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Bio-Geo Database & Ecological Modeling For Himalayas 

Realising the strategic importance of the fragile Himalayan eco-system and the need to develop spatial methodologies for the conservation of its natural environment, the coordinated programme on “Bio-Geo Database & Ecological Modeling for Himalayas” has been initiated by NRDMS division of the Department of Science & Technology. The aim of this programme is to assess the potentiality of various sectors of natural resources for selected micro-watersheds in project mode and thereafter building up of application oriented scenarios for the decision makers. 

Objectives of the Programme 
1. Development of micro scale resource databases at watershed level along the altitudinal transects of Himalayan eco-system appropriate for the district level planning.
2. Formulation of a Database Management System and decision support systems using GIS and modelling tools to facilitate preparation of sustainable developmental plans.
3. Dissemination of the information/application strategies to the user community through appropriate reports, training Programmes etc.

Approach For Implementation
A holistic multi-institutional scientific approach wherein multi-disciplinary research studies with special reference to natural resources and bio-diversity will be taken up in the coordinated manner covering the following sectors uniformly for the identified watersheds in the Himalayan eco-systems;

Land (soil & land use)
* Water (surface & ground)
* Biological diversity (plants, agriculture, horticulture & fauna)
* Agro & Socio-economic aspects
* Data Integration & capacity building
* Ecological Modeling & Analysis

Expected Outcomes
(i) Integrated database of natural resources at the micro-watershed level (eg. 1:12,500 scale).
(ii) Decision Support System tools for sectors like hydrology, ecology,land use, energy and agro-socio economy.
(iii) Sustainable developmental plans and alternate scenarios generation for land resources, water resources,biological resources and socio-economy.
(iv) Technology Transfer and Capacity Building for the users' community Location of Study Area

Currently, the coordinated programme has been initiated for the States of Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal (Garhwal & Kumaon transects). Representative micro-watersheds (size between 500-5000 ha) covering lower, middle and higher Himalayan altitudinal transects as identified are:

For Himachal Pradesh:
(i) MeGad Watershed in Lahaul & Spiti district.
(ii) Mandhala Watershed in Solan district.
(iii) Moolbery Watershed in Shimla district.

For Kumaun Region:
(i) Dabaka in district Nainital.
(ii) Dhulgarh -Uttari Kosi in district Almora.
(iii) Saryu in district Bageshwar.

For Garhwal Region:
(i) Pathri Rao in district Haridwar.
(ii) Fakot in district Tehri. 
(iii) Gomukh in district Uttarkashi. 
This document describes draft Bio-Geo Standards as developed under DST's program. Experts are requested to give the suggestions (If any) for its betterment before April 2005 to enable us to finalize the same

Principal Investigators of DST's Bio-Geo Database programme from H.P.
UPRSAC, IIRS and Department of Science &Technology
New Delhi. March 2005


The Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India is piloting a multi-disciplinary multi-institutional programme, Natural Resources Data Management System (NRDMS). The focus under the programme is the development and demonstration of methodologies/technologies for spatial databases and their use in decision support systems required for the management of natural resources by the decision makers. The emphasis is to provide location specific solutions at the scale required for local level planning, i.e. districts and below.

Realising the urgent need to develop a scientific methodology for the fragile Himalayan eco-system , NRDMS Division has launched a programme On "Bio-Geo Database And Ecological Modeling For Himalayas" .The main objectives of the programme are to develop a bio-geo database in different transects of the Himalayas (currently in Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal transects) and to develop decision support systems for the integrated and sustainable development of this biodiversity rich region. A research team comprising of scientists from the leading National and state level institutions/academia are implementing this programme with the DST's support.

While implementing the programme, it was felt that there are no nationally accepted standards in respect to the flora, fauna and crops. In order to deleberate on the issues related to the codification of biological data to meet the georeferenced linkages establishment and processing for decision making, a one day National Brain Storming Workshop on 'STANDARADISATION OF BIOLOGICAL DATABASES' was organized on 8th May 2004 at India International Centre (IIC), Lodhi Road, New Delhi. The ultimate aim of this was to develop an nationally accepted protocol for biological data codification system. Relevant departments, few eminent experts and scientists in this field participated in this event. One of the main recommendation was to formulate the draft biological standards which would become a part of the NSDI framework.

As the follow-up, the research team (list of collaborating institutions annexed) working for the Bio-Geo programme has prepared the standards (both in terms of vertically upscaling the existing NRIS codes from 1: 50,000 to 1:12,500 for landuse and introducing the biological codes for flora,fauna and microbial diversity. This exercise has been done from the actual field data(1:12500 scale) collected by the research groups from the three microwatersheds viz. Megad, Moolbery and Mandhala representing higher, middle & lower altitudinal transects in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The draft version 1 of these standards are as under.