Changthang is home to diverse flora and fauna. It is also home to several wetlands and wildlife sanctuaries. Five out of six primary wetlands of Ladakh are in Changthang. These are Tsomoriri, Tsokar, Pangong Lake, Anley and Chushul. Most of these are listed in the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. Arnebia Euchroma used in Sowa Rigpa/Ayush, Euphrasia Officinalis used to treat conjunctivitis, Meconopsis Aculeata used against ulcers, disorders of spinal cord, are some of the many medicinal plants found in the mountains of Changthang.
However, considering the present trends of tourism in Changthang, there is an urgent need for the conservation of indigenous resources and attention to the environmental consequences of unplanned development. Thus, involvement of the local community is imperative for developing sustainable tourism in Changthang.
We aim to work closely with researchers and policymakers to set-up community based models of governance and learning to lead efforts in the protection of the indigenous flora and fauna.
Starting with education and empowerment to create active engagement- we envision that over a period of time we shall eventually serve as a bridge between the local community and policymakers as well as researchers to encourage dialogues about its inherent value in terms of ecosystem diversity as well as to ensure the local community serves as guardians of the environment in the coming years.