Landslides and earthquakes are common in the Himalayan region. The northward movement of the Indian plate, which was formed by the collision of Indian and Eurasian plates, puts constant stress on the rocks, making them fragile and prone to landslides and earthquakes.
This, combined with the region’s steep slopes, harsh topography, high seismic vulnerability, and rainfall, makes it one of the world’s most disaster-prone locations.
The Himalayan environment is subject to the impacts and repercussions of changes due to reasons emerging from modern society’s developmental ideologies.
The Himalayan Ecosystem Is Under Attack
- Indian states have ignored warnings concerning the fragile ecology, from the mammoth road extension project in the name of national security (Char Dham Highway) to the construction of cascade hydroelectric power plants, from uncontrolled town expansion to unsustainable tourism.
- Pollution, deforestation, and water and waste management disasters have all resulted from this method.
Development Activity Threat:
- Mega hydropower, a major source of “green” energy that replaces fossil fuels, has the potential to affect various aspects of ecosystem, making it more vulnerable to extreme occurrences such as cloudbursts, flash floods, landslides, and earthquakes.
- An incompatible form of growth in the hills, typified by major hydroelectric projects and large-scale construction projects requiring forest destruction and river damming, is a recipe for disaster.
Global Warming’s Effects on Himalayan Ecology:
- The threat to environment has multiplied because to the complete disregard for fragile topography and climate-sensitive planning.
- Glacier melting causes flooding and has an impact on the local society.
- Forest fires have also become more common as the Himalayan region has warmed.
- Forest conversion to agricultural land, as well as forest exploitation for timber, fodder, and fuel wood, are some of the region’s most serious threats to biodiversity.
Actions That Can Be Taken
Early Warning System:
- In order to foresee the disaster and advise the local population and tourists, it is critical to have early warning and improved weather forecast systems.
- A trans-boundary coalition of Himalayan countries is needed to share and distribute knowledge about the mountains and environmental protection in the region.
- The most important thing is to assess the current state of the area and develop a sustainable strategy that takes into account the unique needs of this fragile region as well as the impact of the climate crisis.
- Encourage ecotourism by starting a conversation about the negative effects of commercial tourism and advocating ecotourism.
- The government should strive for sustainable development rather than development that is harmful to the environment.
- Before implementing any project, detailed project reports (DPR), environmental impact assessments (EIA), and social impact assessments (SIA) are required.
The Indian state has ignored warnings regarding the fragile Himalayan environment, from huge road development projects in the name of national security to developing cascade hydroelectric power plants, from uncontrolled town expansion to unsustainable tourism.
The need of the hour is for governments to change direction in order to assist in the preservation of natural resources, including human life.