13th December, 2020 | 4 – 6 pm
Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) is a civil society led network platform with the mission to mainstream concerns of the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) and its people in the development dialogue of India. It functions as a platform to integrate the knowledge and experiences of multiple stakeholders working across the IHR, and uses this to inform and influence policy at the national and state level.
Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS) is IMI’s annual flagship event where we bring mountain concerns at the regional and national level as a part of our sustained effort to highlight priorities of Indian Himalayan Region in the development discourse of our country.
The 9th edition of SMDS will focus on the overall objective of building pathways towards a resilient and sustainable mountain economy in the IHR in the context of a post COVID-19 scenario and Climate Change. SMDS IX is being hosted by Sustainable Development Forum Uttaranchal (SDFU).
Mountain economies are largely dependent on factors like inflow of tourists, remittances from migrants, subsistence mode of farming, external food and general supplies which have all been severely impacted due to COVID-19. Due to the financial burdens of being low revenue states, mountain states in IHR are also duly disadvantaged in their efforts to tackle COVID-19 and taking measures beyond relief and healthcare becomes an uphill task. With the existing financial burdens of these states, COVID-19 has further exacerbated their developmental challenges. COVID-19 induced reverse migration is set to have a huge impact in the local economy. The mountain states will require a series of initiatives to ensure that job opportunities in the local economies are created and sustained. Focusing on local resources and capitalizing on community networks would hold key. Simultaneously, the challenges of climate change loom large over these fragile ecosystems. Water security is one of the most pressing challenges for mountain communities.
It is in this backdrop that SMDS IX seeks to be a meaningful platform to discuss some of the emerging pathways for building a resilient economy in IHR through the combined approaches of adaptation, innovation and acceleration. The deliberations during the Summit will delve into the corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for mountain development.
As a part of the Summit, the Mountain Legislators Meet (MLM) will be held on the 13th Dec 2020, where the findings of the research and academic deliberations held during SMDS-IX, would be presented to devise a road map for the Sustainable Development of the Himalayan States.
As part of the preparation for the MLM we also requested Members of Parliament and some MLAs what would they like to deliberate upon. Overwhelmingly they suggested the Covid Public Health situation globally and in India and the fate of the vaccine. Also many wanted to know how to kick start the economic activities mainly in the area of Tourism, as it impacts our constituents most in the mountain states.
Thus, we have chosen to have these conversations all the while listening to our Legislators through their comments and questions.