29 Dec 2012


I am Forwarding Kunzang Dolma's request. If anybody could provide her with more information on Leh Palace...Sonam

"Dear Sir, I am working on a feature about Leh Palace, and as such I hope that your organisation have got many facts about it, which were published also. 

I have been trying to fetch as many information as I can. 

But the books which I have read till date doesn't satisfy my contents, as I want to deliver more. 

I shall be obliged, if you could provide me with some resources?".

With regards

Ms Kunzang Dolma
( Reach Ladakh)

28 Dec 2012

Sustainability Perspectives of Development in Leh District (Ladakh, Indian Trans-Himalaya): an Assessment. PhD thesis - Vladimiro Pelliciardi

Sustainability Perspectives of Development in Leh District (Ladakh, Indian Trans-Himalaya): an Assessment.

A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy on Sustainable Development and International Cooperation at the CIRPS (Interuniversity Research Centre for Sustainable Development) University of Rome “Sapienza”, November 2012.
(Download at La Sapienza University web site: http://hdl.handle.net/10805/1738)

Vladimiro Pelliciardi PhD, Partner Researcher, Ecodynamics Group - University of Siena


            This thesis deals with a human inhabited territory in the Indian Trans-Himalaya: the Leh District, in Ladakh, at a “crossroad of high Asia”, geographically classified “cold desert”. For many centuries the local population has led a self-reliant existence mainly based upon subsistence agriculture, pastoralism and caravan trade. Modernization, due to governmental programs, and the progressive opening to external influence and resources – i.e. globalization – characterize the current development paths. In this study, eMergy evaluation, an environmental accounting system, is utilized to assess the sustainability of the multiple interactions between human activities and the environment.
            Agricultural practices at small farm level (< 1 hectare) are investigated in detail. Site specific unit emergy values (UEV, eMergy per unit product, a measure of the environmental contribution) of five staple crops (barley, wheat, pea, mustard and alfalfa) are calculated. Barley and wheat values (using manure) were 5.27E+05 and 6.64E+05 semj/J, respectively, comparable to those found in the literature for intensive modern agriculture (using chemicals), for which the order of magnitude is 10E+05 to 10E+07 semj/J. As a proxy for “man-made” agricultural soil function, a particular UEV is defined and calculated.
            The anthropic dynamics of the Leh District are investigated – e.g. government development programs, land-based economy, food security (calculating import dependency ratio), off-farm economy, tourism (estimating tourist receipts), imports of goods and commodities (estimating quantities) along with physical features and other relevant aspects. Data is collected to evaluate  the sustainability of development from the eMergy point of view. A set of synthetic indices is calculated in time series (1999-2007) i.e. eMergy per capita (EC), renewability percentage (R%), eMergy investment ratio (EIR) and environmental loading ratio (ELR).
            The results indicate that: the traditional farming system is efficient (UEV) in the use of environmental resources compared to those of modern farming systems (it is therefore argued that the traditional system should be preserved and conserved); the anthropic dynamics in the District have a low impact (ELR) on the environment (ecosphere); although the use of renewable resources (R%) remains high, the sustainability of development (the degree to which the District depends on renewable resources to achieve a certain level of internal organization (EIR) and standard of living (EC)) is decreasing.

Keywords: Ladakh, Development, Agro-productions, Sustainability, eMergy evaluation.

20 Dec 2012

Ladakh Studies Assoc now on facebook!

Dear all, I forgot to mention in the membership email (copied below), but the association now has a page on facebook and we have almost 200 'likes' If you use this social networking platforma nd have not yet visted our page, please do... www.facebook.com/ladakhstudies

Ladakh Studies - December 2012 newsletter to members

Dear Ladakh Studies Association member, 

Julley, Losar Tashi Delek and seasonal greetings from wintery UK, 

Please see below a short message on behalf of the IALS 
to give you a short update on a handful of association activities inc: 

1) the Ladakh Studies conference at Heidelberg, Germany 17.-20. April 2013
3) Call for volunteer assistance with the Ladakh studies journal: email journal@ladakhstudies.org

4) Call for paper for the next edition of Ladakh Studies Journal: deadline 31st January 2013

5) Did you receive your copy of LS28? If not, please email journal@ladakhstudies.org

6)  Ladakh Stuides Journal no 27 and 28 are now available in PDF format in members’ area of website

7) News from the Ladakh Studies Blog http://ladakhstudies.blogspot.co.uk/

Warm greetings to one and all,
and looking forward to see you in 2013,


Gareth Wall, Membership Secretary and Treasurer, 
International Association for Ladakh Studies

