G. B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development
(An Autonomous Institute of Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India)
Kosi-Katarmal, Almora-263 643, Uttarakhand, India
ABOUT THE INSTITUTE......
G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED) was established in 1988-89, during the birth centenary year of Bharat Ratna Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant, as an autonomous Institute of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Govt. of India, which has been identified as a focal agency to advance scientific knowledge, to evolve integrated management strategies, demonstrate their efficacy for conservation of natural resources, and to ensure environmentally sound development in the entire Indian Himalayan Region (IHR). The Institute attempts to maintain a balance of intricate linkages between socio-cultural, ecological, economic and physical systems that could lead to sustainability in the IHR. To achieve this, the Institute follows a multidisciplinary and holistic approach in all its Research and Development programmes with emphasis on interlinking natural and social sciences. In this effort, particular attention is given to the preservation of fragile mountain ecosystems, indigenous knowledge systems and sustainable use of natural resources. A conscious effort is made to ensure participation of local inhabitants for long-term acceptance and success of various programmes. Training, environmental education and awareness to different stakeholders are essential components of all the R&D programmes of the Institute.
BROAD OBJECTIVES (Mandates).....
- Undertake in-depth research and development studies on environmental problems of the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR).
- Identify and strengthen the local knowledge of the environment and contribute towards strengthening researches of regional relevance in the scientific Institutions, Universities/NGOs and Voluntary agencies working in the Himalayan region, through interactive networking.
- Evolve and demonstrate suitable technological packages and delivery systems for sustainable development of the region in harmony with local perceptions.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT THEMES.....
The R &D programmes of the Institute have been reoriented in to three functional groups and six thematic areas based of stakeholder needs.
- Socio Economic Development (SED)
- Environmental Assessment & Management (EAM)
- Watershed Process and Management (WPM)
- Knowledge Product & Capacity Building (KCB)
- Biodiversity Conservation and Management (BCM)
- Biotechnology Applications (BTA)
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PRIORITIES.....
· Watershed services, management and land use policy
· Domestic energy needs – options and challenges
· Improved economic and ecological viability of Himalayan farming systems
· Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity
· Protected areas- management issues & solutions
· Climate change impacts – land and water resources
· SEA and EIA specific to the Himalayan region
· Disaster mitigation and management – data bases and knowledge products
· Environmental Management of Urban areas
· Sustainable tourism
· Entrepreneurship and self employment in the Himalaya
· Indigenous knowledge: traditional lifestyle, architecture and health care practices
· Migration: socio-economic & cultural implications
· Biotechnological interventions in environmental rehabilitation
· Resource materials: mountain ecology and environment
· Capacity building and technology transfer/absorption
Developmental Options/ Programmes/ Plans
· Resource management for sustainable development of rural ecosystems.
· Propagation packages of high value plants.
· Integrated Eco-development Research Programme (IERP) in the IHR.
Demonstration and Dissemination
· Eco-restoration and conservation models
· Livelihood options
· Capacity building and skill development
Restoration and Rehabilitation
· Development and demonstration of SWEET (Sloping Watershed Environmental Engineering Technology) package for rehabilitation of degraded lands in Himalaya.
· Demonstration of Integrated Watershed Management in Central and Eastern Himalaya focusing on agro-forestry models and low cost technologies.
· Application of Spring Sanctuary Concept in Catchment Area Protection under SWAJAL initiatives in Uttaranchal
Impact Assessment and Mitigation
· Data base of Glacier retreat, flow and suspended sediment pattern in Central Himalaya and analysis of climate variability
· Solid Waste Management for Valley of Flowers (Uttrakhand); Carrying capacity assessment and ambient air quality monitoring in Himanchal Pradesh.
· Demonstration of Mountain Risk Engineering techniques for slope stabilization and geo-environmental hazard assessment in in Uttrakhand & Sikkim
Guidelines, Action Plans, and Policy Documents
· Guidelines for Location Planning, Rain Water Harvesting and Application of Green Roads concept in hills; Action Plan for Siwalik Area Development, and Village Environment Action Plan( VEAP).
