Task Force 3: Forest Resources and Plant Diversity

Title: Forest Resources and Plant Diversity


The Himalaya is one of the biodiversity hotspots, and supports representative, natural, unique socio-economically important biodiversity components. Although, a vast range of scientific information is available on various aspects of forest resources and plant diversity, yet an appropriate and effective monitoring system is not available for the same covering various biogeographical zones/provinces. 

This task force intends to develop approaches for actions for developing a strong and commonly acceptable and widely applicable monitoring system for the Indian Himalaya. 


About the Task Force

Forest Resources and Plant Biodiversity underlines intense vulnerability of Himalayan ecosystem towards both anthropogenic and environmental perturbations. This includes, shift in some plant communities towards higher altitude, shrinkage in habitat of alpine species, change in phenological cycle, spatial and temporal disturbance in the pollinators, altered regeneration potential of forests and overall impact on the plant productivity at communities and species level.

However, the poor availability of systematic long term datasets on the forest resources and plant diversity from this region is severely limiting factor to objectively define the intensity of impacts and develop mitigation and adaptation strategies against the emerging reality of climate change. Task force 3 has been developed to cover three major aspects of mission approach:

  • Enhanced monitoring by way of establishment of observational and monitoring network,
  • Promoting community based management, and
  • Strengthening regional cooperation.

Therefore, implementation of project will contribute in achieving the broad goals of the mission (NMSHE) to evolve management measures for sustaining and safeguarding the Himalayan ecosystem.



  • Development of coherent database for forest resources and plant diversity of Indian Himalayan Region.
  • Establishment of effective monitoring system for forests resources and plant diversity in relation to changing climate. 
  • Validation of Climate Model Projections with reference to forest resources and plant diversity in Indian Himalayan Region.
  • Sensitization and capacity building of inhabitants towards climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Major Achievements (the progress made)

  • Effective networking with partners from GBPIHED regional Units for development of a strategy for pan Himalaya coverage.
  • Two sites have been identified; one is for intensive long term monitoring in Kali river basin in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand (Western Himalaya) and second as an extensive inventorization site is Bhagirathi basin in Uttarakashi district (Central Himalaya). Infrastructural needs identified/planned for establishment of field bases.
  • An Eddy Covariance system with meteorological sensors has been established for long term measurement of CO2/H2O flux with climatic parameters from  a predominantly Oak dominated forest (1673 m asl) at Gangolihat (29039.35' N and 80002.87' E) of Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand.
  • Establishment of two representative Long Term Ecological Monitoring (LTEM) sites at Gunji (30011’ 29.05 N and 80050’ 58.66 E) and Kutti (30018.36' N and 80045.528' E) for forest vegetation change prediction in the Byans valley of Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand (Trans Himalaya).
  • Establishment of eight representative Long-Term Observation Sites (LTOS) in Alpines in Trans Himalaya (Byans Valley) and Greater Himalaya (Chaudans Valley) in collaboration with Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation Development Initiative (KSLCDI) to understand variations in trends of the Climate Change impacts on vegetation across the region.
  • Vegetation sampling was done for LTEM sites and also along an altitudinal gradient (2000-4600 m asl) in the Byans valley of Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand (Trans Himalaya).
  • Soil loggers have been setup in all the LTEM sites for long term soil temperature data and soil sampling also done from all the sites for detail soil analysis.
  • Training module for Van Panchyat forest is finalized and identification of stockholder capacity building is done . The capacity building training programmes proposed in the month of February- March 2016.
  • Submitted a report under Forest Resource and Plant Biodiversity components for inclusion in first Himalayan Health Status Report to be prepared by DST, Delhi.


Coordinating Institute

GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED), Kosi-Katarmal, Almora


Collaborating Institutes

  • GBPIHED at Kosi-Katarmal, Almora
  • GBPIHED Regional Units located at:
  • Kullu (Himachal Pradesh)
  • Srinagar-Garhwal (Uttarakhand)
  • Pangthang (Sikkim) and
  • Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh)



Task Force Coordinators

Dr P.P. Dhyani 
G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment &  Development
Kosi-Katarmal- 263 643, Almora, Uttarakhand
Phone: 05962-241015; Fax: 241014 
email: psdir@gbpihed.nic.in
Dr S.K. Nandi
Scientist ‘G’ & Group Head BCM & BTA
G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development
Kosi-Katarmal 263 643, Almora, Uttarakhand
Phone : 05962-241041; Fax: 241015,241150  
e-mail: shyamal_nandi@rediffmail.com