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National Mission on Himalayan Studies

Implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC)
Nodal and Serving hub with G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment & Sustainable Development

Project Title:

Timberline and Altitudinal Gradient Ecology of Himalayas, and Human Use Sustenance in


Warming Climate

1. Project Details
Sanction Date: 31-03-2016
Project Category LG
Year 2015-2016
Project Duration 3 Years
BTA : Biodiversity Conservation and Management
Project Site/ State/ Districts/ Villages Covered:

Site I: Areas in the North of the Himalayas (NMHR)

Site II: Areas in the South of MHR (SMHR)

Site III: The third one is monsoonal with moist pre-monsoon, generally above 2000mm, eastern Himalayas, and for this project a Sikkim site is its representative.

Organization/ Implementation Agency: Central Himalayan Environment Association (CHEA), Nainital, Uttarakhand
Project Partners: S.No. Name Roles & Responsibilities
Department of Botany, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, J&K Plant diversity along the three principal elevation transects; Community structure/ regeneration and seedling age structure/endemism; tree diameter changes; Anthropogenic/Natural disturbance on trees due to Storm/snow/fire; Invasive & alien species
Department of Forestry & Environmental Science, Kumaun University, Nainital, Uttarakhand Soil & tree water potential, Leaf conductance and photosynthesis rate; seed maturity indices and seedling dynamics in timberline
Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Chandrabani, Dehradun, Uttarakhand Influence of micro-climatic variations on herbaceous plant communities through snow removal experiment; grazing; selected structural and functional characteristics of Alpine meadows
4. GBPIHED, Kosi-Katarmal, Almora, Uttarakhand

Collection & analysis of data on temperature lapse rate, precipitation and its components along elevational transects in IHR Plant diversity along two altitudinal transects-Uttarakhand & Sikkim Phenology of important timberline trees N-resorption & nutrient conservation strategy Mapping and a larger picture of Himalayan timberline based on ground truthing; trends of changes.

5. Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany Tree ring studies of selected timberline species (Abies pindrow , Birch, Oak and Krummholz sp. Rhododendron sp.) across IHR to relate past climate variability and tree ring growth; Palyonological studies of surface soil
Lead Proponent: Prof. S.P. Singh
Central Himalayan Environment Association (CHEA)
Project Brief Description: Understanding environmental changes associated with the high-altitude limit of forests called as timberline has become critical importance because of its high sensitivity to temperature changes and human uses. It is often used as an indicator of climate change. This project therefore involves multidisciplinary activities such as research work (i.e. multi-site study, cross-learning of indigenous practices of timberline use, management by the local communities, etc.) as well as other interventions(i.e.timberline ecotone, measurements of climate and environmental parameters at the three principal sites (J&K, Uttarakhand, Sikkim), field experiments, training to local people, etc.). Furthermore, long-term vision of the project is (i) developing an ecological understanding of Himalayan timberline, its societal implications and management in a warming climate, (ii) building a natural /human capital and culture of research team of young scientists for continuing work on the multi-disciplinary aspects on Himalayan ecosystems.The outcomes of the project will include (i) advancement in interdisciplinary team research, (ii) contribution to vegetation science and tree-soil water relations of timberline, (iii) improved understanding of timberline ecosystem as a special conservation entity and implication to sustainable management and livelihood enhancement, (iv) improved understanding of future changes in timberline vis-a-vis climate change and human uses, (v) awareness and training material/ knowledge products for sustainable use of resources for improved livelihood and (vi) promotion of ‘Citizen Science’ through engagement of community groups. The project falls under the broad thematic group- Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity of the National Mission on Himalayan Studies(NMHS).
Beneficiaries/ Stakeholders: Researchers, Planners/ policy makers/Forest dept./Wildlife Dept./ /National and global environment agencies, Climatologists/ state & central government at regional/ national scale/local people.
Activity Chart (For 3years) Click Here

2. Financial Details
Total Grants (in Rs.) Rs. 6,41,25,200/- (Rupees Six crore forty one lakh twenty five thousand two hundred only)
1st Installment (in Rs.) : Rs.3,02,38,800/-( Rupees. Three crore two lakh thirty eight thousand eight hundred only)
2nd Installment (in Rs.) : Rs.1,59,24,078/-( Rupees. One crore fifty nine lakh twenty four thousand seventy eight only)
Expenditure (in Rs.)Upto 31.08.2018: 2.48 Cr

3. Project Objectives, Deliverables and Monitoring Indicators
Project Objectives Quantifiable Deliverables Monitoring Indicators
To characterize and map timberline zone in the IHR using satellite and ground based observations including smart phone applications Advancement in interdisciplinary team research. Monitoring in comparison to the baseline information to be provided by proponent
To determine the temperature lapse rate (TLR) and pattern of precipitation along altitudinal gradients in different precipitation regimes across the IHR Contribution to vegetation science and tree-soil water relations of timberline. No of long term monitoring sites/ plots established in 3 states (Nos.)
To study plant diversity, community structure, tree diameter changes and natural recruitment pattern along the three principal sites in the IHR Improved understanding of timberline ecosystem as a special conservation entity and implication to sustainable management and livelihood enhancement. Datasets generated (data on taxonomic diversity quantified by species richness, as well as by richness, evenness, diversity, dominance, and rarity at generic and family levels No./ sites).
To understand tree phenological responses, nutrient conservation strategies and tree-water relations in response to warming climate Improved understanding of future changes in timberline vis-a-vis climate change and human uses Publications of knowledge products (No.)
To study relationship between tree ring growth and past climatic changes in different climate regime across IHR Awareness and Training material/ knowledge products for sustainable use of resources for improved livelihood. High resolution digital maps depicting changes in timberline ( Nos. with time series)
To understand the impact of depletion of snow-melt water on growth of tree seedlings, grasslands species composition and selected functional processes Promotion of Citizen Science through engagement of community groups Climate smart conservation models developed (Nos.)
Community groups trained (Nos)
To promote participatory action research (Citizen Science) on innovative interventions to improve livelihoods, women participation in conservation and management of timberline resources. Awareness camps/ programs organized (Nos.)
Human use of timberline ecosystems and its contribution to livelihoods (Nos./ Area)






