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The Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS) 2022 being held in Leh, Ladakh

Current Affairs

  • Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Bhupender Yadav attended the inaugural session of Sustainable Mountain Development Summit-XI, (SMDS-XI) being held at Leh, Ladakh UT from 10-12 October, 2022.
  • The Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS) is a flagship annual event of Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI), a civil society-led forum working across the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR).
  • Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) comprises 10 mountain states, two union territories and four hill districts.
  • Every year 3-5 salient themes engaging the immediate attention of and relevant to the mountains and hills are taken up for threadbare discussion and debate.
  • Conclusions and recommendations emerging from this exercise are pursued by IMI subsequently for actionable output.
  • In his address, he expressed that visiting Ladakh is always refreshing due to its beautiful landscape and magnificent mountains. Integration of science and policy is to be the core activity of IMI, in light of this, he suggested integration of uniqueness of cultures and environments to become essential part of such summits. He also highlighted the establishment of G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment (GBPNIHE) and its one Regional Centre at Leh, under MOEFCC which is particularly mandated on research and development activities for sustainability of the Himalayan environment.
  • He emphasized that various unique landscapes of the country like the Himalayas, Western Ghats and Thar desert need special attention of the scientific community. During the event, capacity building of youth was another important aspect that was mentioned so that it does not focus only on literacy for employment but also on preservation of local culture, environment protection and developing scientific integrity among youth.
  • The Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS) is a flagship annual event of IMI, a civil society-led forum working across the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) that comprises 10 mountain states, two union territories and four hill districts. In addition to the central event, two integral components of the SMDS include the Mountain Legislators’ Meet (MLM) and the Indian Himalayan Youth Summit. 
  • The theme for SMDS-XI is ‘Harnessing tourism for sustainable mountain development’. The main focus of the summit is to reduce the negative impacts of tourism while harnessing its positive contributions to building climate and socio-ecological resilience and sustainability.

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