1) The 2013 LADAKH STUDIES CONFERENCE at Heidelberg, Germany is now just six months away, and we are very pleased with the response to the call for papers with over 90 abstracts submitted. Juliane Dame, the conference convener, and her team has done a fantastic job at going through all the submissions and will be getting back to participant applications very soon. For further details, see the conference website: http://www.sai.uni-heidelberg.de/geo/conferences/ladakhstudies/ladakhstudies.html

2) The ELECTION OF IALS OFFICER will also be taking place during the general meeting at the conference, and there is a call for nominations for three officer rolls and four advisory committee rolls. Please send nominations to me in my capacity as Secretary before 18 March 2013. Each nomination should include the assent of the proposed candidate. My e-mail address is secretaryials@gmail.com Further details can be foundhttp://ladakhstudies.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/election-of-ials-officers.html 

3) In addition to these rolls, we are keen to expand our volunteer base, and are looking at appointing a news editor and book review editor, as well as possibly an editorial board to assist the incoming editor of the Ladkah Studies journal: if you would be interested, please email the editorial team on journal@ladakhstudies.org

4) Call for paper for the next edition of Ladakh Studies Journal deadline 31st January 2013, whilst we are working on the next edition of LS (no 29), we'd like to get one more together for around the conference time. So if you have any fieldnotes, articles, discussion papers or the like that you would like to put forward from your research this last summer, or previously, please email the editorial team on journal@ladakhstudies.org

5) Did you receive your copy of LS28? We are aware that there were problems for a number of members in receiving the last edition of the Ladakh Studies Journal, sent out this summer. We hope all those who contacted us have now received a copy. If anyone else did not receive their hard copy, please email us your current address to journal@ladakhstudies.org Alternatively ...

6) The last two copies of the Ladakh Studies journal (no 27 and 28) are now available in PDF format in the members’ area on the website http://ladakhstudies.org/membersarea. The log in details were emailed to all members. If you are a member and have not received this, please contact our membership secretary, Gareth Wall on wallgareth@gmail.com  
All previous edition of the journal are available without logging in in the downloads section of the website http://www.ladakhstudies.org/resources/downloads.html

7) News from the IALS blog : http://ladakhstudies.blogspot.co.uk/

a) 18 NOV 2012 Ladakh’s rich Cultural Heritage speaks of our identity: Spalbar Tsewang Rigzin


18 Nov 2012

Ladakh’s rich Cultural Heritage speaks of our identity: Spalbar

Tsewang Rigzin
The valedictory function of 20-day training cum workshop on Stupa building & Conservation organized by Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) and supported by Ministry of Tourism & Culture Govt. of Jammu and Kashmir was celebrated on Wednesday at Chamday Monastery and Chief Executive Councilor, LAHDC, Leh Rigzin Spalbar was the chief guest on the occasion. In the workshop 15 masons from different villages were trained in Chorten building by Gyen Paldan Sonam of Lehdo and Tsering Tundup Tsamskanpa of Choglamsar, two leading and perhaps the only Chorten architects in the district and was of great significance in preservation and promotion of cultural heritage. During the workshop, the group of trainee masons renovated a stupa of Changchup Chorten near Chemdey monastery.
On the success and satisfactory achievement of the workshop, Spalbar congratulated the organizer and especially Dr. Sonam Wangchok, Secretary HCHF for his visionary initiative and selfless contribution towards the progress of the society and the region. CEC stressed on conserving and preserving old, ancestral chortens build with incredible faith and blessings rather than going for building new ones as they speaks of our cultural identity and are heritage not only for us but for the world and generations to come. In this aspect CEC urged govt., NGOs, LBA, Gonpa Association and people’s representatives at different levels to work jointly in preserving the important historical heritage sites and further asserted, “The ancient chortens have been neglected by the Ladakhis despite realizing their historical, cultural, emotional and religious values but tourism once again brought in light the significance of the age old chortens and the need to preserve them through conservation. This workshop is the foundation step and in coming times we need to undertake more of such works by initiating movements and generating awareness among the common people.”    
CEC in his speech also made a request to have library in every govt. and private schools and to have books on chortens varying in levels of difficulty and translated in English and Hindi languages, so as to educate the coming generations about the importance of chortens and to generate interest in our heritage. The President HCHF Prof Gyshe Konchok Wangdus, Secretary HCHF Dr. Sonam Wangchuk also spoke on the occasion highlighting the activities and achievements of HCHF and others who delivered speeches were Councilor Sakti Gyal Wangyal, AD Tourism Sonam, Tsering Tundup Tsamskanpa of Choglamsar and trainee Gyen Nawang Yarphel. Others present on the occasion were scholar Thupstan Paldan, Councilor Upper Leh Gyen Nyantak  and monks and people of Chemdey village.
Scholars and experts express concerns over the use of all kinds of materials while building different stupas today because the centuries old monuments, which are still in good shape and attract thousands of visitors, are made solely with the use of local materials. Yet they have survived for centuries despite being in one of world’s most inhospitable atmosphere with occasional heavy rain falls and snowfalls. The training workshop on Chorten building and conservation is a part of several successful and important activities taken up by HCHF in recent years. In today’s era of modernization and development, different historical monuments are being damaged while executing construction of roads and buildings and many historical monuments are at the verge of their extinction. Keeping this urgency in mind J&K Minister for Tourism & Culture Nawang Rigzin Jora had asked HCHF to come up with a proposal for training masons and to bring awareness about preservation of historical monuments which are the signs of a vibrant culture that has thrived in Ladakh for centuries despite harsh climatic conditions.

