Changing Outlook on Harnessing Biodiversity Values – A Special Focus on Indian Himalaya

  • Ranbeer S. Rawal G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment (NIHE), Kosi-Katarmal, Uttarakhand, India
  • Vikram S. Negi G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment (NIHE), Kosi-Katarmal, Uttarakhand, India
  • Indra D. Bhatt G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment (NIHE), Kosi-Katarmal, Uttarakhand, India
Keywords: Biodiversity conservation, medicinal plants, restoration, traditional crops, wild edibles


The Himalaya, as provider of goods and range of ecosystem services, is vital for sustaining life of millions of people in uplands and billions in lowlands. Indian National Action Plan on Climate Change has recognized the region vital for ecological security of the country. However, growing demand for bio-resources, combined with inadequate appreciation for values of goods and services provided by Himalayan biodiversity, has led to the unsustainable use of these resources, leading to environmental degradation in the region. The paper also looks into the scenario as to how recent pandemic of COVID 19 has brought increased focus of people on bio-resources of the region. More importantly it has suggested conservation and sustainable utilization of biodiversity to ensure for sustaining the continuous flow of ecosystem services and goods. Biodiversity in the region provides several opportunities, however, under changing scenario, we need to think afresh and differently on possibilities of finding better and optimal livelihood options, and the issues of conservation in the region. In this context, larger focus on conservation education has been stressed as a way forward. This paper attempts to build a case for the biodiversity in Indian Himalayan Region through a SWOT assessment. Certain cases have been elaborated wherein the outlook has changed to harness the values.


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Author Biographies

Ranbeer S. Rawal, G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment (NIHE), Kosi-Katarmal, Uttarakhand, India

Late Ranbeer Rawal (26.4.1965–23.4.2021) obtained his Ph.D. in Botany from Kumaun University, Nainital, and has research experience of over 30 years. He has been associated with GBP-NIHE for the past 25 years as a scientist, and as Director from 2018–2021 (April 23). His specialization was in floristic ecology and conservation biology. He has published more than 200 peer reviewed papers. His work on ex-situ conservation models, participatory conservation education and transboundary landscape management has been recognized globally. Dr. Rawal has coordinated and supervised various national, international and trans-boundary projects. He has contributed to Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) as a lead author, and was elected ‘Sectional President’ of Environmental Science section of ‘Indian Science Congress 2020’.

Vikram S. Negi, G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment (NIHE), Kosi-Katarmal, Uttarakhand, India

Vikram S. Negi is working as a Scientist ‘E’ at Center for Biodiversity Conservation and Management (CBCM), G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment (GBP-NIHE), Kosi-Katarmal, Almora, Uttarakhand. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree from H.N.B. Garhwal University, Srinagar (Garhwal). His field of specialization includes Forest Ecology, Phytosociology and Long-term ecological monitoring of plant biodiversity. He has published 120 research papers, chapters in edited books/ proceedings, scientific popular articles, and manuals/ monographs. He has been conferred with Young Scientist Awards (in 2010, 2011, 2012) for significant R&D works. In addition, he has been awarded as a Fellow in Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and DST Fast Track Young Scientist in 2014, and 106th Indian Science Congress in 2019.

Indra D. Bhatt, G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment (NIHE), Kosi-Katarmal, Uttarakhand, India

Indra D. Bhatt, M.Sc., Ph.D. in Plant Science has over 20 years of research experience in different position and currently holding Scientist F and Head Centre for Biodiversity Conservation and Management at GBPNIHE, Almora. He has wide experience of working with multidisciplinary, multinational team of scientists and currently working as Lead author for Cross Chapter paper on “Mountain” and Chapter 5 – “Food, fiber and ecosystem products”, IPCC working group II – Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. He is a member of Commission of Ecosystem Management of IUCN and was an elected ‘Sectional President’ of Environmental Science Section of 106th Indian Science Congress 2019. He has published over 120 research papers having over 3700 citation and 32 h index. His work is largely focused on conservation and sustainable use of Himalayan biodiversity.


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