“The extended Himalayan region is one of the world’s most important ecosystems. It provides the livelihoods of more than 210 million people. The region is the upper catchment area of large river systems, which supply water to nearly one fifth of the global population. The region’s ecosystems play an essential role in water storage and conservation of biodiversity. Climate change and increased pressure on usage contribute to the degradation of sensitive mountain ecosystems, particularly in the high mountains of the Himalayas. Parts of the region are still characterized by extreme poverty. Many areas are difficult to access and cut off from markets due to disputed borders, geopolitical conflicts and lack of infrastructure. Labour migration (mainly by men), rapid social transformation, climate change and increased pressure on usage of already degraded resources exacerbate the socio-economic situation.
This particularly affects women in the region, who are often responsible for working with natural resources due to traditional and socio-cultural structures. Despite this responsibility, they are rarely involved in decisions about their distribution, usage and conservation….”
(Picture Source: Birgit Baier)