Integrated Mountain Initiative, established in 2010, is a civil society initiative formed by Central Himalayan Environment Association (CHEA) with a common vision of “Making India Proud of our Mountains” and a with focus on addressing mountain issues in the Indian Himalayan region. The initiative emerged as a follow up to the recommendations given by the Task force on Analysing Problems of Hill States and Hill Areas constituted by the Planning Commission in 2008. This was initiated with the purpose of facilitating inter-linkages with the Indian Himalayan region with its unique ecosystems, extraordinary biodiversity, diverse cultures and knowledge systems with policymakers, researchers and development professionals. We believe in integrating knowledge and experiences of multiple stakeholders to form an inclusive and collaborative initiative of diverse participants united by a common vision.
IMI initiates and provides a platform for knowledge sharing among various participants and stakeholders while addressing the diversity of the mountains across its 10 member states, hill districts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong of West Bengal and 2 hill districts of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao district of Assam. We strive to bring to the forefront a constant evolving action-oriented discourse on the Indian Himalayan Region – its issues and vulnerabilities along with the communities resilience building mechanisms with the active role of stakeholders and policymakers into policy deliberations and planning framework.
IMI carries, at its core, an explicit pan-Himalayan focus. With many of our members having served or serving as policymakers, civil servants and researchers, we recognize and acknowledge the significance of such engagement in policy influence and advocacy as means of affecting systematic and sustainable change in the mountain states.
IMI broadly focuses on:
- Bringing together all stakeholders working in IHR on micro, meso and macro levels of policy-making to build consensus and to prioritize, intensify and streamline action for the holistic development of the region.
- Engaging voices from the field locally in identifying practices, pilots and results to develop relevant models through state chapters for enhanced knowledge generation and exchange on regional and higher levels for the national mountain agenda.
- Strengthening the human and institutional capacities with an understanding of local and traditional structures to promote innovative solutions
- Forging stronger linkages with scientific and social research, development work in the mountain region with policy implementation.
- Utilization of the linkages with various stakeholders in building a system in place for developing and assimilating information relevant for policy-making and practice.
Members and state Chapters.
IMI is a collective of individual members, political actors, academics, voluntary institutions and concerned citizens from across the Himalayan states and districts. IMI is associated with partner organizations that are in tune with its vision and mission. The structure of IMI is based on a framework with a Governing Council elected from among members for a three-year term, and a Secretariat at its core. Members based in a mountain state come together to constitute the State Chapter of that state.
IMI works in alignment with state chapters constituting of individual members and institutions. The state chapters based at their respective home states come with diverse experience of working with mountain communities in research, advocacy and expertise on mountain development. Utilization of the linkages with various stakeholders in building a system in place for developing and assimilating information relevant for policy-making and practice.
Formal registered Institutions work collectively with various stakeholders to facilitate the states concerned with sustainable policies such as in:
- Sustainable Development Forum, Nagaland (SDFN),
- Sustainable Development Forum, Arunachal Pradesh (SDFA),
- Mizoram Sustainable Development Foundation (MSDF), and
- Sustainable Development Forum for Uttaranchal (SDFU)
Apart from the above state chapters, the rest remain fluid and are in constant evolution to suit the needs and structures of the states
The state chapter of Sikkim has both members and organizations working in the region. However, the key role of state chapter is operated by a primary institution, Eco-Tourism& conservation Society of Sikkim (ECOSS).
Additionally, Meghalaya Integrated Mountain Development Initiative (MIMDI) and Manipur Forum for Sustainable Mountain Development (MFSMD) have also been established as formal state chapters.
The remaining state chapters are in the process of formation as in the case of Himachal Pradesh where members operate without having a formal registered entity.
Similarly, the state chapters of the hill districts of Kalimpong and Darjeeling - Darjeeling Himalayan Initiative, and Tripura – Development Initiative for Sustainable Advancement (Tripura), have both members and organizations working in the region.
IMI is also working towards network building in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and is in the process of building a state chapter.
Manipur and Meghalaya have had the first round of meetings with the stakeholders and respective state governments and are in discussions to come up with formal state chapters.
IMI is also working towards network building in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The state chapters through its collaboration with IMI help in translating the dialogues into informed actions in terms of policies. The individual state chapters organize state-and-district- level seminars, state-specific policy briefs and national mountain policy briefs. Each chapter works towards formulating reliable state-specific information about sustainable development practices in the Indian Himalayan Region.