Union Cabinet of India on 28 February 2014 approved the Mission document on the National Mission for sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE). This mission has been launched under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) and the budget for implementation of the mission will be 550 crore rupees during 12th Five Year Plan period.
The Mission has been developed with its primary objective to develop a sustainable national capacity to continuously access the health status of the Himalayan Ecosystem and enable policy bodies in their policy-formulation functions. The mission will also assist states in the India n Himalayan Region with implementation of actions selected for sustainable development.
The NMSHE will address a variety of important issues like
a) Himalayan glaciers and associated hydrological consequences
b) Prediction and management of natural hazards
c) Biodiversity conservation and protection
d) Wild life conservation and protection
e) Traditional knowledge societies and their livelihood
f) Capacity in regulation of science and critical peer evaluation to help governance issues related to sustenance of the Himalayan Ecosystem
g) Assist in restoration and rehabilitation process of Uttrakhand
This mission would also assess the vulnerability of the Himalayan region to climate change scientifically in dimensions like physical, biological and socio-cultural aspects. This scientific assess would lead to formulation of appropriate policy measures and time bound action programme to sustain its ecological resilience and ensure the continued provisions of key ecosystem services.
Other important aims of the Mission
• To build and support capacities at central and state levels to assess climate change and formulation of response measures to challenges in the Himalayan region
• Safeguard the communities in the Himalayas from the impacts of climate change through evidence based policy formulation and enhanced research and capacity (major beneficiaries marginalized and vulnerable communities)
The 12 Himalayan States of India in the Indian Himalayan region (IHR) has been covered under the Mission of which 10 are hill states and two are partial hill States, namely
• Jammu & Kashmir
• Himachal Pradesh
• Arunachal Pradesh
• West Bengal
The Government of India’s, Department of Science and Technology has been given the responsibility to coordinate the implementation of the Mission (NMSHE) and a Mission cell (NMSHE Cell) will be created at the Climate Change Programme Division of the Department of Science and Technology. This cell will be headed by a Mission Director.
NAPCC was launched in June 2008 by the Prime Minister`s Council on Climate Change to fulfill India’s vision in context to climate change. In recent times, climate change has evolved as an important area of concern and has laid ahead a challenge for environmental and development planning.
NAPCC comprises of eight national Missions and these are
• National Solar Mission
• National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency
• National Mission on Sustainable Habitat
• National Water Mission
• National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Eco-system
• National Mission for a Green India
• National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture
• National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change