How can the mountain ecosystem be restored from the negative impact of development initiatives and tourism? (250 words)

The mountain ecosystem is a crucial and sensitive part of the environment. It is the source of water for many rivers, provides cultural regulation and holds cultural significance. However, due to rapid development and increase in tourism, the mountain ecosystem is facing existential threats.

Threats to the Mountain Ecosystem:

  • Plastic waste in mountains: Accumulation of plastic waste in the mountains due to packaging and high tourist footfalls.
  • Forest disturbance: Land conversion for agriculture expansion changes the natural ecosystem and leads to soil erosion and landslides.
  • Unsustainable economic growth: Rapid and unsustainable economic and population growth in mountainous regions is imposing stress on the natural environment.
  • Climate change: Melting of mountain glaciers due to global warming is affecting the biodiversity of the region.

Measures to restore mountain ecosystem from the negative impact of development and tourism:

  • Streamline the waste supply chain: Divert waste from landfills and ensure sustainability by streamlining the waste supply chain.
  • Collaborative approach: Foster partnerships among local non-profit organizations, trader associations, market associations and schools for conducting clean-up drives and providing bins at key locations.
  • Behavioral change: Change perspectives, habits and common behaviors for sustainable change.
  • Legislative protection: Promote Article 48A which states that the state shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
  • Ecotourism: Promote ecotourism to sustain the ecosystem and arrest degradation.
  • Modernize and democratize forest: Adopt ecologically sound modern forestry to conserve biodiversity and ecosystem integrity.
  • Conservation of agri-biodiversity and improved farming system: Promote on-farm conservation of indigenous crop varieties and germ-plasm.
  • Develop new models for ecosystem: Develop empirical models depicting climate change scenarios for key glaciers and subsequent river discharge.
  • Linking traditional knowledge system with formal knowledge system: Encourage decentralization and devolution of powers and functions to make traditional institutions active partners in conservation and sustainable use of mountain resources.

It is important to take strong measures to protect the mountain ecosystem as a significant proportion of the global population depends on goods and services provided by mountain regions. It is crucial to adopt sustainable practices to conserve the mountain ecosystem for future generations.

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