16 Nov 2012

Election of IALS officers

Dear IALS Members

At the Heidelberg conference three members of the Executive Committee
will be stepping down. These are: John Bray who has been President for
six years; Kim Gutschow who has served as Editor for six years; and
Gareth Wall who has been Treasurer/Membership Secretary for four. We
are grateful to all three of them for their hard work and their many
contributions to the Association.

In accordance with the constitution (see
www.ladakhstudies.org/constitution.html), four of the twelve posts on
the Advisory Committee will likewise come up for election or
re-election at the General Meeting.

We would like to invite all IALS members to nominate colleagues or –
better still – stand for one of these posts themselves.

We are looking for people with skills, experience and enthusiasm. In
practice, the main requirements include commitment to the IALS,
willingness to work as part of a team, and - of course - an e-mail

As explained in the constitution, election is open to people who have
been IALS members for at least two years in the case of the Treasurer
and the Editor, and normally five years in the case of the President.

Please send nominations to me in my capacity as Secretary before 18
March 2013. Each nomination should include the assent of the proposed
candidate. My e-mail address is secretaryials@gmail.com

Sonam Wangchok

15 Nov 2012

Two photographs of Phyang monastery

The first photograph below comes from the Moravian Church House Library and Archive in London. It is in an envelope of loose images, most of which date back to the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. However, there is no clue as to the identity of the photographer, and the condition of the photograph – more faded than the others -  makes me wonder whether it is even older, perhaps as early as the 1880s. Most of the Moravian missionaries who served in Ladakh before the First World War were from Germany, and the caption on the back is written in German. It says simply “Kloster Zang ngon bei Leh” – “Zang ngon monastery near Leh”. Zang ngon – more commonly transliterated as ‘sNang ngon’ - is better known as Phyang.

‘Kloster Zang ngon bei Leh”, Moravian Church House Archive and Library, London.

The feature that most strikes me is the monastery’s fortified appearance. The arrangement of the buildings in the front makes it look like a walled town or village. I imagine that they were designed in that way for defensive purposes, and that would make sense given Ladakh’s history of intermittent conflict with neighbouring regions.

In October I had the opportunity to visit Phyang with David and Naomi Sonam, and the photograph below shows the monastery as it appears today.

Phyang monastery in 2012 Photo by David Sonam, October 2012

As in the older photograph, the outer wall of the monastery follows the shape of the hillside, descending slightly in the centre and upper right of the photograph. However, almost everything else has changed.

The building with the larger windows on the left of the photograph is obviously a very recent construction. Similarly, the larger white building in the centre, which at first sight looks as though it is of some antiquity, does not appear in the older photograph, and must therefore have been constructed or rebuilt  in the last century or so.

In the 2012 photograph we can just see the red walls and flat roof of the Dukhang to the right of the picture. The same wall and roof is also visible in the older image and David points out that this is the oldest part of the monastery. While the outer face of the monastery has changed radically, there may be more continuity inside.

Overall, though, the two photographs serve as a reminder of the extent to which many of Ladakh’s older buildings have been through a continuous process of construction and reconstruction in earlier decades and centuries as well as in more recent times.

John Bray

Call for Papers: Interaction in the Himalayas and Central Asia

SEECHAC (Société Européenne pour l’Étude des Civilisations de l’Himalaya et de l’Asie Centrale, European Society for the Study of Himalayan and Central Asiatic Civilizations) is holding its third international colloquium in Vienna at the Austrian Academy of Sciences from 25 to 27 November 2013.

