Darj Himalaya Initiative to host Sustainable Mountain Development Summit-X in Nov 2021


SUMMIT REPORT

Gangtok, 25 Feb: The Integrated Mountain Initiative’s Sustainable Mountain Development

Summit-X shall be organised in the Darjeeling-Kalimpong Hills for 2021 and will be hosted by the Darjeeling Himalaya Initiative. The summit brings together mountain people of the Indian Himalaya Region and is hosted in a different mountain state each year with the first one being held in Nainital, Uttarakhand in 2011. This year, the theme of the Summit is, “One Health and resilient mountains”. “Darjeeling Himalaya Initiative, the state chapter of Integrated Mountain Initiative is pleased to announce that we are hosting the Sustainable Mountain Development Summit X in Darjeeling and Kalimpong this year. We believe that the summit will provide critical conversation spaces that will contribute to the sustainable development pathways to Darjeeling, Kalimpong and the Indian Himalayan Region,” Praful Rao, President, Darjeeling Himalaya Initiative, of the organisation held today at Aapas Residency, Kalimpong. IMI is a civil-society led forum working across the Indian Himalayan Region with a vision of “Making India proud of our Mountains” and seeks to bring mountain concerns centrestage in regional, national, and global agendas through sustained and informed dialogue among all stakeholders and also enables action by following up on the deliberations with policy makers, implementers and communities. IMI operates through an ecosystem of state and regional chapters who are aligned to IMI’s vision. These chapters are made of individuals and institutions who work in their state and region. The Darjeeling Himalaya Initiative was formed as the state chapter of Integrated Mountain Initiative in 2013 and has grown as a platform represented by various civil society organisations and individuals. “One health is a very pertinent theme given the unprecedented situation brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic in the world,” stresses Dr Sarala Khaling, Darjeeling Himalaya Initiative, Executive Committee Member. President, IMI, former MP from Sikkim, PD Rai, has welcomed the move to Darj-Kpg Hills and remarked, “Ever since the 2nd SMDS was held in Gangtok 2012, it was an aspiration of holding the SMDS in Darjeeling/ Kalimpong. I am so glad that it has happened and that, through this dialogue and conversation, we will be able to contribute to the body of knowledge on the Himalaya from one of foremost mountain cities and regions of the Himalaya.” Each year, the Sustainable Mountain Development Summit brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss relevant themes warranting immediate attention of the mountains. Conclusions and recommendations emerging from this exercise are pursued by Integrated Mountain Initiative subsequently for actionable outputs that includes the Meet of the Mountain States with key policy makers. The Mountain Legislators’ Meet and the Indian Himalayan Youth Summit are two events which are integral components of the annual summit. “It is a matter of great pride for Darjeeling - Kalimpong to host the Sustainable Mountain Development Summit that has by now traveled to most mountain states. Beyond larger mountain issues, the past summits have deliberated on those pertinent to the host state, and the 10th summit shall be a great opportunity

for us to highlight and reflect upon some of our key issues,” said Priyadarshinee Shrestha,

Secretary Integrated Mountain Initiative.