Measuring the Paradigm Shift in Ecological Services in the Mountainous Urban and Peri-Urban Systems of the Himalaya

. Diksha, Amit Kumar

Abstract


In the present study, an attempt has been made to understand the dynamics in ecological demand and supply in the mountainous urban systems of Himalayas using spatial approach during the three decades. The study discusses the spatio-temporal dynamics of urban ecological services (UES) by investigating the pattern of demand and supply patches in the major mountainous urban systems of the Himalayas during the period of 1991-2018. The demand patch (135 %) in the mountainous urban systems of the Himalayas has increased significantly in contrast to a serious decline in the supply patch (-24 %) over the last three decades (1991-2018). The city-scale comparative study indicated Srinagar (80.37 km2) and Kathmandu (51.82) exhibited higher growth in the demand patch in contrast to Gangtok (3.52 km2), which observed comparatively lower growth for the same. On the contrary, the supply patches observed higher depletion in Srinagar (-68.03 km2) and Kathmandu (-54.66 km2) while lower in Gangtok (3.52 km2). However, the intensity of rate of change of demand patch was higher in Srinagar (181.69 %), Shimla (163.04 %) and Itanagar (153.75 %), and comparatively lower in Gangtok (71.84 %) whereas the intensity of the same for supply patch was in higher in Kathmandu (-57.48 %), and lower in Shimla (-12.26 %) and Gangtok (-7.66 %). Significant changes in ecological services, particularly in cities such as Srinagar and Kathmandu, lead to a loss of heterogeneity and wellbeing in urban ecosystems. The cities in Himalayan valleys (Srinagar, Dehradun and Kathmandu) exhibited severe decline in the supply patch and significant rise of demand patch in especially the peri-urban areas followed by the saturation of urban regions. Also, the city on ridges (Shimla, Gangtok and Thimphu) showed moderate growth of demand patch in the urban regions and insignificant growth in the peri-urban regions. As a result, the supply patch exhibited lower depletion in both urban and peri-urban regions.  For a robust and sustainable urban system in the Himalayas, the study highlights the implementation of contingent policies combined with resilience methods, particularly in urban and peri-urban areas.


Keywords


Urban ecological services, Demand-Supply patches, Peri-urban regions, Himalayan urban system, Remote Sensing

References


Anbalagan, R. 1993. Environmental Hazards of Unplanned Urbanization of Mountainous Terrains: A Case Study of a Himalayan Town. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology, 26, 179–184.

Bolund, P. and Hunhammar, S. 1999. Ecosystem services in urban areas. Ecological Economics, 29, 293–301.

Costanza, R.J., Groot, R.A., de Farberll, R., Grassot, S., Hannon, M., Belt, B., et al. 1997. Value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature, 387, 253–260.

Chaudhari, S. and Kumar, A. (2020). Evaluating the contribution of urban ecosystem services in regulating thermal comfort. Spatial Information Research, 2366-3286.

Diksha and Kumar, A. 2017. Analyzing urban sprawl and land consumption patterns in major capital cities in the Himalayan region using geoinformatics. Applied Geography, 89, 112-123.

Fisher, B., Costanza, R., Turner, R.K. and Morling, P. 2007. Defining and classifying ecosystem services for decision making, CSERGE Working Paper EDM, No. 07-04, University of East Anglia, The Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE), Norwich.

Folke, C., Jansson, A., Larsson, J. and Costanza, R. 1997. Ecosystem by cities appropriation. Ambio, 26(3), 167–172.

Gill, D. and Bonnett, P. 1973. Nature in the urban landscape: a study of city ecosystems. York Press, Baltimore.

Gupta, A.K., Singh, S., Agarwal, M., Nivedita, M. and Wajih, S.A. 2021. Peri-urban Ecosystems and Urban Resilience: Training Modules, Instructions and Reference Materials. Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group, Gorakhpur (U.P.) India, Climate Development and Knowledge Network, Cape Town, South Africa.

Gupta, A.K., Singh, S., Katyal, S., Chopde, S., Wajih, S.A. and Kumar, A. 2016. Training Manual on Climate Resilient and Disaster Safe Development - Process Framework, NIDM New Delhi (India), GEAG Gorakhpur (UP, India) and ISET, Colorado (USA), supported by CDKN, UK.

Haigh, M. 2002. Headwater Control: Integrating Land and Livelihoods. In: International Conference on Sustainable Development of Headwater Resources. Nairobi: United Nation’s International University.

Huddleston, B., Ataman, E. and d’Ostiani, L. 2003. Towards a GIS-based Analysis of Mountain Environments and Populations. Environment and Natural Resources. Rome: Working Paper, No. 10, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Jiao, M., Hu, M. and Xia, B. 2019. Spatiotemporal dynamic simulation of land-use and landscape-pattern in the Pearl River Delta, China. Sustainable Cities and Society, 49, 101581

Kumar, A. 2016. Urban Footprints on Environment: A Geoinformatics Approach. In: Guar, M.K., Pandey, C.B. and Goyal, R.K. (Eds.), Remote Sensing for Natural Resources Management & Monitoring. Scientific Publishers, India. PP: 339-348, ISBN: 978-93-86102-72-0.

Kumar, A., Diksha, Pandey, A.C. and Khan, M.L. 2020. Urban Risk and Resilience to Climate Change and Natural Hazards: A Perspective from a Million‐Plus Cities from the Indian Subcontinent. In: Srivastava, P.K., Singh, S.K., Mohanty, U.C. and Murty, T. (Eds), Advanced Techniques for Disaster Risk Management and Mitigation. American Geophysical Union: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Li, F., Liu, H.X., Huisingh, D., Wang, Y.T. and Wang, R.S. 2017. Shifting to healthier cities with improved urban ecological infrastructure: From the perspectives of planning, implementation, governance and engineering. Journal of Cleaner Production, 163, S1-S11.

Moll, G. and Petit, J. 1994. The urban ecosystem: putting nature back in the picture. Urban Forests Oct/Nov, 8–15.

Meybeck, M., Green, P. and Vörösmarty, C.J. 2001. A new typology for mountains and other relief classes: An application to global continental water resources and population distribution. Mountain Research and Development, 21(1), 34– 45.

Rebele, F. 1994. Urban ecology and special features of urban ecosystems. Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters, 4, 173–187.

Sivaramakrishnan, K.C., Kundu, A. and Singh, B.N. 2005. Handbook of Urbanization in India: An Analysis of trends and processes. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Sukopp, H. and Hejny S. (Eds.). 1990. Urban ecology. Plants and plant communities in urban environments. SPB Academic Publishing, The Hague.

Tiwari, P.C. 2000. Land Use Changes in Himalaya and their Impact on the Plains Ecosystem: Need for Sustainable Land Use. Land Use Policy, 1, 101–111.

Tiwari, P., Tiwari, A., and Joshi, B. 2018. Urban Growth in the Himalayas: Understanding the Process and Options for Sustainable Development. Journal of urban

and regional studies on contemporary India, 4(2), 15–27.

Tripathy, P. and Kumar, A. 2019. Monitoring and modelling spatio-temporal urban growth of Delhi using Cellular Automata and geoinformatics. Cities, 90, 52–63.

United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). 2002. Mountain Watch: Environmental Change and Sustainable Development in Mountains. Nairobi: UNEP.

United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (UNPD). 2018. World Urbanization Prospects: The 2018 Revision (ST/ESA/SER.A/420). New York: United Nations.


Full Text: PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

COPYRIGHT of this Journal vests fully with the National Instional Institute of Ecology. Any commercial use of the content on this site in any form is legally prohibited.