The title of the colloquium is Interaction in the Himalayas and Central Asia: processes of transfer, translation and transformation in art, archaeology, religion and polity from antiquity to the present day.

For more details visit their website.

30 Oct 2012

Workshop on Stupa conservation

LEH: A training cum workshop on Chorten (Stupa) building and conservation began at Leh on Thursday. The training workshop is organised for 15-days by the Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) with financial supports from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Jammu and Kashmir Government as granted by Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzin Jora.
The training workshop was inaugurated at HCHF’s office at Lonpo House by renowned research scholar, Gelong Thupstan Paldan who gave detailed introduction about the significance of different types of Chortens.
He expressed concerns over the use of all kinds of materials while building different stupas in today’s time because the centuries old monuments, which are still in good shape and attract thousands of visitors, are made solely with the use of local materials. Yet they have survived for centuries despite being in one of world’s most inhospitable climate with occasional heavy rain falls and snowfalls.
While welcoming the participants, secretary, Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation Dr Sonam Wangchok said that the land of Ladakh is dotted with countless religious and historical monuments built centuries ago by Ladakh’s ancestors and it is the duty of this generation to preserve them in its pristine form for future generations.
“The training workshop on Chorten building and conservation is a part of several successful and important activities taken up by HCHF in recent years,” added Dr Wangchok. Masons from different villages of Ladakh will be trained by two octogenarians Chorten experts, Tsering Tundup and Gelong Paldan Sonam, during the two week-long training. Several renowned scholars, Geshe and architects are expected to give special presentations related to monument conservation in Ladakh.
To impart hands on training for the masons, conservation of some old and historical Chorten in Chemdey would be under taken during the workshop and the participants would be taken to several historical sites in different villages of Ladakh where historical monuments need urgent attention for immediate restoration and preservation.
In today’s era of modernisation and development, different historical monuments are being damaged while executing construction of roads and buildings and many historical monuments are at the verge of extinction.
Keeping this urgency in mind Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzin Jora had asked HCHF to come up with a proposal for training masons and to bring awareness about preservation of historical monuments which are the signs of a vibrant culture that has thrived in Ladakh for centuries despite harsh climatic conditions.
Courtesy: www.statetimes.in                                      October 26th, 2012

23 Oct 2012

Tibetan finch rediscovered

Reported on the BBC site observations of Sillem's Mountain Finch have not been recorded since 1929. However, in June this year a French nature photographer took photos of a single bird seen with a flock of Tibetan Rosefinch, the image has since been confirmed as the 'lost' finch. So, if you are trekking at altitude in Ladakh it may well be worth looking out for a Sillem's, don't just dismiss flocks of Rosefinch, Brandt's or Plain Mountain Finch, look closely for that rare Sillem's Mountain Finch!

15 Sept 2012

The Peaceniks prevail over the Realists: India and Pakistan sign new visa pact

September 9, 2012
While the new visa pact between India and Pakistan is a landmark achievement, it still leaves a lot to be desired to make easier travel possible for the citizens of the two countries. Some suggestions are given in the Aman ki Asha petition, which you may want to sign here. While the full text of the pact does not seem to be online at this time, the most detailed story about the pact has been put out by the ASSOCIATED PRESS OF PAKISTAN, reproduced below. It is not clear when the new regulations come into force.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India on Saturday signed new liberalised visa regime giving more concessions and simplifying the procedure to grant visa with a view to promote people-to-people contacts and enhance trade and business activities between two neighbours.
The new visa regime agreement was signed by Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and Interior Minister Rehman Malik.
According to the new visa regime, more concessions have been given to the businessmen from both the countries with giving them multiple entry one year visa with the exemption from the Police Report and with increasing the number of cities.
Group Tourist Visa
A new category of Group Tourist Visa has been introduced under which a group of 10 to 50 persons will get Group Tourist visa which will be valid for 30 days and it will be managed by the registered tour operators from both the countries.
This type of visa will be organised by approved tour operators and travel agents to furnish details of 45 days in advance.
The tour operator will be responsible for police report on behalf of the group and the list of designated tour operators as well as list of approved identified routes and tourists destinations will be exchanged by both sides from time to time.
In this category, the group tourist visa facility will also be available to students of educational institutions of both countries, however, this will be a tourist visa only and not for seeking admission in educational institutions of either country.
Diplomatic/ Non-diplomatic Visa
A Diplomatic Visa will be issued within a period of 30 days and it will be valid for the place and duration of assignment of the diplomats instead of previously one year visa.
In the category of non-diplomatic visa, previously there was no mention of time frame and now under the new visa regime agreement, it will be issued within a period of 45 days.
Official visit and visitor visa
In the category of official visit, the visa will be valid for 15 days as compared to previous term of one month.
In the category of visitor visa, there was single entry and validity was 30 days, for meeting with relatives, friends, businessmen but now it will be single entry to be issued for period of six months but stay will not be exceed for three months and it will be for five places instead of current three places.

