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‘Gangtok declaration’ made at mountain summit
Correspondent
 GANGTOK, May 27 – The two-day ‘2nd Sustainable Mountain Development Summit’ of Indian Mountain Initiative (IMI) hosted by Sikkim concluded with the ‘Gangtok Declaration’ and a momentum to carry on for the third summit proposed to be held at Kohima next year.

“We resolve that the mountain States in India have not received the attention due to them and we recommend that greater focus and emphasis be given to the Sustainable Mountain Development agenda without delay and continued for the next 20 years”, observed the summit as part of its ‘Gangtok Declaration’.

The ‘Gangtok Declaration’ on sustainable mountain development was presented here at Chintan Bhavan by summit convener PD Rai before the delegates after two days of engagements on water, mountain livelihood and communities & forests. Over 250 delegates from eleven Himalayan States stretching from Jammu & Kashmir to Nagaland and Darjeeling Hills participated in the summit along with parliamentarians and legislators.

It was declared that the IMI would be working through long term partnerships with multiple stakeholders and at different levels which include local, regional and global.

The IMI is a civil society movement that aims to bring stakeholders of the mountain and hill States on a common platform to come together to discuss issues related to the development of the mountains and hill regions and communities, evolve consensus on priorities and action plan. It held its inaugural summit at Nainital, Uttarakhand last year.

It was also agreed that the each partner State will cooperate on building awareness, build capacity for action on adaptation and transfer technologies and practices for sustainable development. The role of women of mountain areas in livelihood generation and protection of environment has also been recognised by the ‘Gangtok Declaration’. Youths would also be given a role to sustain the IMI initiative.

Before the ‘Gangtok Declaration’ was placed, delegate Sushil Ramola summed up the outcomes of the 2-day summit.

One of the main outcomes of the summit here is that it has given momentum to the IMI, said Ramola. The summit has given continuity to the IMI goals and Nagaland has already taken the initiative to host the third summit, he said.

The summit was organised by Ecotourism and Conservation Society of Sikkim (ECOSS) and co-organised by Central Himalayan Environment Association (CHEA).

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