western Himalayas
 in Social Issues
The research paper seeks to outline a concrete timber rights management framework in the backdrop of the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh in the western Himalayas. The paper uses political ecology to combine ecological concerns with the study of the political economy. It recommends holistic management, inter-sectoral co-operation...
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Mountain Issues
A Sketch of the Geography and Geology of the Himalaya Mountains and Tibet
by Sir Sidney Gerald Burrard et al.
 in E-Books
This reader-friendly book with minimum usage of technical language gives an account of Himalayan geography--the principal mountain ranges and peaks of Asia and the rivers of Himalaya and Tibet. A part of the book also describes the geology of the Himalayas supported with well-illustrated figures...
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About life in the hills and beyond
in Voices Gallery
Manohar Singh Pawar
"Life in the hills...we enjoy our freedom here and the environment is good. However, if we look at it from an alternative perspective,...
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Community-based Mountain Tourism: Practices For Linking Conservation With Enterprise
 in Conference Reports
As tourism increases in mountain regions around the world, environmental and social impacts also increase. The e-conference that this report is based on focused on five thematic areas: marketing strategies, organizational structures, local knowledge, gender, and revenue reinvestment...
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Conference Reports
Appropriate Technologies: Difficult terrains, resource stress often make people weary. While some learn to adapt or just give in, some transcend the hardship through innovations. These innovations can be aided by formal scientific systems or informal traditional knowledge. Himalayas require infusion of appropriate technologies that catalyse development while also improving efficiency of use of the scarce natural resources and provide alternatives for destructive/resource intensive practices. This section deals with technologies suitable for the Himalayan region in various spheres - energy, irrigation, agro-processing, sanitation, architecture, farm implements, and others...
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Land & Water Management: With increasing impact of climate change and increasing stress on mountain resources, management of land and water resources have turned out to be a tough challenge and the need of the hour in the Himalayas. There are various models of sustainable technologies being developed and pilot tested all around the world by scientists and as well as grassroots innovators for land and water management. Many of them are designed for specific conditions. However, these can be implemented, adapted or scaled up for application in the Himalayas after required modifications. This section documents new technologies or methods for managing soil erosion, cropping and productivity, water conservation and management, sustainable use of common property resources, pastureland regeneration,...
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Welfare & infrastructure: In the Himalayan context, providing the basic welfare services to the inhabitants is an enormous task. Severe weather conditions, limited access and communication facilities, steep gradients, sparse populations result in high implementation costs and poses steep challenge at every step. This section deals with innovative methods and approaches for delivering welfare services of education, healthcare, etc., to remote Himalayan villages and creating basic infrastructure and facilities, such as those of communication, sanitation,...
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Livelihoods: Innovations bring new ideas to life. Innovators unleash their creative potentials to aid in development, reducing stress of common people. Himalayas need innovations that are socio-ecologically fit for Himalayan conditions and cultures. Various local/regional research institutes and local innovators have contributed in innovations suitable for Himalayan livelihood practices. This section documents innovations in livelihood alternates and associated technologies, value addition, enterprise development, market development, ...
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