However, Business Visa has been separated from visitor’s visa and now under a new category, a visitor visa will be issued for a maximum for five specified places and it will be for two years with multiple entries to the senior citizens above the age of 65, spouse of a national of one country married to persons of another country and children below 12 years of age accompanying parents.
In the transit visa category, previously it was issued for 72hours but now it will be issued for 36 hours.

Business Visa
According to the new visa regime, in the category of Business Visa, visa was for three months with single entry in the past but under the new visa regime, businessmen with an income of Rs0.1 million or equivalent per annum or annual turnover or gross sale of Rs3 million or equivalent will be given one year business visa with five places for up to four entries.
Under new visa regime, businessmen with an income of at least Rs5 million or equivalent per annum or turnover of Rs30 million or equivalent per annum will be given one year multiple entry business visa for up to ten places with exemption from Police Reporting.
Under the new visa agreement, the visa shall specify that the period of stay of the businessman at a time shall not exceed 30days.
The maximum time taken in processing of a business visa will not exceed more than five weeks.

Pilgrim Visa
In the category of Pilgrim Visa, under the new visa regime, pilgrim visas will be issued to pilgrims intending to visit religious shrines as per the 1974 protocol on visits to religious shrines, or any future revision to the protocol.
Such visas need to be applied at least 45 days before the commencement of the intended tour.
The visa will be issued at least ten days before the commencement of travel. These visas will be issued for a single entry and restricted to 15 days validity and would be non-extendable.

Visa on arrival
In the category of visa on arrival, under the new visa regime, persons of more than 65 years of age will be given 45 days visa at arrival at Attari Wagah check post and it will be non-extendable and non-convertible.

As compared to previous check posts, when the persons have to enter and exit through the same route and have to use same mode of travel for onward and return journey, under the new visa regime agreement, now the people can enter and exit from different check posts and change in mode of travel will also be permitted.

However, this is subject to the exception that exit from Wagah/Attari by road on foot, where it cannot be accepted, unless the entry was also by foot via Attari/Wagah.
The check posts being used even under new agreement will be by Air from India Mumbai/Delhi/Chennai and from Pakistan it will be Karachi/Lahore and Islamabad.
By sea the check post will be Mumbai/Karachi while by Land it will be Wagah/Attari and Khokhrapar/Munabao.
Seeking visa
For the registration for seeking visa, the time period is the same that it has be within 24 hours but the persons of more than 65years of age, children below 12 years of age and eminent businessmen are exempted from Police Reporting.
There has been no change for seamen which will be given a landing permit for a period not exceeding for 24 hours.
For the visa fee, it has been decided that it will be Rs100 or equivalent instead of the current rate of Rs15 charged as visa fee.

Regarding the validity of the visa, under the new visa regime, it has been agreed that the applicant must avail the visa within a period of 80 days from the date of issue. If there are grounds requiring extension of validity, the concerned mission will take decision on such requests on priority.
This provision will not be applicable to the holders of business visa.

