Sonam Tashi Gyaltsen
The Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) consists of 11 Indian Himalayan states with the hill district of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, which comprises almost 40 % of the Indian Union. The Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) and its ecosystems are of critical global significance. 76 per cent of India’s hill districts fall within the IHR States.
The entire geographical area of these states is mountainous, and the average forest cover is 65 per cent. This region is inhabited by a large population of over 65.57 million constituting more than 172 of the total 573 Scheduled Tribes of India who depend on agriculture and its allied services as their primary sources of livelihood. Agriculture, for the mountain communities, is not just a means of livelihood but rather a way of life where a number of cultural practices revolve around it.
80% of the states in the IHR shares international borders through various important trade passes with the worlds largest economy China and South East Asia.