Experts on Friday said that humans must take a pledge to protect mountains and lessen their interventions to the natural biodiversity.
In this regard, in order to create awareness about the importance of Mountain diversity, IME (Institute of Mountain Environment), Bhadarwah Campus organized an expert panel discussion to celebrate International Mountain Day at Bhadarwah.
One day national workshop and expert panel discussion under the theme of 'Mountain biodiversity-issues and concerns in J&K' was held at LalDed Auditorium of Bhadarwah Campus.
Suresh Kumar Gupta, Chief Wildlife Warden, was the chief guest, Dr C M Seth and Prof. Anil K Raina were guests of honour while Col Rajat Parmar, CO 4RR was special guest on the occasion. Rector Bhadarwah Campus Prof Rahul Gupta presided over the function.
In his formal address, Dr Neeraj Sharma, head of department, IME, Bhadarwah Campus, said that almost one billion people live in mountain areas, and over half the human population depends on mountains for water, food and clean energy.
"Yet mountains are under threat from climate change, land degradation, over exploitation and natural disasters, with potentially far-reaching and devastating consequences, both for mountain communities and the rest of the world," he said.
Rector Bhadarwah Campus informed the august gathering that Mountains cover around 22 percent of the earth's land surface, host 25 percent of terrestrial biodiversity and 28 percent of earth's forests, mountains provide 60-80 percent of the world's freshwater- without which sustainable development that aims to eliminate poverty and hunger would not be possible, of the 20 most important food crops originated in mountains (potatoes, maize, barley, sorghum, apples, tomatoes and attract 15-20 percent of global Tourism.
The keynote address was presented by experts including Suresh Kumar Gupta, Dr Neeraj Sharma and Dr C.M. Seth, beside 20 experts, joined the panel discussion through video conferencing from different parts of the country.
In their keynote address the dignitaries laid emphasis to protect the mountains from the challenges they are facing.