21 Aug 2012

Jora launches ‘Heritage Himalaya’ magazine at Leh

By Tsewang Rigzin
Ladakh is a famous tourist destination on the world tourist map because of its rich cultural heritage.  A heritage news magazine was required to serve as a window to Ladakh’s centuries old cultural heritage and their values; for thousands of outsiders visiting this unique place besides Ladakh’s own scholars, students and academicians.
Minister for Tourism and Culture, Nawang Rigzin Jora said this at Lonpo House Leh where he launched a six monthly heritage news magazine called Heritage Himalaya published by Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF), a Leh based Non Government Organisation devoted to cultural promotion and preservation in Himalayas.
While complimenting the wide range of activities being carried out by HCHF in Ladakh region in the preservation of rich cultural legacy which have been inherited from generation to generation for centuries, and also the selfless service being rendered by its secretary Dr. Sonam Wangchok in the preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, Jora announced an amount of Rs 3 lakh to further expand the programmes of the organisation across the Ladakh region.  The minister expressed his happiness to see an active organisation on the preservation of cultural heritage operating in Ladakh which has been started by a Ladakhi educated youth.
The Chief Executive Councillor, LAHDC Leh Rigzin Spalbar assured to issue instructions from LAHDC to the Education Department to subscribe to the magazine in the libraries of most government schools. The CEC also agreed to support the organisation financially for restoring historical monuments like Stupas. In the last two years one of the activities of HCHF was to train local masons for restoring and conserving monuments like Stupas which are being deteriorated and are widely found on the verge of extinction throughout Ladakh region.
Dr. Sonam said that the heritage news magazine will have in its content news and information pertaining to tangible and intangible heritage of Himalayas with special sections on tourism and culture and a children corner. “Through this news magazine we can encourage students and researchers to write about their observation, criticism and vision on cultural heritage of this region”, he added.  He also observed that Ladakhis have realised the importance of preserving and promoting cultural heritage of the region and on many occasions the village communities are blamed for not restoring the monuments but there is still lack of initiatives and implementations from expert individuals and organisations.
Among those who attended the programme included Executive Councilor Sonam Dorjey, councilors, local scholars, students and HCHF members.
From Left: Dr Sonam Wangchok, Shri Rigzin  Jora, Shri Rigzin Spabar

11 Aug 2012

IALS member Helena Norberg-Hodge to Receive the 2012 Goi Peace Award


Goi Peace Award 2012: Helena Norberg-HodgeThe Goi Peace Foundation will
bestow the 2012 Goi Peace Award
on Helena Norberg-Hodge, the founder
and director of the International Society
for Ecology and Culture (ISEC), and a
 pioneer of the 'new economy' movement.


The annual Goi Peace Award honors individuals and
organizations in various fields that have made outstanding
contributions toward the realization of  a peaceful and
 harmonious world for humanity and all life on earth.

Created in 2000, previous Goi Peace Award recipients
 include Ervin Laszlo, Oscar Arias, Lester Brown,
Bill Gates &Deepak Chopra.

Ms. Norberg-Hodge will receive the award at a ceremony
during the Goi Peace Foundation Forum 2012 to be held at
Ginza Blossom Hall in Tokyo on November 25, 2012.

The selection committee has chosen Helena Norberg-Hodge
for the Goi Peace Award "in recognition of her pioneering work
in the new economy movement to help create a more sustainable
and equitable world. Through her advocacy and educational
activities promoting localization from an international perspective,
Ms. Norberg-Hodge has contributed to the revitalization of
cultural and biological diversity, and the strengthening
of local communities and economies worldwide."

As an author, filmmaker and public lecturer, Ms. Norberg-Hodge
has been promoting an economics of personal, social and ecological
well-being for more than thirty years. She is a widely respected analyst
of the impact of the global economy on communities, local economies,
and personal identity, and is a leading proponent of 'localization,' or
decentralization, as a means of countering those impacts.

A native of Sweden, Ms. Norberg-Hodge was educated in Sweden,
Germany, Austria, England and the United States. She specialized in
linguistics, including studies at the University of London and at MIT.
In 1975, she visited Ladakh, or "Little Tibet," and was the first
Westerner in recent times to master the Ladakhi language and
co-produce the first Ladakhi-English dictionary. Since then, she
has worked with the people of Ladakh to find ways of enabling
their culture to meet the modern world without sacrificing social
and ecological values. For these efforts she was awarded the
Right Livelihood Award, or 'Alternative Nobel Prize,' in 1986.

Her book, Ancient Futures, has been described as
"an inspirational classic." Together with the film of the same title,
it has been translated into more than 40 languages, and sold about
half a million copies. She is also the producer and co-director of
the award-winning film, The Economics of Happiness, and the
co-author of Bringing the Food Economy Home and  
From the Ground Up: Rethinking Industrial Agriculture.
She has written numerous articles and essays, and her work
has been the subject of more than 300 articles worldwide.

ISEC, which she founded as The Ladakh Project, has now
expanded its activities to run programs all over the world.
The organization examines the root causes of our current social
and environmental crises, while promoting grassroots and
policy-level strategies for ecological and community renewal.
She is also a founding member of the International Commission on
 the Future of Food and Agriculture, and a co-founder of both the
International Forum on Globalization and the Global Ecovillage Network.

