The global economy is interconnected, the ecological and financial crisis in one country affects markets not just in another but all around the world. Today the world is more intertwined than it was ever before and requires joint and coordinated action at all levels unseen before this pandemic. The road to recovery with commitment to collaborate and circularity will open the window for dotting the plans and steps in enhancing Ecology in Economy. 

But to get there, we must make a path from reality (the broken world) to the horizon (the vast potential of our immense natural capital and a post-scarcity natural capital economy). The decision to move to a sensible and sustainable development course of action for the future needs to come now, as the next 10-20 years will be absolutely decisive in terms of climate action and mitigating the degradation to the environment worldwide, having reduced the natural capital by about 40% in the last 25 years alone. 

To stabilise temperatures and concentration of greenhouse gases globally towards achieving a balance of net zero by 2050, big interactive systems associated with emissions such as industries and use of energy, transport, land, the management and contributions of populations and awareness of different sectors play a very big role. In the Eastern Himalayan region consisting of a big bulk of small-holders, management of land and forests is very important as the consequences of emissions can cause instability in hills and mountains of the region leading to various ecological disasters and loss of biodiversity. 

The management of the Eastern Himalayas is critical as it is at the ecological nerve-centre. Partnerships and collaborations are therefore critical. Industries and businesses need to collaborate with NGOs, knowledge resource centres, civil society, and assess the impact on the people and the planet, and be mindful of the ecosystem in which they operate. Community and business leaders need to innovate in order to operate under a code of ethical practices and pledges to conserve and assess the profitability of use of natural resources and its management. Restoring our natural capital must be a holistic, collaborative process bringing together perspectives across the disciplines to visualize a sustainable future. Only dialogue across disciplines, sectors and demographics can help us learn from each other and drive the large-scale action needed to effect landscape change. 

The Eastern Himalayan region consists of complex natural assets that spread across borders – rivers, mountain ecosystems, forests and more. Over the past few years, for example, flooding in Bangladesh and the increasing salinity of the mangroves of the Sundarbans has been linked to shifts and failures in river management upstream in India. Natural asset diplomacy is urgently needed, for the region to collaboratively manage these natural assets, ensuring their health and minimizing harm to communities impacted by changes to these natural assets. Coordination is needed at a policy and diplomatic level to achieve this collaboration, as well as knowledge sharing through indigenous collaborations – in a region as ethnically diverse, encouraging knowledge sharing and learning across ethnic lines could not only help develop stronger and responsive strategies for natural asset management, but also nurture tools for further cooperation and reconciliation

The Opportunity

By 2030, the Eastern Himalayan region can create 3million jobs through rewilding and agroforestry across over 6 million hectares of land, if governments and business drive investments away from the destruction of nature towards its regeneration

Collaborations and investing $4.2 billion in creating over 6 billion natural assets of the Eastern Himalayas will create over $91.6 billion in natural capital over the next three decades, supporting the indigenous and forest-fringe communities