Institute of Mountain Environment celebrates International Mountain Day-2023 at Bhaderwah Campus

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Bhaderwah, December 11 : In keeping with the annual tradition, the Institute of Mountain Environment, Bhaderwah Campus celebrated International Mountain Day on December 11, 2023 in Bhaderwah Campus. The theme for IMD-23 was ‘Restoring Mountain Ecosystems’.

In his welcome message, Prof. Rahul Gupta, Rector, Bhaderwah Campus, commended the initiatives being taken by the Institute of Mountain Environment to meet the academic excellence, research and scientific outreach, fostering a holistic approach to education in this part of Himalayas. As we reflect on the significance of mountains, may this celebration serve as a catalyst for continued efforts in mountain conservation and sustainable development, he added.

While introducing the theme, Dr. Neeraj Sharma, Convener IMD-23 emphasized the importance of mountains as they cover around 27% of the Earth’s land surface and are home to almost half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Yet mountains are suffering from the impacts of climate change and unsustainable development, escalating risks for people and the planet. This day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of mountain ecosystems and to advocate for nature-based solutions, best practices, and investments that increase resilience, reduce vulnerability, and increase mountains’ ability to adapt to daily threats and extreme weather events, he said.

Dr. Chhering Tandup in his remarks highlighted the importance of the mountains, the concerns and challenges these ecosystems face, and the likely consequences for the mankind and local and global scales. He placed a strong emphasis on our shared duty to maintain and safeguard the mountains.

This was followed by the presentations by the researchers of IME, Bhaderwah Campus who shared key findings of their research with the audience.

Dr. Dinesh Baloria deliberated on floristic diversity of the alpine areas, while Vandana Dutt and Asha Sohil talked about the aquatic resources of the mountains. Ajaz Ansari and Nitika Khullar discussed about the mammalian diversity of higher elevations. The curated butterfly specimens, field equipment and gadgets were put on display for the awareness of school children.

The event unfolded at Little Angels School Bhaderwah Campus, attracting students from various departments of the campus and the school.

The active participation of students added a dynamic element to the celebrations, complimenting awareness and understanding of the crucial role mountains play in our environment. The prizes were distributed among the winners where Ms. Rajpratima Singh Thakur and Ms. Aria Arun of Little Angles School, Bhaderwah campus won the titles in poster making and declamation contest, respectively. While Ms. Sundus and Ms. Nakshatra claimed the second and first runner up positions in poster making, Mr. Muneef Ahmed and Mr. Kashif Hafiz were adjudged second and first runner up in declamation contest.

Mr. Chander Shekhar, Divisional Forest Officer Bhaderwah, and Guest of Honour on the occasion shared his valuable insights on the status of mountain biodiversity and urged upon the citizens to join hands with the department in the protection and conservation of depleting forest resources. Sh. Majad Bashir, Wildlife Warden, Chenab Circle, Kishtwar, and Guest of Honour of the event shared his perspectives on the importance of mountains viz-a-viz wildlife conservation and management in this part of the Himalayas. Dr. Pankaj Chandan, Director, NDF, Jammu and Guest of honour of the day emphasised on the importance of such programmes especially involving the school children as they are the future custodians of biodiversity and ambassadors of conservation.

Those present among other included Assistant Registrar, the heads of different departments, faculty members, research scholars and students of different departments of Bhaderwah Campus including Little Angels School, Bhaderwah Campus.

The proceedings were conducted by Ms. Asha Sohil and Ms. Vandana Dutt while the formal Vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Dinesh Singh.