About the Goi Peace Foundation
Established in Tokyo, Japan in 1999, the Goi Peace Foundation
 is a public benefit organization with a mission to support the
evolution of humanity toward a peaceful and harmonious new civilization.
Through various educational and outreach programs, it promotes
consciousness, values and wisdom for creating peace, and builds
cooperation among individuals and organizations across diverse fields,
 including education, science, culture and the arts.

The Foundation is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the
 Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
It also maintains official relations with UNESCO.

Website: www.goipeace.or.jp

8 Aug 2012

First-photo exhibition of Kamerakids inaugurated

LEH: The inauguration ceremony of the first photo- exhibition by Kamerakids was held at Lonpo House on Saturday. Titled – ‘Some Cups of Butter-tea -Daily life in Zanskar’ the exhibition was inaugurated by the Executive Councilor for Tourism, Gurmet Dorjey.
The founder of the project  Nana Ziesche, a German travel agent and photographer, shared her experience in Ladakh and said, “there is a beauty in all these pictures that we should value, the beauty of life randomness that we often neglect, that is what photography is all about, we capture those valuable moments”.
Showcasing a variety of motifs as portraits, landscapes, animals, people doing their daily work, monasteries, monks and nuns, Buddhist objects etc, everything worth a glance was captured by the lenses given to the kids aged between 12-15 years.
Gurmet appreciated Nana and her team and said “Such initiatives  specially for the children of remote places in Ladakh are praise worthy”. Sonam Stobdan, one of the kids whose photos were displayed said “I really like photography, I never thought I would get a chance to click a camera! With madam Nana’s help now we are able to not only capture pictures but also have the knowledge of the technicalities within!”
Col. Hemant from army headquarters Leh who was also present on the occasion  said – “I thank Nana for doing such  a wonderful  job for my country”.
The event ended with a vote of thanks from Nana. Gurmet was presented a memento as a token of thanks. Dr Sonam  Wangchok from Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation, Tundup Dorje from Overland Escape and Reach Ladakh and Gyatso from LOTI lso (Ladakh Old Town Initiative) were also present on the occasion.

31 Jul 2012

16th IALS Conference - Call for Papers

Call for Papers (Abstract submission by: 10. September 2012) 

"Society and Environment in Ladakh: Historical Perspectives and Recent Dynamics" 16th Colloquium of the International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS) Heidelberg, Germany, 17-20. April 2013 
Download full Call for Papers document (pdf)

The 16th Colloquium of the International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS) will take place at the Department of Geography, South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University, Germany, from 17-20. April 2013. Under the overarching topic "Society and Environment in Ladakh: Historical Perspectives and Recent Dynamics", senior scientists, young researchers and practitioners are invited to discuss different topics related to Ladakh and its neighbouring mountain regions. 

Following the tradition of the IALS, the conference has an explicitly interdisciplinary character. We therefore encourage participants from different scientific fields to submit an abstract. 

Possible focus areas for individual sessions include: 
  • Political and religious history
  • Cultural and social change
  • Rural livelihoods and economic change
  • Heritage and conservation
  • Health and nutrition
  • Climate change and adaptation
  • Development interventions
Additional information on registration, travel grants, updates on field trips, accommodation, and the conference programme will be posted on the Conference pages of the IALS website as details are finalised. 

Any queries should be directed to Conference Convenor 
Juliane Dame. Email: ials2013@sai.uni-heidelberg.de

15 Jul 2012

Ladakh: Crossroads of High Asia - third edition
now avaliable with a 25% discount from flipkart


'Retaining the basic information from the original, this revised and updated third edition documents the changes and transformations that Ladakh has witnessed since 1996. From the region’s history to its importance as a confluence of various cultures and traditions to a detailed analysis of social, political and economic shifts before and after the Kargil war-it presents a deeply informed account of Ladakh and its people, permeated, moreover, by a radiant affection for them.

Scholarly yet lively, the value of this book, widely recognized as a one-stop reference on the region, is enhanced by the author’s recent research into contemporary realities.'
Czech-Indian educational project exhibition held

STATE TIMES NEWS www.statetimes.in/news/czech-indian-educational-project-exhibition-held/

LEH: The opening ceremony of the exhibition of a project called La Ngonpo, a three-year Czech-Indian Educational Project, was held on Friday in the Auditorium of Lamdon Senior Secondary School, Leh. Besides hundreds of students several dignitaries including from participating educational institutions and NGOs also witnessed the programme.

Exhibition featured examples of works by students and photographs reflecting and documenting the process of the project. Visual and literary works of Czech and Ladakhi students which have been developed in joint ‘e-lessons’ conducted during the period of three years according to the methodological handbook La Ngonpo were also exhibited.

