Policy and Advocacy

Since its formation, Integrated Mountain Initiative has resolved to undertake open and continuous dialogue on mountain concerns through annual thematic summits and by encouraging the establishment of various thematic networks spread across the Indian mountain states. In view of the above, the Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS) came into being. with the inaugural Sustainable Mountain Development Summit in 2011.

Each year, as part of the SMDS, legislators, policymakers, senior government officials, researchers, scientists and development professionals from and working in the mountain states come together to deliberate on a range of themes such as climate change, water security, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), forest communities, agriculture, livelihoods, skills development and other crucial issues pertaining to the mountain states.

Outcome of Legislators’ Meet (2011-2016):

  • Working group on ‘Mountain Ecosystems and Challenges faced by the Mountain People’ constituted by the Planning Commission
  • The B. K. Chaturvedi Report took cognizance of restructuring Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) for mountain states ensureing policy and funding mechanisms are in accordance with state size, capacity to maximize revenues and effective utilization of resources
  • Discussions carried out and issues raised at the first Summit were taken up at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in June 2012
  • The Meet of the Mountain States was set up as a national forum for the coming together of representatives from Mountain States
  • Establishment of first state chapter of GLOBE India in Sikkim, followed by the setting up of the Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh chapters at the subsequent summits
  • Mountain Division of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) was set up at the G. B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development (GBPIHESD), Almora in 2013, to integrate action on policies specific to the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR)
  • Deliberations on agriculture and food security at SMDS-IIIculminated in a collaborative project with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to produce a report highlighting the state of agriculture and its allied sectors, including value chains, across the IHR
  • Participation of Mr. P. D. Rai (Hon’ble MP, Lok Sabha) from Sikkim at the UNFCC COP 21 in Paris, where measures for Disaster Risk Reduction in Mountains was taken up
  • A year-long action plan on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) was formulated by the participating Legislators at SMDS-IV
  • As a follow-up to SMDS-IV, Nagaland conducted a state-level summit consisting of a DRR workshop, involving 315 participants. The need to establish a disaster-risk insurance mechanism was identified, for which the action plan is being formulated at a national level
  • A comprehensive forest policy review in collaboration with FAO and Sustainable Development Forum Nagaland (SDFN) in 2015 to provide effective policy advice to the Government of Mizoram on managing forest resources sustainably and to provide tangible economic benefits to forest communities
  • Drafting of a legislation by the Government of Sikkim to mainstream the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in collaboration with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • As a follow-up to the legislators’ deliberations,IMI is collaborating with the MoEF&CC, through the National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS), on a project on Understanding Mountain Peoples’ approach and practices to combating Climate Change in the Indian Himalayan Region: Research to Renewal and Reforms. It aims to establish a Young Researchers’ Forum working on Climate Change across all mountain states in the IHR, and to generate data (research and practice) for informed policy decisions
  • Following deliberations on water security at SMDS-V in Leh, IMI is partnering with Coventry University, UK to work on understanding inter and intra-city dimensions of water security and inequity in the mountain cities of Darjeeling and Gangtok
  • IMI is a member of Working Group-4 on Skill Development andEntrepreneurship in the Mountain Region instituted by the NITI Aayog as an action agenda for sustainable development in the IHR

IMI continues to work closely with legislators to focus on:

  • Bringing together multiple stakeholders and building consensus to prioritise, intensify and streamline action for holistic development of the IHR
  • Forging stronger link between policy making, scientific and social research, implementing development projects onissues affecting ecology and livelihoods in the mountain states
  • Building a collaborative research mechanism for developing and assimilating information relevant for policy making and practice
  • Identifying needs and analysis practices, pilots and results from field, and developing relevant models through inclusive and participatory dialogue through state chapters, for enhanced knowledge exchange, and to make regional knowledge available for the national mountain agenda
  • Strengthening the human and institutional capacities to promote more innovative solutions locally

The IMI is now recognized as a vital platform for dialogues on sustainability of the IHR. It continues to actively work towards discussing, engaging and supporting action.