The Degradation of the Himalayas
The Himalayan Mountains, going through the northern part of India separating it from the Tibetan Plateau, currently faces many issues.
Either surrounding it’s public infrastructure, waste, and trash of all sorts, the Himalayas are in need of drastic change.
The recent events in Uttarakhand have shown, more than ever, that we need a development strategy for the Himalayas that takes into account the vulnerability of the region and the need for environment protection.
There is no doubt that the region needs economic growth. But this development cannot come at the cost of the environment. It will only make the already risk-prone and ecologically fragile region more vulnerable and development more “deadly”.
Today, remaining natural habitat in the Himalaya is patchy. The steadily increasing population in the hotspot has led to extensive clearing of forests and grasslands for cultivation, and widespread logging. Both legal and illegal logging often occurs on extremely steep slopes, resulting in severe erosion.
WWF is working closely with the governments and people of Bhutan, India and Nepal to restore and protect ecological processes, reduce the human footprint and support local economies.
WWF will mobilize decision-makers and major stakeholders, from communities to large companies, in the region to implement the following transformational actions:
Develop a shared vision and plan between Bhutan, India and Nepal for the conservation and sustainable development of the Eastern Himalayas
Secure 7 million hectares of forests, grasslands and wetlands in the Eastern Himalayas
Protect threatened animal and plant species and their habitats
Ensure the integrity and climate resilience of critical ecosystems
How can we stop the Himalayas degradation?
By virtue of its location and stupendous height, the Great Himalaya Range obstructs the passage of cold continental air from the north into India in winter and also forces the southwesterly monsoon (rain-bearing) winds to give up most of their moisture before crossing the range northward.
How did the Himalayas affect India?
The Himalayas play a very important role in influencing the climate of India. India is a monsoon land only because of the presence of Himalayas. It traps the monsoon winds from Arabian sea and Bay of Bengal and forces them to shed their moisture content within the Indian sub-continent in the form of snow and rain.
It is widely accepted that climate change is the main factor behind the accelerated glacier retreat observed in the Himalayas. The Eastern Himalayas have the largest concentration of glaciers outside the polar region, and hold vast stores of fresh water. Continued climate change is predicted to lead to major changes in freshwater flows, with dramatic impacts on biodiversity, people and their livelihoods.
Develop a shared vision and plan between Bhutan, India and Nepal for the conservation and sustainable development of the Eastern Himalayas. Secure 7 million hectares of forests, grasslands and wetlands in the Eastern Himalayas. Protect threatened animal and plant species and their habitats.