Indian Himalayan Youth Summit concludes
KISAMA, SEPTEMBER 23
THE 1st Indian Himalayan Youth Summit which began here on September 22 at Bamboo Hall, Kisama to raise the consciousness of the youth towards building a sustainable development of the mountain regions of India culminated on Monday.
Participants from 11 Indian mountain states at the two- day youth event had extensive deliberations on sustainability challenges of the mountain people and their terrain with special focus on three main sectors- Agriculture, Forests and Water. Case studies and discussions on the three specific sectors led by topic experts paved the construction of a set of resolutions which were later refined into draft recommendations. These draft recommendations will be put up for further assessment during the Sustainable Mountain Development Summit-III (Kohima Summit 2013) which is going to be held from September 25-27 at Kohima.
It may be mentioned that the participants of the youth summit are youths belonging to different professional backgrounds from 11 states including Nagaland, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and West Bengal’s hill district of Darjeeling.
Youth Summit Recommendations
• Have a youth steering committee set up at the institution of IMI to address issues of the mountain states: 1. Agriculture 2. Forest 3. Water etc.
• A combined steering committee for review of agriculture policies of mountain states and come up with recommendations specific to this region – production, market linkage.
• Declare Himalayan states as Organic Zone – Focus on youth entrepreneurship through promotion of local food & eco-tourism, more local cuisine (FOOD SECURITY issues).
• Create space for promotion & preservation of indigenous knowledge, local & cultural history, knowledge & create indigenous seed banks to inspire young farmers.
• Farmer-friendly infrastructure; facilities closer to farmer & village.
• Market Regulation: Minimum Price policy, Agricultural goods import tariff (tax) policy.
• Implement village-friendly policies: consult locals, farmers, local practices & customs (bottom-up approach esp. related with forests).
• Eco tourism and eco activities at schools, colleges and universities.
• Integrating mountain specific environment education of schools, colleges and universities thus bridging the gap between youth and nature.
• Integrated Tourism involving more youth thus reducing the ever growing unemployment and taking the benefits of tourism for local people.
• Reinforcement of wild life and forest acts to curtail Bio-piracy and control poaching.
• Development for mountains and mountain communities.
• Introduce proper town planning, infrastructure and development activities.
• Empower local communities and serve forest rights.
• Discouraging constructions of mega dams and the approach of government in enforcing the project advantage and disadvantage to be discussed on public forum.
• EIA to have more civil societies and representations.
• Ensure clean drinking water for all “equitable distributions”. Declare Himalayan region as safe drinking water zone, testing laboratories to check water quality and contamination.
• To identify water springs, preserve them for supply of water, lobby with govt. policy makers.
• Better coordination between private companies, NGOs and government.
• To form a Himalayan Committee, which include youth activists, researchers, expertise and legislatures, Stakeholders to review water management.