S.No. Name Qualification Designation Salary Resigned
1. Priyanka Sah M.Sc Remote Sensing & GIS JPF 16000+HRA  
2. Avantika Latwal M.Sc Remote Sensing & GIS JPF 16000+HRA  
3. Mr. Kumar Sambhav M.Sc. Mathematics JPF 16,000 pm (+10% HRA)  
4. Mr. Balam Singh Bisht B.A F.A 8,000  
5. Mr.Mohit Fulara M.Sc. Geology JPF 16,000 pm (+10% HRA)  
6. Sabzar Nanda M.Sc (NET) JPF Rs. 16000/- + HRA  
7. Nafeesa Farooq M.Sc. JPF 16,000/-+ HRA  
8. Bilal A. Lone M.Sc. JPF 16,000/-+ HRA  
9. Sunil Chandra Joshi M.Sc - Botany JPF 16000 + 10% HRA/PM  
10. Renu Rawal M.Sc - Botany JPF 16000 + 10% HRA/PM  
11. Aseesh Pandey Ph. D. Botany Research Associate 38,000.00+ 10% HRA  
12. Sandhya Rai MSc. Forestry UGC Net Qualified JPF 14,000.00+ 10% HRA  
13. Vijay Arya M.Sc - Botany JPF 16000 + 10% HRA Resigned on 31st Dec. 2016
14. Dr. Shruti Shah Ph.D. (Forestry) Research Associate 36000+ HRA  
15. Mr. Krishna K. Tamata M.Sc. (Forestry) Project Assistant 8,000  
16. Ms. Utsa Singh M.Sc in Geology JPF 16000 + 10% HRA  
17. Ms. Sayantika Banerjee M.Sc. Forestry JRF Rs. 25000+HRA per month  
18. Mr Manish Intermediate Field Assistant 6180/PM  
19. Mr. Ripu Daman Singh M.Sc. (Forestry) JPF 16000 + 10%HRA  
20. Mr. Amit Mittal M.Sc. (Forestry) JPF 16000 + 10%HRA  
S.No. Name of Equipment Use of Equipment Cost (in INR)
1. Work station Not Mentioned
2. Server   Not Mentioned
3. GPS   Not Mentioned
4. GPS embedded Telecommunicator   Not Mentioned
5. Temperature sensor   2,35,000
6. Relative Humidity Sensor (10)   2,35,000/-
7. Radiation shield and mounting (10)   1,70,000/-
8. Tipping bucket Raingauge with 5data logger (10)   10,30,000/-
9. AWS with other standard accessories (1)   11,96,293/-
8. Workstation   3,36,577/-
9. GPS   52,000/-
10. Optic USB base station with coupler   Not Mentioned/-
11. Leaf Area Meter with conveyer belt   9,86,713/-
12. Digital Balance   1,84,090/-
13. Oven   2,00,786/-
14. Soil Data Logger   3,49,156 /-
15. Equipment 2   27,000/-
16. GPS   44,426/-
17. GPS   33,205/-
18. Digital Balance   19,425/-
19. Laptop   92,500/-
20. TemperatureHumidity Data Logger (2 nos)   23,100/-
21. Luxmeter   8,925/-
22. Pressure Chamber   4,32,000/-
23. PSYPRO 8 CHANNEL   9,36,911/-
24. Diffusion Porometer   8,82,000/-
25. Digital electronic Balance   49,031/-
26. Tree ring measuring Machine   10,080 Euro/-
27. Centrifuge machine   40,000/-
28. 4 Tree ring corers   2 Lakhs/-
29. Ten (10) TIMELAPSE CAMERA   3,21,560/-
30. Two (2) Cellular transmission of photos WIRELESS CAMERA TRAP   88000/-
31. Sixteen (16) Temperature/Relative Humidity Data Logger   3,31,200/-
32. Eight (8) Soil Thermometers   1,65,600/-
33. Field gears (Sleeping bag, Rack sack, Field bags, Carry mat, Jacket, Rain suits)   17,577/-
33. Tree ring measuring Machine   10080 Euro/-
34. Digital Vernier Calliper   7,140/-
35. Digital Balance   49,030/-
36. GPS   1,02,694/-
37. Soil pH meter   33,601/-
38. SPSS software   1,64,756/-
39. Camera/CANON EOS 700 D with two lens kit   44,200/-
40. Sony Cyber nat W830/Sony Cyber nat W830   8,200/-
41. Osaksa U.V.Filter 58 mm/Osaksa U.V.Filter 58 mm   1,238/-
42. Altimeter & Swedish Bark Gauge   21,735/-
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Last Updated on: 26.03.2019