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Regional Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ Forum 2019

Sikkim Chapter

Launched in the year 2007, Balipara Foundation focuses on creating community-based conservation models, with the framework of Rural Futures & Naturenomics™. Understanding the need for exploring the ingredients of success in conservation and sustainable livelihoods, Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ Forum was launched in 2013 to find solutions leading to important lessons for the communities and others, at all levels, from local to global. Starting the dialogue with Asian Elephant Conservation to exploring the crucial role of rural communities in the Eastern Himalayas and supporting rural economies and livelihoods, six years (2013-2018) of Eastern Himalayan Naurenomics™ Forum has led to participation from over 20+ countries, 2000+ distinguished speakers and participants from multi-disciplinary fields and recognized 80+ Balipara Foundation Social Recognition Awardees.


Successful deliberations with community members, leaders and experts from various disciplines around the world has underscored the need to broaden the scope and directing us that the storyline starts from the grassroots, there is a rich story within each community and that their direct impact will lead towards a sustainable Rural Futures. Taking this forward, we are pleased to present the first ever Regional Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ Forum to understand conservation stories, give exposure to the community heroes and identify the most pressing needs and solutions for the challenges faced by the communities and use those outcomes as a launch pad to start discussing possible solutions.

In the process, effect lasting change through the empowerment of rural communities in the Eastern Himalayas, as a model for global development finding solutions to social, economic and conservation challenges faced by communities, the impacts will be immeasurable thereby, leading to development of Rural Futures and building implementation plans.


Indigenous of Sikkim and primeval race as old as the Himalayas, the Lepcha community is rich in its culture and tradition and has been largely concentrated in Dzongu in Sikkim. Amidst the idyllic backdrop of Mount Kenchenjungha, this tribe has managed to create a perfect harmony with nature. However, with changing times, the mountain community of Sikkim are said to be vanishing and so are their stories and traditions. The notion of the vanishing of Lepcha culture or even of the entire Lepcha tribe is expressed by every member of Lepcha society: urban and rural. For all of them losing Lepcha culture has become an integral part of describing Lepcha culture. The community members are taking matters into their own hands and have been crafting way forward that has meant a sustainable growth of the community today .To shed light on the uphill journey of the Lepcha community and explore its path towards social – economic – environmental impact leading a way forward for the Rural Futures, the Regional Forum will focus on -

  • Understanding history, tradition and beliefs of the Lepcha Community

  • Build an action-based communication platform for stakeholders and community representatives of Lepcha Community

  • Create awareness about the community and derive target oriented future course of action

  • Community Conservation Stories

  • Identify and recognize exceptional contribution towards the Lepcha Community

Highlights of the Forum:

  • 9:45 am: Registration

  • 10:00 am -10:15 am: Introduction to Balipara Foundation, Rural Future and Eastern Himalayan NaturenomicsTM Forum
    Speakers: Ms Karishma Ahmed and Mr Saurav Malhotra

  • 10:15 am -11:00 am: An insight into the lives of Lepcha Community: history, tradition, folk lore, connection with nature, challenges and threats
    Speakers: Ms Dawa Lepcha, Film Maker- Activist- Social Worker
                      Mr Tseten Lepcha, Activist
    Moderator: Dr. Sandhya Thapa, HOD, Sociology Depratment, Sikkim University

  • 11:00 am -12:00 pm: Cross Vertical Engagement for the Lepcha Community
    Dr. Sunayana Sarkar, Assistant Professor (Structural Geology and Geotectonics) -Musician
    Ms Minket Lepcha, Film Maker
    Mr Anindya Mukherjee,
    Mr. Joshep Lepcha, President, Press Club of Sikkim
    Dr. Satyadeep S Chhetri, HoD, Deptt of Chemistry, NBBDC, Tadong 

  • 12:00 pm -12:55 pm: Film Screening: Voice of Teesta and Audience interaction with Director Ms Minket Lepcha

  • 12:55 pm - 1:05 pm: Closing Note by Mr Prabir Banerjea, Co Founder and Managing Member, Balipara Foundation

(Refreshment Service)

Who will Attend:

  • Community leader and representatives from the Lepcha Community

  • NGOs working with the local communities

  • NGOs working on relevant issues

  • Government officials from Department of Cultural Affairs and Heritage, Forest Environment & Wildlife Dept, Tourism Dept, Rural Management & Development Dept etc.

  • PSU representatives

  • Academicians

  • Media

  • Students of sociology, history, development studies etc.

Nature Video Highlight

BFA 2018 Cultural performance by Tezpuriya Thespian
BFA 2018 Cultural performance by Tezpuriya Thespian
BFA2018: Cross-Country Preservation of the Eastern Himalayan Awardee- Three Generation Boatmen
BFA2018: Cross-Country Preservation of the Eastern Himalayan Awardee- Three Generation Boatmen
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BFA 2018: Special Awardee Eastern Himalayan Sports Development Awardee-High Altitude Training Centre
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