CHANDIGARH: Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Tuesday stressed the need for a rethink on the management of environmental and community resilience as the Himalayas were among the youngest fold mountains in the world.
Delivering the Convocation Address at the Himachal Pradesh University in Shimla on Tuesday, Ansari said, “The active nature of the geological forces in these mountains and their geographic location make them susceptible to a range of natural hazards, including earthquakes, landslides, flash-floods, cloudbursts and soil erosion.
“These natural hazards are magnified to the level of disasters when they overlap with human habitation and activities such as road building, agriculture, deforestation, mining and dam building.”
Referring to the Chipko Movement which aimed at saving trees, Ansari said the impact of environmental changes and hazards was most significantly felt by those who lived on ground zero.
“The Himalayan landscape is enchanting… Recent happenings have reminded us that human excesses extract a cost. There is an acute need, therefore, for a rethink on how we approach issues relating to the management of environmental and community resilience,” Ansari said.
“A careful observer had noted last year that over the years, we have witnessed relentless destruction of the fragile mountain ecology as population pressure, damming of swift mountain streams and cutting down of forests have upset the region’s ecological balance. This is now being exacerbated by the phenomenon of global warming,” he added.
Currently, he said, India was experiencing rapid and widespread environmental degradation at an alarming rate.