G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED) was established in 1988-89, during the birth centenary year of Bharat Ratna Pt. Govind Ballabh Pant, as an autonomous Institute of the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Govt. of India, which has been identified as a focal agency to advance scientific knowledge, to evolve integrated management strategies, demonstrate their efficacy for conservation of natural resources, and to ensure environmentally sound development in the entire Indian Himalayan Region (IHR). The Institute attempts to maintain a balance of intricate linkages between socio-cultural, ecological, economic and physical systems that could lead to sustainability in the IHR. To achieve this, the Institute follows a multidisciplinary and holistic approach in all its Research and Development programmes with emphasis on interlinking natural and social sciences. In this effort, particular attention is given to the preservation of fragile mountain ecosystems, indigenous knowledge systems and sustainable use of natural resources. A conscious effort is made to ensure participation of local inhabitants for long-term acceptance and success of various programmes. Training, environmental education and awareness to different stakeholders are essential components of all the R&D programmes of the Institute.
The Institute functions under a Society, guided by a Governing Body and a Science Advisory Committee. It has a decentralized set up, with its headquarters at Kosi-Katarmal, Almora, and at present five other units are operational at Srinagar (Garhwal Unit), Mohal – Kullu (Himachal Unit), Tadong-Gangatok (Sikkim Unit), Itanagar (NE Unit) and Mountain Division (at MoEF&CC, New Delhi). The R&D activities of the Institute are centered around six themes, namely Socio Economic Development (SED), Environmental Assessment & Management (EAM), Watershed Process and Management (WPM), Knowledge Product & Capacity Building (KCB), Biodiversity Conservation and Management (BCM) and Biotechnology Applications (BTA).
The Institute has developed unique approach in ensuring peoples’ participation in eco-conservation & development through conduct of on-spot training camps/workshops for the public, particularly women, students and teachers, army personnel, etc. Towards human resource development, the Institute continues to play an important role by training project based staff and number of Indian students have also received degree of Doctor of Philosophy while working in the Institute; in addition, the institute has conducted training/summer Programme for students/visiting scientists from various parts of India and from countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Holland, Canada, Germany, etc.