Saturday, December 14th, 2019

Himalayan Region -A Highest Priority

INVC,, Delhi,, The Indian Himalayan Region (IHR), which accounts for around 70% of the Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, spreads across a land area of 5.3 lakh km2, comprising 16.2% of India’s geographical area. Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) is a unique National Treasure, one to which we accord the highest priority. The IHR has rich forest cover, feeds the sub continent’s perennial rivers that are sources of drinking water, irrigation and hydropower, and conserves important elements of our rich biodiversity. Managing the Himalayan ecosystem sustainable is critical not only for preserving its pristine beauty and spectacular landscapes, but also for ensuring the ecological security of the entire Indian sub- continent. The criterion for Hill stations to declare as environmentally sensitive include Demography, Urbanization, commercialization , surfeit of Tourism and accompanying pollution, Natural & scenic beauty, heritage (both natural and man-made), Watershed /Catchment’s areas, Earthquakes prone regions, Land slide prone regions, Soil erosion, Steep slopes, Intense rainfall areas, Proximity to National parks Sanctuaries and Biosphere reserves, sensitive a hill station should satisfy one or more of the above criteria. Methodology to determine environmental sensitivity of hill stations covers different aspects. Environmental sensitivity can be quantified in terms of carrying capacity for specified environmental parameters, preservation of forests, pressure on civic amenities, state of heritage both natural and man-made etc. The socio- environmental parameters such as population density, diversity, infrastructure facilities, transportation, communication, and commercial developments are also to be considered while assessing environmental sensitivity. Ecological / environmental sensitivity can be assessed in three steps. They are collection and processing of past environmental ecological information or data in any form in respect of various parameters, collection and processing of the present environmental / ecological information or data in any form in respect of all these parameters and assessment and expression of environmental sensitivity biased on the level of impact significance.

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