National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE)

National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem was launched in Jun 2010. It received formal approval from the Union Government in 2014. The Himalayan region has 51 million people who practise hill agriculture and remains vulnerable. The Himalayan ecosystem is vital to the ecological security of the Indian landmass and it is now vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate changes. Hence it is imperative to protect the Himalayan ecosystem.

Latest context related to National Mission on Sustaining Himalayan ecosystem – NMSHE –

  1. Department of Science and Technology released a report titled ‘Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Adaptation Planning in India Using a Common Framework’, which identifies the most vulnerable states and districts in India with respect to current climate risk. According to the report, The greenest part of India is the most vulnerable to climate change, along with Chhattisgarh in central India, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Odisha, Assam, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, and West Bengal all in the eastern part of the country are the eight most vulnerable States that require prioritization of adaptation interventions.
    • DST has been implementing 2 national missions on climate change as part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change. These are National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) and National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change (NMSKCC). As part of these missions, DST has been supporting the State Climate Change Cells in 25 States and Union Territories. Besides other tasks assigned to these State CC Cells, carrying out assessment of vulnerability due to climate change at district and sub-district levels has been their primary responsibility, and the national level vulnerability assessment an extension of the same,
  2. Scientists, with support from the National Mission on Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) Programme, have been able to disseminate available scientific information to the farmers to enable sustainable and climate-resilient agriculture in the Leh region. NMSHE is one of the eight missions under the NAPCC.
What is NAPCC?
NAPCC stands for National Action Plan on Climate Change. It creates awareness among the representatives of the public, different agencies of the government, scientists, industry and the communities on the threat posed by climate change and the steps to counter it. Know in detail about the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) on the given link.

This topic would be of importance in the IAS Exam for both Prelims and Mains.

Aspirants should begin their preparation by solving UPSC Previous Year Question Papers now!!

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Objectives of National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem

Primary Objectives

  1. Assess the vulnerability of the Himalayan ecosystem in the short term and long term due to variations in climate and weather, through scientific study.
  2. Formulate policies to protect the fragile ecosystem based on the scientific study.
  3. States in the Himalayan region have to execute programmes in time bound manner in order to protect the Himalayan ecosystem.

Secondary Objective of National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem

  1. Build a knowledge network with the help of institutions involved in the study of Himalayan Ecosystem.
  2. Predict the future impacts that Himlayan regions would have to face with the help of sound research.
  3. Formulate appropriate strategies for the growth of the economy in the mountainous regions by assessing the ecological and socio-economic consequences of environmental change that is prevalent globally.
  4. Analyse the traditional knowledge and traditional health care systems in tackling climate change.
  5. Generate awareness amongst all stakeholders.
  6. Assist the states with the necessary information to protect the Himalayan ecosystem.

Issues Addressed by NMSHE

  1. Himalayan glaciers and associated hydrological consequences
  2. Prediction and management of natural hazards
  3. Biodiversity conservation and protection
  4. Wildlife conservation and protection
  5. Traditional knowledge societies and their livelihood
  6. Capacity in the regulation of science and critical peer evaluation to help governance issues related to sustenance of the Himalayan ecosystem.
  7. Assist in the restoration and rehabilitation process of Uttarakhand.

How many states are covered under this mission?

The mission covers 11 states and two Union territories.

Which are the states covered under this mission?

States covered by NMSHE

  1. Himachal Pradesh
  2. Uttarakhand
  3. Sikkim
  4. Arunachal Pradesh
  5. Nagaland
  6. Manipur
  7. Mizoram
  8. Tripura
  9. Meghalaya
  10. Assam
  11. West Bengal

UTs covered by NMSHE

  1. Jammu and Kashmir
  2. Ladhak

Who implements NMSHE?

The Department of Science and Technology implements the NMSHE.

Since there is a wide range of objectives in this mission, the Government had appointed 6 task force institutions for the implementation of this mission.

Institution Task Force
Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (Department of Science and Technology) Natural and Geological Wealth
National Institute of Hydrology(NIH) – Ministry of Water Resources Water, Ice, Snow resources including glaciers
G.B Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED) Forest Resources and Plant Biodiversity
Jawaharlal Nehru University Traditional Knowledge Systems
Indian Council of Agriculture Research(ICAR) – Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Himalayan Agriculture

Some of the Relevant Topics related to the above article are listed below.

Relevant Articles:
National Water Mission National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE)
National Mission on Sustainable Habitat (NMSH) National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA)
National Solar Mission Green India Mission (GIM)

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2023.

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