As a part of the learning journey for Cohort 14 & 15 associates, LEAD India completed its 2nd National Training Session of its ongoing flagship Cohort Program in Leh, Ladakh during 16-23 September.
Under the overall theme titled ‘Climate Change: Moving towards a Low Carbon Economy’ – this session focused on the community Dimension of developing a low carbon pathway. The week long session was organized in collaboration with the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) – the apex legislative body in Ladakh.
Along with LAHDC, NTS drew participation from globally recognized leaders like Mr Chewang Norphel, Mr Sonam Wangchuk and also that of organizations like WWF, LEREDA, SECMOL apart from local organizations in Ladakh. Relevant themes related to Energy, Biodiversity Conservation in Changing Climatic scenario, Green Buildings, Dealing with fragile ecosystems, Artificial glaciers et al were covered in the session.
A real life field challenge was designed with the Wild Life Department where Cohort associates where required to develop a management plan for “Sustainable Economic development around Pangong lake by enhancing tourism potential with increased community engagement”
The challenge sought specific recommendations for integrating local communities of 3 villages along the famous Pangong Lake where tourism has seen a boom after the release of popular Hindi Film ‘The Three Idiots’. Currently tourism is un-regulated and disorganized in this area – where major benefits are earned by private tour operators from Leh and Delhi leaving the acutely poverty stricken community on the fringe.
The Cohort thus studied various dimensions of the challenge and presented guiding principles and recommendations for a low carbon tourism plan mainstreaming it as a community based enterprise.
The LAHDC found some of the recommendations innovative and useful and declared the work as a base document to develop a portfolio of interventions with budgetary allocations of the next finance. Associates appreciated the learning experience – quoting it as a “rarest of rare and life time memorable” opportunity.
LAHDC has requested LEAD to extent continued support building capacities of Human Resource within different Government departments.
Our special thanks to our Fellows (Ms Deepshikha Deka (for facilitation), Mr Kapil Mohan, Mr Sudip Mitra, Mr Vinayak Rao, Mr Deepak Apte} for their valuable contribution in designing the module and connecting us to ‘not to easy to access’ people and institutions.