Sunday, December 13, 2015

Annual Meet of the Mountain States 2015 held

                 PRESS RELEASE

The Integrated Mountain Initiative held its annual Meet of the Mountain States in New Delhi on 11 December 2015 celebrating International Mountain Day, at the Vishwa Yuvak Kendra, Chanakyapuri.  The Meet followed up on the successful conclusion of the 4th Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS IV)  held in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh in October 2015.  The central theme of the Summit was Disaster Risk Reduction, which is particularly crucial for the mountains which face increasingly frequent large- and small-scale disasters such as earthquakes, flash-floods, and landslides.  Natural disasters result in loss of lives, and set back the economy of the region by destroying assets, interrupting school education and livelihoods. 
To follow up the recommendations made during the Summit, the Meet of the Mountain States was held in the format of a workshop which discussed the implementation of these resolutions, by identifying the implementing bodies, liaison mechanism, resources required, and timelines.  The Meet was attended by Lt Gen Marwah and Dr Kamal Kishore, Members of the National Disaster Management Authority, as well as representatives from the National Disaster Response Force, the State and Disaster Management Authorities from Sikkim, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh.  Grassroots organizations working on disasters on the ground, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute, Delhi and Save the Hills, Kalimpong participated.
The Chief Guest, Mr Kiren Rijiju, Hon’ble Minister of State for Home Affairs, recently declared the Champion of DRR for the Asia-Pacific region by the United Nations, gave a rousing address espousing his concern about disasters and offering his full support for mitigation and preparedness measures.  He also released the summit report from SMDS IV.
Mr PD Rai Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) Sikkim updated the gathering about his participation at the UNFCC COP 21 in Paris, particularly the keen interest in supporting measures for disaster risk reduction in mountain states shown by Margareta Walhstrom, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN for Disaster Risk Reduction.

IMI is a collective initiative of a wide range of stakeholders from across the Indian mountain states, who gather together to deliberate and advocate mountain-centric development policy.