A group of environmentalists and civil society activists observed Himalaya Day and demanded a comprehensive policy to protect the world’s longest and tallest range and its ecosystems on Thursday.

Observing the Himalaya Day for the first time, members from about 22 organisations released a Himalayan people’s manifesto, urging the government to formulate a focused policy for saving the Himalayas and its people.

“This manifesto will undergo a series of discussions and debates all over the country for the next one year. On the Himalaya Day next year, a final manifesto will be released, which will be presented to the government and policy makers as a blueprint of the steps needed to preserve the mountain,” eminent environmentalist Anil Joshi told IANS.

“The Himalayas are the base of life not only for India but for the whole of South Asia. The adverse effect of industrial activities is evident. There is a need for a comprehensive policy to address all the issues of environment, social issues and scientific issues of the Himalayas,” Joshi said.