UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – SECURE Himalaya Project
SECURE Himalaya project was launched by the Indian Government to ensure the conservation of forest resources, land and biodiversity with local and global significance on the inaugural day of the Global Wildlife Programme (GWP) conference. It covers the high Himalayan Ecosystem spread over Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. This project is a collaboration between the Environment, Forests and Climate Change Ministry (MoEFCC) and the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). The project was launched in the background of increasing habitat degradation, fragmentation of area which is increasing due to the high dependence of the local communities on the natural resources and unplanned infrastructure.
- SECURE Himalayas project is spread over 6 years.
- The objective of the project is to secure people’s livelihood, restore, conserve and use sustainably the high range ecosystems of the Himalayas.
- The project is implemented in specific landscapes such as:
- Kanchenjunga – Upper Teesta Valley in Sikkim
- Gangotri – Govind and Darma – Byans Valley in Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand
- Lahaul – Pangi and Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh
- Changthang in Jammu and Kashmir
- The key focus of the project is on improving the enforcement to ensure the reduction in wildlife crime, protection of snow leopard and other endangered species and ensuring a secure livelihood to the people in the region.
- Protecting the people’s livelihood has taken topmost importance under the SECURE Himalaya since the relative remoteness and isolation of the communities in the mountains (which includes tribal communities) has rendered them the last preservers of their heterogeneous culture and local knowledge that has a global impact.
- Stringent monitoring and better enforcement measures will be taken to inhibit the illegal trade in medicinal and aromatic plants in these parts. These plant species are especially vulnerable since they are threatened species.
The government also launched India Wildlife mobile App and released the National Wildlife Action Plan for the period 2017-2031 on the occasion.