Monday, Nov 22, 2021 07:15 [IST]
Last Update: Monday, Nov 22, 2021 01:34 [IST]
GANGTOK,: The 10th edition of Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS) came to an end on Saturday in Darjeeling. It was organized by the Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) and Darjeeling Himalaya Initiative.
The 3-day summit organized with the theme of ‘One Health – Making our mountains resilient’ had kick-started on November 18 in Darjeeling with some prominent speakers addressing the participants in the inaugural session.
The summit’s third day brought the elected representatives of the various IHR States together for the Mountain Legislators’ Meet to discuss on the important issue of plastic crisis in the mountains, a press release informs.
The meeting had as chief guest, the Deputy CM of Arunachal Pradesh, Chowna Mein who joined online. Vincent Pala, MP Lok Sabha, presided over the interactive session along with IMI president P.D. Rai.
More than 20 legislators attended the meet in person and virtually, sharing their experiences of working on plastic waste management and the challenges thereof.
Meghalaya Forest minister James Sangma gave the closing address.
The Darjeeling declaration was signed by the legislators to work towards a vision of zero waste Himalaya and single-use plastic eradication in the mountains. The declaration also resolved to work for making the extended producer responsibility feasible for the mountains.
In the valedictory session, the Dr. R S Tolia Memorial Lecture was given by Dr. Eklabya Sharma who provided insights into the importance of the Indian Himalayan Region and its challenges. The prize for the Dr. RS Tolia award was also declared with North East Network from Nagaland taking the prize for the first time to the North East states.
IMI secretary Priyadarshinee Shrestha provided the outcomes and recommendations of the three days of summit, mentioning that collaboration beyond departmental silos was key for the One Health approach.
“There was much more to be understood about how animal and human health interfaces played out and the need for increasing disease surveillance in the IHR, also from a transboundary perspective. Promotion of traditional food systems that are nurturing for human health as well as the planet was also a key takeaway. A mountain policy for a One Health approach that fosters cooperation and collaboration was one of the important recommendations,” the release mentions.
Representing the youth group of DHI, Shreya Gurung presented their reflections on the summit and the way forward they had charted from the summit. This included having an active youth network within IMI, and working on the key recommendations emerging from the three thematic sessions that involved the youth.
In his presidential Address, P.D. Rai congratulated the Darjeeling Himalaya Initiative on successfully organizing SMDS-X in Darjeeling. He also complimented the youth group of DHI on their active participation and engagement in the summit. He mentioned that the theme of One Health was an emerging but important topic to discuss and IMI in the future would pick up on the recommendations that had emerged from the summit.
Roshan Rai, IMI Councillor, in his vote of thanks address acknowledged all the partners and supporters of SMDS-X, the release mentions.
The baton for the next summit SMDS-XI to be held in 2022 was passed on to the UT of Ladakh by DHI president Praful Rao to chairperson of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, the release mentions.