Careers with mountains

Ranjan K Baruah
The North Eastern region is naturally blessed with mountains. Mountains are important around the world. Mountains host about half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and 30% of all Key Biodiversity Areas. Of the 20 plant species that supply 80% of the world's food, six originated and have been diversified in mountains: maize, potatoes, barley, sorghum, tomatoes, and apples. More than half of humanity relies on mountain freshwater for everyday life. We should also be aware that rural mountain women are vital to biodiversity conservation, and water and food security.
Around the world 11th December is observed as International Mountain Day (IMD) . The theme of this year’s IMD is ‘Women Move Mountains.’ Women play a key role in mountains' environmental protection and social and economic development. They are often the primary managers of mountain resources, guardians of biodiversity, keepers of traditional knowledge, custodians of local culture, and experts in traditional medicine.
Increasing climate variability, coupled with a lack of investment in mountain agriculture and rural development, has often pushed men to migrate elsewhere in search of alternative livelihoods. Women have therefore taken on many tasks formerly done by men, yet mountain women are often invisible due to a lack of decision-making power and unequal access to resources.
As farmers, market sellers, businesswomen, artisans, entrepreneurs, and community leaders, mountain women and girls, in particular in rural areas, have the potential to be major agents of change. When rural women have access to resources, services, and opportunities, they become a driving force against hunger, malnutrition, and rural poverty and are active in the development of mountain economies.
It also brings the opportunity for us to work with the mountains. Now we might be wondering what is working with the mountains? Well, we can think and take up mountains as our career. There are different opportunities starting from working for sustainable development to preservation of natural resources around the mountains. Aspirants may study subjects like zoology, botany, agriculture, environmental science, etc to get jobs around the mountains. As we are aware of climate change and its impact, one may work for mitigating or combating climate change in the mountainous region and areas around mountains .
As of this year there are options for individuals who study social work or subjects like women studies or gender studies. There is no limit of any subject as with innovation one may get into different career options related to mountain. When it comes to business and trade one may also get involved in business which makes a positive impact amongst communities for which one may come from the management background.  We can see the potential of tourism in and around mountain areas which can empower communities to make earning in a sustainable way by preserving the mountains.
One may also think about mountaineering as a career option as mountains are key when it comes to mountaineering. There are different courses available for those who want to become mountaineers and explore more with adventure activities. Mountains are also reservoirs for doing research for herbal medicines and other similar activities. Together we can act to preserve our mountains and more importantly if we can make our careers with the mountains then we are committed to preservation and at the same time preserving our mountains.
(Ranjan K Baruah is a career mentor and skill trainer and can be reached at 8473943734 or [email protected])