Thursday, August 20, 2015

Hill people prep for Sustainable Mountain Development Summit on disaster risk reduction


The Integrated Mountain Initiative - formerly known as the Indian Mountain Initiative - was founded in 2010 to raise the specter of Indian mountain ecosystem from a common platform by involving all Indian Himalaya-specific stakeholders. With the support of its founding members - CHEA of Uttarkhand, ECOSS of Sikkim and SDFN of Nagaland, the Darjeeling Mountain Initiative - and partner organizations ICIMOD, GLOBE and SRTT, the Interactive Mountain Initiative convened a number of theme-based annual Sustainable Mountain Development Summits (SMDS). The first such summit was held in Nainital in May 2011, SMDS–II at Gangtok in May 2012 and the SMDS-III in Kohima in September 2013. The SMDS-IV is slated to be held in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh from 07 to 09 October 2015 and the theme of the summit is “Disaster Risk Reduction in the Mountain Region- Policy, Planning & Implementation”.
To find a common ground to fight against repeated disasters like landslides, earthquakes, floods etc. in the Himalaya region, to find appropriate risk reduction and assessment mechanisms, state of preparedness against any disaster and rehabilitation processes in the hills for deliberation at Itanagar Summit, the Governing Council Members of IMI, especially PD Rai, the Lok Sabha MP from Sikkim, Dr. RS Tolia, President, IMI, Wing Commander Praful Rao of Save The Hills and others, deemed it fit to organize a Pre-summit DRR Workshop titled “How safe are Our Mountain Habitats?” as a curtain raiser to Sustainable Mountain Development Summit –IV in Kalimpong on 17 August 2015.
Resource persons Dr. Ajit Tyagi, former DG, IMD, Prof Malay Mukul, IIT, Mumbai, Dr. Chandan Ghosh, Head of Geo Hazard Divn, NIDM and Dr. Sunil Dey, Department of Geography, NEHU, deliberated in detail on extreme rainfall events in the Himalaya, earthquake hazards in the Himalaya, Disaster Risk Reduction in the Himalaya & Landslide hazards in the Darjeeling Himalaya respectively.
Few former Chief Secretaries of Northeastern States (including Mr. Trilok Dewan, MLA of Darjeeling), one Principal Secretary from Arunachal Pradesh, Prof. Santosh Kumar, Director, SAARC DM Centre, officials from Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura and others from Darjeeling District and Sikkim took active part in the proceedings.
The outputs from the technical and interactive sessions of the workshop will be processed and key policy on disaster management, outline of a working paper on DRR, and other practical recommendation will be identified for AMDS-IV soon.

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