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International Mountain Day: Knowledge of street-smart Folk who live in Mountains, if combined with Research can develop effective responses to Climate Change

The Hindu Kush Himalayan region extends 3,500 km over all or part of eight countries and is the source of 10 large Asian river systems

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Shimla, December 11, 2016: The knowledge of street-smart folk who live in the mountains, combined with research, can work together to develop effective responses to climate change and its impact on ecosystems and livelihoods, experts say.

There is potential to mobilise traditional knowledge to provide place-based evidence on climate change and its impact on ecosystems and livelihoods, said researchers Nawraj Pradhan and Abhimanyu Pandey of the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

Similarly, local knowledge and research could work together to develop effective responses that sustain biological and cultural diversity for adaptation in future.

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“If managed well, various facets of tangible and intangible cultural heritage can be long-term assets. They can represent an innovative way of achieving sustainable development goals and, as such, produce better livelihoods, food and water security, and effective climate change mitigation efforts,” they said in a report, “Mountain Cultures: Celebrating Diversity and Strengthening Identity for Years”.

Pradhan is Associate Coordinator with Kailash Sacred landscape Conservation and Development Initiative, while Pandey is Cultural Services Analyst in the livelihood Theme.
The Paris Agreement of December 2015 recognises that adaptation actions should follow a “participatory and fully transparent approach, taking into consideration vulnerable communities and ecosystems”.

Mountains cover nearly 27 percent of the world’s land surface and directly support 22 percent of the world’s people. They serve as water towers to the world, providing for the freshwater needs of more than half of humanity.

The Hindu Kush Himalayas are one of the world’s most diverse mountains systems, spanning 4.3 million sq. km. of land across eight countries — from Afghanistan to Myanmar.

Over millennia, communities in these landscapes have maintained a close relationship with the natural resources and surroundings that provide their livelihoods.

The researchers said the mountains were not studied as cohesive systems, but in recent decades, research is providing a more holistic understanding of mountain environments, and how they contribute to overall human well-being in the context of social, economic and environmental changes.

The Hindu Kush Himalayas present some of the most austere geo-climatic conditions in the world, encompassing the barren wilds of the Tibetan Plateau, the cold semi-arid zones of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the sweltering rainforests of northeastern India and Myanmar.

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Such diverse climate, however, has not deterred vast migrations, interactions and evolution of human communities in the Hindu Kush Himalayas over the course of history.

Until recently, said the researchers, traditional knowledge and practices provided the basis for the well-being and livelihood of indigenous mountain communities.

Consequently, mountain communities enjoyed an intangible, even spiritual, connection to the elements of nature. However, in recent decades, global media connectivity and the inclusion of once far-distant regions into national planning has ushered in the forces of globalisation, consumerism and, often, top-down governance regimes.

This has accelerated the pace of change in the Hindu Kush Himalayas, often upsetting the particularities of the mountains and their socio-ecological balance.

Of course, not all the change has been negative. Modern advances in healthcare, education and economic opportunity have improved mountain livelihoods and often worked to dissipate some oppressive traditional socio-economic hierarchies.

However, these advances have also caused some ruptures in traditional community fabrics and a loss of interest in preserving local knowledge and cultural traditions.

“Therefore, it’s critical for research institutions like ICIMOD to take a serious approach to understanding the traditional cultural worldviews of mountain communities,” the researchers said.

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The Hindu Kush Himalayan region extends 3,500 km over all or part of eight countries and is the source of 10 large Asian river systems, including the Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra.

The basins of these rivers provide water to 1.3 billion people, a fifth of the world’s population.

In India, the Hindu Kush Himalayas and adjacent mountain areas include 11 mountain states — Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. (IANS)

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Here are 4 Ways to Carefree, Happy Feet in Monsoon!

One of the major impacts it has is on our feet. The foot tends to succumb to the humid climate, becoming more prone t

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Monsoon foot care
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New Delhi, July 29, 2017: Now that small time showers have replaced the scorching heat of the sun, its high time that you take care of your feet. The romantic season with a charm of its own, carries along the sweet scent of the wet earth, unboxing props like the umbrellas, windcheaters, and raincoats.

However, we are well-acquainted with the damp and swampy side of the season as well. One of the major impacts it has is on our feet. The foot tends to succumb to the humid climate, becoming more prone to fungal infections and athlete’s foot.

On a brighter note, every problem has a solution. So, instead of going all haywire, just take some time off of your busy schedule and show some love to your feet! Here are the

Here are 4 foot care tips for a ‘happy monsoon’ –

  1. SOAKING

Soaking your feet in a bucket of warm water for about 15 minutes might just do the trick! And wait, there’s more! Don’t forget to add some coarse salt, few drops of lemon or orange juice and tea tree oil in the water for a rejuvenating experience.

  1. LOTIONING

We are talking about the herbal homemade lotion! Just follow this simple method – add a few drops of rosewater, lemon juice and pure glycerine in a bowl and mix it all together. Then, apply it on your feet and about an hour and a half later, bask in an invigorating experience!

  1. RELAXING FOOT BATH

Just like your body, sometimes, your foot needs a bath too and a relaxing foot bath is just what you need! Here’s how – simply fill a bucket with cold water. Then add some rosewater, lemon juice and a hint of eau de cologne in it. Now, mix it all and soak your feet in it for a few minutes. This rids off the pungent odor and, cools and cleanses the feet.

  1. DRYNESS CARE

Let alone the wet monsoon, even dryness of the skin has its own disadvantages! As is evident, honey is the best suitable ingredient for dry skin. So, what could be better than a refreshing dryness care therapy! Simply add 2tbs honey, 1tbs herbal shampoo, 1 tbs almond oil in a bucket of warm water and soak your feet in it for about 20 minutes, and indulge in a rejuvenating experience!

  1. FOOT MASSAGE

Massage, with its healing, relaxing and revivifying power, has always been very valuable to human kind. So, don’t forget to stack up some essential oils that might come in handy! And just so you know, a nice mixture of some olive oil, 2 drops of eucalyptus oil, 2 drops of rosemary oil and 3 drops of khus (rose) oil, can prove to be the best relaxing experience when massaged on to your feet. The cooling and revitalizing effect will definitely get the best of you!

– by Ria Chakraborty of NewsGram. Twitter @invincibleria7