“Mountains for Sustainable Tourism”Department of Environmental Sciences, Govt. SPMR College of Commerce (CLUJ) Jammu collaborated with Voice of Environment (VoE), Guwahati, Assam celebrated International Mountain Day on 11th December 2021. An On-line Panel Discussion was organized for International Mountain Day based on this year’s theme of “Mountains for Sustainable Tourism”. The Principal of the college Prof. Ranjeet Singh Jamwal, formally welcomed the eminent panellists Mr Deepak Kumar from Environment, Policy and Planning, UNDP, India, Dr Nilanjana Ghosh from AIIMS, Guwahati, Assam and Dr Joystu Dutta, from Sant Gahira Guru University, Sarguja, Chattisgarh and appreciated the efforts of the Department of Environmental Sciences of introducing the students to such illustrious experts. He told the students to get maximum knowledge and interaction with them to get conscious awareness about the sustainability of Mountains and their upkeep / well being. He encouraged the faculty of the department to keep on organizing such interactions. He also highlighted the significance of sustainable mountains as a tourist destination.
In her panel address, Dr Ghosh highlighted that there is an interconnection between responsible mountain tourism and health. While focussing on pandemic times, she emphasized the need to strengthen community-based initiatives and form quality circles with peer support groups to create awareness and sensitization on the relevant topic. The second panellist, Mr Deepak Kumar, focused on investing more in tourism infrastructure in 12 states of the Indian Himalayan Region. He urged the Himalayan states to work on disaster risk reductions and pollution control through his address. Visitors control, tourist traffic management, crisis management, waste management, natural resource and environmental management, standard quality mechanism, tourism enterprise, gender and marketing while creating brands for sustainable mountain tourism. The third panellist, Dr Joystu Dutta, said that as per SDG-15 of the 2030 Agenda of the UN, there is a need to protect mountain tourism for inclusive and holistic development of marginal communities living in the mountainous regions in India and across the world.
Furthermore, the socio-economic growth of these communities can only happen when we provide long term relationships between nature and people in a more trustworthy manner. In this sense creating awareness among the general public about mountains for sustainable tourism should be the priority of all the governmental and non-governmental agencies. On occasion were present many other dignitaries, including Prof. Archana Kaul, Environmentalist Mr Moharana Choudhury from VoE, Prof. Rajni Bala, faculty members and students of various colleges. Dr Deepak Pathania (Head Department of Environmental Sciences and convener of the event) presented a formal vote of thanks. Dr Anu Sharma coordinated the whole event.