Why are we here?
Despite its rugged reputation the Himalayas is a mosaic of fragile environments that face a range of challanges.
It is the source of 6 of Asia's great rivers, including the Yangtze
, but changes in climate are affecting their flow. Melting glaciers and causing floods as glacial lakes burst their banks, whilst downstream water availability is becoming increasingly uncertain as unpredictable seasons bring either too much water or too little.
Both the people and wildlife of the region depend on the natural resources of the Himalayas.
Yet as human populations increase people are using the resources faster than the Himalayas can replenish them. Forests are becoming fragmented, which is a serious problem for species like the tiger and elephant that need large territories to wander in.
People and wildlife are increasingly coming into contact as the wild spaces decrease, and the human populations grow.
This causes conflict as wild animals destroy crops and kill livestock. Poaching also remains a constant threat as the booming Asian markets offer huge financial gains to people with few opportunities.