- About Us
- "In the 21st century humankind will increasingly depend on mountain resources such as water, bio-diversity, and recreation." Arnold Koller
The Central Himalayan Environment Association, CHEA in short, was founded on October 2, 1981, on a day which has special significance for India, being the birth-day of the Father of the Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The society was registered soon afterwards in May, 1982. Arguably CHEA is one of the earliest societies founded in Northern India which had ' the environment and the livelihood of the people in the Himalayas ' as its core concern.
Much water has flown in the great Himalayan rivers and the Indian Himalayas have since been witness to much distress, conflict, degradation, demographic dynamics, political restructuring and impacts of various global revolutions and their regional and local impacts. CHEA has since espoused many mountain causes, engaged itself actively in scores of action-researches on human and environmental aspects and livelihood-related projects and continues to be so involved to this day.
Since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 with the inclusion of Chapter 13- 'Managing Fragile Ecosystems : Sustainable Mountain Development' in the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) the importance of mountain social-ecological systems have been acknowledged for the first time on a global scale. Establishment of CHEA, let it be recalled, pre-dated the Rio Summit by more than a full decade. Certainly the perceptions of a seminar organised in October 1983 by CHEA in participation of academicians, activists and scientist to se the future course of action for the Indian Himalayas has to be re-evaluated in context of the insights the world at large and the Indian sub-continent in particular has gained and with which CHEA has a re-alignment of its strategy for the 21st century, both in context of local and global priorities. To ensure solution of increasing pressure on natural resource for rural livelihoods CHEA has developed strategies for stregthaning grassroots environmental governance and undertaking action research.
On behalf of CHEA and its members we extend to you a warm invitation to join us in this Indian Mountain Initiative, furthering the cause Mountain Agenda, by:
Coming forward to co-sponsor its Flag-ship activity, IMI Sustainable Mountain Development Summit: 2011 (ISMD Summit), to be held at the Lake City of Naini Tal district of Uttarakhand, in India, on 21-22 May 2011. The SMD Summit has following Four Themes :
- Hydro-power Projects in Mountain Regions,
- Adaptation Measures under Climate Change scenario in Mountain Regions,
- Rural Tourism in Mountain regions, and
- Community Forestry in Mountain Regions.
- Our Emblem
- The leaf of the oak tree is our emblem, the species occupies nearly 20,000 sq km area in Uttarakhand between 1000-3000 m elevation. The oak forests are associated with water, humidity, biodiversity and life in general in the hills. It is the tree of masses and is the lifeline of village communities. The fresh new oak leaves are a useful source of fodder. The acorns are a favourite food for some species of wild life. The emblem implies catering to the livelihood and sustainable needs of the hill communities and wildlife of the region.
- Our Area of Activities
- The area of activity of the Association is the Himalaya and adjacent areas in general, and Kumaun and Garhwal Himalayan regions in particular.
- Way of Working
- Creating the environment to help Himalayan village communities to protect and enrich their environment and to contribute to addressing regional and global issues by exploring all positive linkages between environmental conservation and economic growth.
- Addressing basic human needs to support capacity building of communities for enabling them to ensure basic needs by economic stability.
- Ensuring active women participation in sustainable development and livelihood initiatives.
- Extending infrastructure services to help developing countries deliver environmentally sound infrastructure services.
- Promoting human rights, democratic development and good governance.
- Providing development alternatives for youths, ensuring investment in our future for channelising the energy in productive ways.
- Applying participatory methods to restore the self sustained system of village communities by optimum utilisation of traditional wisdom and knowledge.
- Prosperous, self reliant and secure mountain communities committed to peace, equity and environmentally sound sustainable development.
- To develop and provide integrated and innovative solutions, in cooperation with regional and international partners, that foster direct action and policy changes for overcoming the environmental, economic and social vulnerability of the Mountain People.