Reflections of Climate Change Leaders from the Himalayas Case Studies Summarised

This compilation of case studies aims to highlight the essence of the case studies developed by the Climate Leaders and share with you their experiences in the field and also to give the reader a first hand account of the grassroots issues relating to climate change in the mountain ecosystem in India. 

LEAD India, with the support from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has developed this unique and innovative project to create a network of grassroots CLIMATE LEADERS, trained and empowered to bring forth regional climate change concerns to the national level.

The project covers the environmentally sensitive and important Himalayan region of the country, which influences the climate of entire South Asia; is the source of many glacial fed rivers like the Ganga and Brahmaputra; is rich in biodiversity and extremely sensitive and vulnerable to climate change. We have divided the project area into two parts the Eastern Himalayas, one of the world’s 25 Biodiversity Hotspot Regions, and the Western Himalayas, which are extremely rich in forest ecosystem services.


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Local Environmental Governance in India

Since the “Global Training Session”, of the international training of LEAD Fellows in March 2006, LEAD India has been pursuing workable strategies at the local level and also evolving a broad concept of environmental governance at the larger level.  To bring the issues to a practical level where LEAD Fellows and other partners can take up possible intervention, it was considered an important step forward to organize a one day consultation with different stakeholders.

This publication is a compilation of case studies presented at the National Consultation on “Local Environmental Governance in India”: 


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Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Forest Governance: A scoping study from Uttarakhand

Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Forest Governance is an analysis of information compiled on important ecosystem services that flow from the forests of Uttarakhand Himalaya.  These services are of wide range so far as their spatial extent is concerned.  For example, much of non-timber forest products are of direct use to local people, watershed services have relevance to local as well as regional population, and carbon sequestration has global significance.  In this short-term preliminary study, investigators mainly depended on the secondary sources for information.  However, they also collected data for certain relevant parameters.  It is hoped that this report would prepare a ground for further efforts in the direction of quantification of the flow of services both in ecological and economic terms, measures required to make sustainable use of services, and payments or reward to local people for their efforts towards conservation of forests in the state.

The report has been quite successful in pinpointing a few major gaps in knowledge and measures that could be taken to address them.  The investigators have made progress in several areas connected to ecosystem services, many of which have not been considered in other studies.  I hope the initiative will go a long way to improve our understanding of one of the most important areas of environmental sustainability.  The funding agency, I hope will be pleased with this progress.  LEAD India did a good job in involving stakeholders and experts of varied backgrounds in the present study such as local members of village forest councils, scientists, government forest managers, grassroots level NGOs and top officials.  The project gave an opportunity for some very talented young persons to work together for the cause of conserving precious Himalayan forest ecosystems.


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Stakeholder participation in Environmental Governance: Corporate Social Responsibility

This booklet is a collection of four case studies prepared for the GTS.  Participants form across the world met for 10 days to explore and work on topics related to environmental governance, water governance and forest governance.  Given the challenges of the Indian economy, it is hoped that the case studies presented will help guide decision-makers within the industry and the government.


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Stakeholder participation in Environmental Governance: Forest Governance

This book on Stakeholder participation in Environmental Governance’ revisits the principles and practices for conserving forest ecosystems.  It flows out of much larger discussion on `environmental governance’ that has been an ongoing initiative in LEAD India related to framing the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders.

Forest Governance is a delicate balancing act made up of sound ecological management, sustainable and equitable forest use and shared responsibility.  It is difficult to co-manage conservation with livelihoods and markets when there is a growing demand and diminishing supply.  Consequently in practice the balance is often not struck.

In this book we have tried to identify the different elements of forest governance: the concept, the stakeholder interests, the park-people conflict, the community responsibility, the forest department’s policies and programs, etc.  This book is designed to get people to dialogue and debate on how to move forward on forest management in a period where the community forestry strategies are not satisfactorily.


 Inline image 6 Rio, Johannesburg and Beyond: India’s Progress in Sustainable Development

This book provides concerned citizens and national leaders with a comprehensive analysis of India’s environmental problems and with suggestions for practical, innovative solutions by a team of experts drawn from LEAD’s India network.  The analysis is clear and uncompromising.  Agrarian women have become poorer in the ten years since Rio while environmental degradation has increased.  Globalization has clearly benefited the middle classes, but what of its impact on the poor? Can science and technology help foster sustainability and meet the needs of the poorest?  Are intellectual property rights able to protect the kind of traditional and indigenous knowledge that underpins India?

The challenge lies in how to mainstream the lessons from the country’s micro successes and macro failures.  The writers argue that hope should not be lost and that the way forward is to build “a coalition for responsible frugality”.