A documentary movie that describe the real yet different lives of two students living in two different parts of the world – the Czech Republic and Ladakh in India, was screened. A colourful cultural programme by students of different participating schools was also presented.

The Project Coordinator, Romana Vylitova said that the exhibition was organised to enable participants to see what students have learned and done through this project.

“There are six participating schools now. If others are interested they can also join the project,” Vylitova invited other institutions to join the project.

Moravian Mission School, SECMOL, Druk Padma White Lotus School, Ladakh Public School and Lamdon Model Senior Secondary School are the Leh based participating institutions from India, said Vylitova. The international educational project La Ngonpo focuses on multicultural and global education for pupils and students aged 12 to 16 years. Since 2010 the project has been in operation in India (in Leh-Ladakh) and Czech Republic.

However, it can be joined by schools anywhere in the world. According to the organisers the project enables students to learn about themselves and their environment as well as about their peers from another country.

“La Ngonpo” are Ladakhi words meaning “the blue pass”. “Mountain passes used to symbolize the possibility to meet on the other side of the range; for us, the pass is represented by the web portal,” the project believes.
Some of the group might like to know that Beyond Bokhara, Garry Alder's biography of William Moorcroft---who spent 2 years in Ladakh, 1820--22, & wrote what is still one of the best accounts of the region---is now republished. The book isn't available on Flipkart, but can be ordered from the publishers, Low Price Publications, New Delhi. Website is www.Lppindia.com; e-mail info@Lppindia.com. (Thanks Janet)

11 Jul 2012

SAARC Cultural Centre has announce the SAARC International Conference on Archaeology of Buddhism Recent Discoveries in South Asia (Colombo, Sri Lanka, 22-24 August 2012)

4 Jul 2012

The Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation and International Association of Ladakh Studies Research Workshop

On Friday, 22ndJune 2012 Dr Sonam Wangchok, Secretary of the Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation and of International Association of Ladakh Studies (IALS) hosted a workshop at Lonpo House Lecture Hall, Leh Palace for Ladakhi youth who are interested in undertaking research in Ladakh. The aim of the workshop was to introduce potential students to the various research methods and research projects currently taking place in Ladakh, and to discuss how the IALS can assist young Ladakhi researchers in supporting and publicising their work. Ph.D Fellows and Anthropologist Elizabeth Lane Williams-Oerberg (Aarhus University, Denmark) and Andrea Butcher (University of Aberdeen, Scotland) presented their research projects and discussed the experience of preparing for research in Ladakh. Following the presentations the floor was opened to questions and a discussion regarding what assistance aspiring researchers need to get started with their projects, where to find information about previous and current research, and who to contact for assistance. The following bullet points are the recommendations for assistance the students requested:

Ø  IALS/HCHF to showcase all the different research in Ladakh and who is working on what.
Ø  Directory of researchers and their topics or specialities
Ø  Create a library or catalogue of bibliographies for previous research in Ladakh, organised by discipline.
Ø  Partnerships between Foreign and Ladakhi students
Ø  Directory of Ladakhi students willing to work as interpreters.
Ø  Notice board for Ph.D and research opportunities outside India.
Ø  Electronic access to academic journals. (Digital Himalaya and other websites can be accessed on the IALS website.)
Ø  Awareness workshops to be held in other parts of Ladakh and Zangskar to give awareness to Ladakhi youth of the IALS and research opportunities.
Ø  IALS or research forum Facebook page.
Ø  Recruit students returning from university to give advice about research for young Ladakhis
Ø  Organise a pool of educated research students to act as tourist guides and give information for tourists.
Ø  Send research to others in similar fields and obtain feedback.
Ø  Encourage young researchers to publish essays in Ladakh Studies journal.
Ø  Organise a two-day workshop to introduce students to research methods
Ø  Have a dedicated student webpage on the IALS website for information on research protects, opportunities, publications, and seminars.
Answering the points Dr Sonam Wangchok introduced the restarting of IALS blog (http://ladakhstudies.blogspot.co.uk/) and encouraged research students to see IALS website (www.ladakhstudies.org) and HCHF website (www.heritagehimalaya.org) for resources and latest information related to researches, books and events. At the same time he strongly supports the idea of awareness workshops in other parts of Ladakh.

Elizabeth Lane Williams-Oerberg advised of electronic sources of data already available for students, Digital Himalaya (www.digitalhimalaya) and facebook group “books on ladakh and more... "