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Noida, India

Tambe S.,Environment and Wildlife Management | Tambe S.,8 Unit | Arrawatia M.L.,Government of Sikkim | Sharma N.,Government of Sikkim
Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing | Year: 2011

Sikkim is a small, mountainous, Indian state (7,096 km 2) located in the eastern Himalayan region. Though a global biodiversity hotspot, it has been relatively less studied. A detailed forest type, density and change dynamics study was undertaken, using SATELLITE remote sensing data and intensive field verification. The landscape was found to be dominated by alpine and nival ecosystems, with a large portion above the tree line, considerable snow cover, and a sizeable area under forest cover (72%, 5,094 km 2). A total of 18 landscape components including 14 vegetation classes were delineated, with the major ones being oak forest, alpine meadow, alpine scrub, conifer forest and alder-cardamom agro-forestry. Of the 3,154 km 2 of forests below the tree line, 40% were found to be dense (>40% tree canopy cover). A sizeable portion of the non dense forests below the tree line was contributed by the degradation of oak forests, which was confirmed by change detection analysis. However on a positive front over the past decade, ban on grazing and felling of trees in forests has been implemented. In order to expand the extent of dense forests, further efforts are needed for the restoration of oak forests such as fire protection, providing alternatives to firewood use, promotion of alder-cardamom agro-forestry in the private lands and protection of the small-sized, fragmented forest patches in the subtropical belt. © 2011 Indian Society of Remote Sensing. Source


Tambe S.,Government of Sikkim | Arrawatia M.L.,Sikkim Public Service Commission | Ganeriwala A.K.,Government of Sikkim
Mountain Research and Development | Year: 2012

Rural development is a vast sector that encompasses infrastructure creation, sustainable livelihoods, and decentralized governance. Mountain landscapes, with their inherent constraints of remoteness, sensitive ecosystem, and marginality, pose unique challenges to rural development. We undertook an assessment of the evolution of development themes and rural development progress made in the mountain state of Sikkim over the past decade. We found that a rapidly growing national economy has facilitated a 4-fold rise in investment in key rural development subsectors in Sikkim over the past 5 years. This significant enhancement in financial investment, coupled with good governance and innovative policies, has ensured that human development indicators, along with social infrastructure creation, have shown impressive progress. Setting up village cluster-level support offices to strengthen governance, transforming regular programs to mission mode with great political determination by adopting a saturation approach, financing improved earthquake-resistant housing for poor households, and promoting climate change adaption measures to enhance rural water security are some of the innovative approaches that have the potential to be transferred to other mountain areas. We propose a further expansion of capacities and economic opportunities in rural areas by prioritizing the self-employment sector, by expanding the nonfarm rural economy, youth training and placement, and continuing commitment to strengthening democratic institutions and procedures to ensure more rapid and inclusive growth of the rural economy. © 2012 by the Authors. Source


Tambe S.,Government of Sikkim | Kharel G.,Government of Sikkim | Arrawatia M.L.,Government of Sikkim | Kulkarni H.,Advanced Center for Water Resources Development and Management | And 2 more authors.
Mountain Research and Development | Year: 2012

Mountain springs emanating naturally from unconfined aquifers are the primary source of water for rural households in the Himalayan region. Due to the impacts of climate change on precipitation patterns such as rise in rainfall intensity, reduction in its temporal spread, and a marked decline in winter rain, coupled with other anthropogenic causes, the problem of dying springs is being increasingly felt across this region. This study was taken up in the Sikkim Himalaya, which has received limited attention despite being a part of the Eastern Himalaya global biodiversity hot spot. The objective of this study was to understand the basic characteristics of the springs and to demonstrate methods for reviving them. We found the rural landscape dotted by a network of microsprings occurring largely in farmers' fields, with an average dependency of 27 (±30) households per spring. The spring discharge generally showed an annual periodic rhythm suggesting a strong response to rainfall. The mean discharge of the springs was found to peak at 51 L/min during the postmonsoon months (SeptemberNovember) and then diminish to 8 L/min during spring (MarchMay). The lean period (MarchMay) discharge is perceived to have declined by nearly 50% in drought-prone areas and by 35% in other areas over the last decade. The springshed development approach to revive 5 springs using rainwater harvesting and geohydrology techniques showed encouraging results, with the lean period discharge increasing substantially from 4.4 to 14.4 L/min in 20102011. The major challenges faced in springshed development were the following: identifying recharge areas accurately, developing local capacity, incentivizing rainwater harvesting in farmers' fields, and sourcing public financing. We recommend further action research studies to revive springs to advance the outcomes of this pilot study and mainstreaming of springshed development in watershed development, rural water supply, and climate change adaptation programs, especially in the Himalayan region. © 2012 by the authors. Source

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