The Integrated Mountain Initiative’s flagship event: Meet of the Mountain States (MoMS), kicked off at the Ganga Auditorium at the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change on March 23, 2023.
The event was organised this year in collaboration with the DIvecha Center from Climate Change and the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change.
The Chief Guests for the first day were Ministers for State, MoEFCC, Ashiwni K Choubey and Minister for State, Tourism, Ajay Bhatt.
The special guest was Tashi Gyalson, Chief Executive Councilor of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council. The event saw the participation of delegates from all the mountain states of India and members of various organisations and institutions.
MOMs is an annual event organised by the Integrated Mountain Initiative, where outcomes of sustainable mountain development summit outcomes and key mountain issues are placed before policymakers in Delhi.
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In his opening remarks, PD Rai, President of IMI, highlighted the importance of the mountains and how IMI has been working for more than a decade for furthering the agenda for sustainable development in the mountains. The outcomes from SMDSXI were shared by Jigmet Takpa, PCCF, Ladakh and President, Sustainable Development Forum of Ladakh which highlighted the need to mainstream the theme of sustainable tourism across the IHR.
Ashwini Chaubey commended the work of the IMI in bringing the stakeholders from across the mountain states together. He highlighted the fragility of the Himalayas, narrating his experience of having lived through the 2013 tragedy of Kedarnath. Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State for Tourism, mentioned that disasters were a common thread that ran across the mountain states with every state having experienced their share.
Tashi Gyalson highlighted the need for taking forward the conversation on extended producer responsibility for managing plastic waste in the mountains. He mentioned that companies were taking the mountains for granted, and they would have to do more on EPR for the mountains, he added. Prof. Satheesh, Chair of DCCC gave an overview of the Divecha Center for Climate Change, highlighting how mountains would have a higher degree of warming than other parts.
Two technical sessions discussed plastic management with a special focus on extended producer responsibility and the resurgence of millets in the mountains. Representatives from the mountain states spoke about the various issues and challenges on both themes.
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