Darjeeling-Kalimpong to host 10th Sustainable Mountain Development

Friday, Feb 26, 2021 07:45 [IST]

Last Update: Friday, Feb 26, 2021 02:12 [IST]

Darjeeling-Kalimpong to host 10th Sustainable Mountain Development

GANGTOK,: The Integrated Mountain Initiative’s Sustainable Mountain Development Summit X for 2021 would be taking place in Darjeeling-Kalimpong hills this November with Darjeeling Himalayan Initiative as the host.
A press release informs that 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’.
The Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) is a civil society-led forum working across the Indian Himalayan Region with a vision of ‘Making India proud of our Mountains’. The initiative brings mountain concerns centre stage 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.
The 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, said the IMI.
“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”, said Darjeeling Himalaya Initiative president Praful Rao.
Darjeeling Himalaya Initiative was formed as the State chapter of IMI 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, said Dr. Sarala Khaling, executive committee member of Darjeeling Himalaya Initiative.
Each year, the Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS) 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 include 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, the release informs.
“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”, said IMI president and former Lok Sabha MP P. D. Rai.
The Sustainable Mountain Development Summit X travels to Darjeeling - Kalimpong from Uttarakhand where it was hosted by the Sustainable Development Forum of Uttarakhand in December 2020.
“It is a matter of great pride for Darjeeling-Kalimpong to host the Sustainable Mountain Development Summit that has by now travelled 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 IMI secretary Priyadarshinee Shrestha.
Darjeeling and Kalimpong Himalaya region is one of the global biodiversity hotspots. Located in the borderlands, this transboundary landscape is representative of many regions across the Indian Himalayan Region and governance of these landscapes are important mountain narratives for nuanced and representative conversations at the summit, the release informs.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi