ICIMOD-Supported International Mountain Day Celebrations in Uttrakhand, India


The Centre for Environment Education (CEE Himalaya) and ICIMOD jointly marked International Mountain Day (IMD) in Dehradun, India, on 11 December by organizing a talk programme and various activities aimed at students and teachers from CEE’s Paryavaran Mitra network of schools, government officials, and concerned citizens. 

A number of talks were given during the event, including one by Dr Abdhesh Gangwar of CEE highlighting the relevance of IMD for the Indian Himalayan region and its inhabitants. In a talk about issues facing the Indian Himalayas, including outmigration and the impact of climate change on mountain agriculture, Dr Nripendra Chauhan, Scientist-In-Charge at the Centre for Aromatic Plants, called for the creation of local livelihood opportunities for mountain people, emphasizing the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants and value-chain development.  

Dr Vineet Vishnoi of National Service Scheme (NSS) underscored the role of youth in reversing environmental degradation in the Indian Himalayas. He noted that NSS has 75,000 volunteers that can be deployed to address mountain issues, thereby promoting sustainable mountain development to the best extent possible. 

Mahendra Singh Gusain,  affiliated with the State Medicinal Plant Board of Uttarakhand, and the UNDP-Government of India project on ‘Mainstreaming Conservation and Sustainable Use of Medicinal Plant Diversity’ noted that in recent years the environmental problems in mountain areas were becoming increasingly serious and required urgent actions. 

Ujol Sherchan, Senior Programme Officer at ICIMOD, highlighted ICIMOD’s work in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region and the growing global interest in the region. He called on participants to use this increasing attention as an opportunity to work together to put sustainable mountain development agenda on the national, regional, and global maps and to advocate for green economy. 

Some 90 students and 20 teachers from 15 schools attended the event, which was held with support by Arcelor Mittal. Prizes were awarded to winners of four competitions on the overall theme of sustainable mountain development as noted below.

Essay writing

1st place: Vinit Dimri, Shree Laxman Vidyalaya Inter College
2nd place: Dinesh Singh, Mangla Devi Inter College
3rd place: Suhail Malik, Shri Shiv Ram Uniyal Junior High School

Skit performance

1st place: Government Girls’ Inter College 
2nd place: MKP Girls’ Inter College
3rd place: Rajiv Gandhi Navodaya Vidyalaya

Slogan writing

1st place: Simran Bharadwaj, Touchwood School
2nd place: Satakshi Negi, Rajiv Gandhi Navodaya Vidyalaya
3rd place: Shivani Jaishali, Galaxian International School

Poster making

1st place: Tejaswini Bhatt, Touchwood School
2nd place: Minaxi Tomar, Laxman Bharatiya Inter College
3rd place: Ruma, MKP Girls’ Inter College

Skit performance
Skit performance
Ujol Sherchan of ICIMOD handing out prizes to the winner of the skit performance.
Talk programme on International Mountain Day