· Action Plan for Conservation of Biological Diversity of Indian Himalayan Region; and, Strategy and Action plan for Wild Plant Diversity of Indian under NBSAP
Capacity Building and Awareness
· Capacity building of local inhabitants through promotion of ecotourism in Sikkim, establishment of Rural Technology Complex at HQs, trainings on hill-specific low cost technologies in NE region.
· Application of State-of-the-Art approaches for: (i) promotion of conservation education; (ii) harnessing religious sentiments for restoration of Badri Van (the ancient sacred forest of Badrinath shrine); (iii) Gender sensitization in NRM.
· Strengthening of region specific R& D and Human Resource Development under IERP.
Biodiversity Conservation and Biotechnological Applications
· Promotion of Medical Plants Sector through comprehensive inventories, status assessment, population dynamics studies and improvement of cultivation practices of high value species.
· Development of approaches for multiplication and conservation of Himalayan yew.
· Isolation of microbial inoculants for improved plants performance in the mountains.
· Development of conventional and/or biotechnological methods for propagation of high value plants (e.g., multipurpose trees, endemic medical plants, bamboos, plantation crops) of IHR.
Indigenous Knowledge Documentation and Database
· IKS of selected tribal communities and development of a digital IKS library.
-Library & Information Centre
-Internet & Video Conferencing (IT Cell)
-Sophisticated Tissue Culture Labs
-RS and GIS Cell
-GPS Reference Stations
-Labs for Soil, Water and Plant Analyses
-Multi-location Weather Monitoring Stations
-ENVIS Centre on Himalayan Ecology
-Lead Centre for Himalayan Biosphere Reserves
-Rural Technology Complex
-Glacier Study Centre
-Disaster management Faculty
-Central Instrumentation Laboratory
-Nature Interpretation & Learning Centre
-Arboretum & Plant Nurseries
-Training, Workshop & Seminar
The Institute functions under a Society, guided by a Governing Body and a Science Advisory Committee. It has a decentralized set up, with its headquarters at Kosi-Katarmal, Almora, and at present four other units are operational at Srinagar (Garhwal Unit), Mohal Kullu (Himachal Unit), Tadong-Gangatok (Sikkim Unit) and Itanagar (NE Unit). The R&D activities of the Institute are centered around seven core programmes, namely Land and Water Resource Management, Sustainable Development of Rural Ecosystems, Conservation of Biological Diversity, Ecological Economics and Environment Impact Assessment, Institutional Networking and Human Resource Development, Environmental Physiology and Biotechnology, and Indigenous Knowledge Systems.
The Institute receives core funding from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. The research and development activities are, however, substantially strengthened through external funding obtained from different National (DBT, CSIR, DST, UGC, ICSSR, INSA, ICAR, UCOST, NEC, Sikkim Govt., WWF-India, etc.) and International (ICIMOD, UNESCO, NORAD, TSBF, CIDA-SICI, McArthur Foundation, BCN, TMI, UNDP, FAO, UNIDO, UNICEF, etc.) agencies.
The Institute has developed unique approach in ensuring peoples participation in eco-conservation & development through conduct of on-spot training camps/workshops for the public, particularly women, students and teachers, army personnel, etc. Towards human resource development, the Institute continues to play an important role by training project based staff and number of Indian students have also received degree of Doctor of Philosophy while working in the Institute; in addition, the institute has conducted training/summer Programme for students/visiting scientists from various parts of India and from countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Holland, Canada, Germany, etc.
Apart from research and development activities, the Institute has support facilities and services such as library, arboretum, videography, nursery, instrumentation centre, consultancy, project formulation, soil, water analysis, tissue culture, data processing and information systems, training programmes, workshop and seminars.
INFORMATION DISSEMINATION FROM INSTITUTE.....
The Institute disseminates the findings of its R&D activities through publication of research papers in national & international journals, books and edited volumes ( more than 525 scientific papers, 153 popular articles, 30 books/edited volumes, 2 monographs till date).