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"Let us not be a stump"

November 23, 2017
Khalijar, Near Phoktey Dara, Chewabhanjyang Pass(Hill top), Singalila Range, Uttarey, West Sikkim, India & Nepal Border.
Revealing the past mysteries, present condition and warning about the future, dead silver fir (Abies densa) stump stands at 3449 m above mean sea level in a place called Kalijhar, near Phoktey Dara (Hill top), Singalila Range, Uttarey, West Sikkim, India, at 27°14'59.85"N, 88° 2'11.86"E.
Mount Khangchendzonga, part of Hindu Kush Himalaya, at the background of the photo is the third highest peak in the world with 8586 m elevation and shares the political area of India and Nepal. Its breathtaking beauty attracts people from all over the world which provides a source of income for local people as a tourism business. The tourism business is serving as the alternate livelihood option for local people and also an adaptation measure of climate change. Kanchendzonga National Park, nestled within the Mt. Kanchendzonga has been recently declared as a World Heritage Site in Mixed category by UNESCO for its rich biodiversity and agro-biodiversity, cultural diversity.
This photo reveals the story of human greed and warns the mankind to be compassionate towards nature. Although under the watch of the mighty Khangchendzonga (background), yet the place has been devoured for the human need. Deforestation, Forest fire, Excessive grazing in the past and collection of fuelwood by both local people and Defence personnel has lead to imbalance in the process of the nature leading to the change in climatic pattern of the region. Disappearing springs, scarcity of water for domestic use, decreasing water level of Rangeet River, repeated flash floods, encroachment of the forest by the invasive species, loss of local floras and faunas, reduction in total amount of precipitation (snowfall and rainfall), early flowering of local tree species specially Rhododendron are the resultant effect of the change in climate of the region. These not only have affected the local setup up but also have larger effects like flooding of adjoining plain areas like North Bengal and Bangladesh. Flash floods and runoff has increased due to the loss of vegetation which has lead to the increase in the volume of water feeding river Rangeet and ultimately flooding the plain areas during monsoon.
Though climate change is a larger and long-term phenomenon, it has started revealing even in the small pockets in the remotes of the Himalayas.