Lessons from Joshimath: the need for a Himalayan development model

The fragility of the Himalayan ecosystem was recently highlighted by incidents of land sinking in Joshimath, a small hill town in India’s Uttarakhand. This crisis has generated intense debate on aspects of development and environmental sustainability in the region, including the exploitation of Himalayan natural wealth and the strain placed on the vulnerable area by the tourism industry. This brief argues that the Himalayan region needs a cogent developmental effort that considers its unique ecosystem and minimises the conflict between humans and nature.