Environmental Planning for Sustainable Development of Hill Areas
When we think of development planning in hilly and mountainous areas we are faced with a host of difficult problems. This is manifest in the increasing realization that development in the hills has to be ecologically sound. But it appears that the whole approach to it still constitutes to remain a lot technocratic. There is, therefore, need for looking at development from the point of view of the people, the way it affects their lives and livelihood conditions rather than the way the technocrat or the ‘expert’ would like it to be. The differences in outlook between the development experts and the people is typical of conflicts that underline many environmental issues. While the dilemma persists, lack of a clear understanding of the Issues involved and articulation of the strategy of sustainable development seems tobe constraining thelaunching of organised developmental initiatives by public agencies, voluntary organisations and environmental action groups synthesising the imperative of eco-development with socio-economic upliftment of the people. The study presented in this volume is a modest attempt to bridge this gap between environmental consciousness and formulation of policies and action programmes at the local level. The main thrust of the strategy outlined in this study is on integrating the approach of achieving self-sufficiency in basic needs with that of spatial specialisation for surplus generation and meeting higher needs of the local communities. This is sought to be accomplished by undertaking environmentally conducive and ecologically sustainable programmes of eco-development, crop husbandry, sideline activities, water resources development, agro-progressing and provision of socioeconomic facilityand infrastructure.
Dr. B.P. Maithani (b. 1944) is the Director, North Eastern Regional Centre of the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD). Earlier he has worked as Dy. Director, Integrated Area Planning in NIRD, Hyderabad, Lecturer in Geography at Govt. Post-Graduate College, Pithoragarh and Head of Geography Department of Govt. Degree College, Berinag (University of Kumaun), Uttar Pradesh. He was also associated with the Pilot Research Project in Rural Growth Centres sponsored jointly by Govt. of India and the Ford Foundation.hehas also worked with the Border Area Co-ordination Committee of the seven national level Gandhian institutions working in hill and border areas of the country now reconstituted as Himalaya Seva Sangh. Dr. Maithani has to his credit several studies on Rural Development Plannin, Project Planning and Hill Area Development. He has also contributed more than two dozen researchpapers and articles to various books, journals, magazines and daily news papers on wide range of subjects related to hill area development. He participated in the International Programme on Regional Development Planning at United Nations Centre for Regional Development, Nagoyo and studied the development of a mountain village in Japan. He has worked as Consultant to Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and Pacific (CIRDAP) and the Commonwealth Secretariat. He has visited the People’s Republic of China, United States of America, Bangladesh and Kenya as UNDP/USAID Fellow and Consultant. He is member of International Mountain Society, Colorado, Boulder, USA and Himalaya Seva Sangh, New Delhi.
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