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Type: Journal article
Title: Dancing on the roof of the world: ecological transformation of the Himalayan landscape
Author: Pandit, M.
Manish, K.
Koh, L.
Citation: BioScience, 2014; 64(11):980-992
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 0006-3568
Statement of
Maharaj K. Pandit, Kumar Manish and Lian Pin Koh
Abstract: That the Himalaya contain the basins of major rivers, regulate regional climate, and harbor rich biodiversity and varied ecosystems is well known. The perennial waters and biodiversity are closely linked to the livelihoods of over a billion people. The Himalaya are stressed because of a burgeoning human population and the escalating pressures of deforestation; urbanization; hunting; overexploitation of forests; and, more recently, intensive dam building. The cumulative effects of these forces have led to biotic extinctions and an increased frequency of hazards threatening human lives, livelihoods, and property. However, there is largely no comprehensive account of these challenges facing the Himalaya. We review and discuss the importance of the Himalaya and the need for their conservation by exploring four broad themes: (1) geobiological history, (2) present-day biodiversity, (3) why the Himalaya are worth protecting, and (4) drivers of the Himalayan change. We suggest scientific policy interventions, a strengthening of institutions, and proactive institutional networking to reverse the trend.
Keywords: Biodiversity loss; climate change; dams; Himalaya; institutional networking
Rights: © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved.
RMID: 0030019873
DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biu152
Appears in Collections:Ecology, Evolution and Landscape Science publications

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