The fragile Himalayan ecosystem is in poor health. Hundreds of scientists and students raised concern about the impact of climate change, urbanization, deforestation and other threats to the mountains at the first Himalayan Conclave on Wednesday at Delhi University.

On Thursday, the participating experts will formulate a charter of solutions as well as demands for the conservation of Himalayas.

Talat Ahmad, V-C, Jamia Milia University highlighted how the frequency of cloudbursts had increased dramatically over the years, so much so that this year there were three cloudbursts in a day in Kashmir Valley.

The two-day conclave, organized by the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development, Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organization (Hesco) Dehradun, Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology and others, had over 300 participants.

Hesco director Anil Joshi said both BJP at the Centre and AAP in Delhi should contribute to saving the Himalayas. "That's because Yamuna, the lifeline of Delhi, is after all a Himalayan river. The people living in plains have been dependent on the Himalayas for water, food and even fresh air but have given nothing in return. It's a Himalayan debt," he said.

Dinabandhu Sahoo of IBSD focused on the amazing biodiversity of the eastern Himalayas, describing how Manipur is the only state to grow black rice that has anti-diabetic properties. "Arunachal Pradesh now has a great harvest of kiwi and Meghalaya hosted the first cherry blossom festival this year. India doesn't need to import... Himalayas have it all."

Source: 10 September, 2015 The Economics Times