Meghalaya have natural resource management committees at all the 6500  villages: Conrad  

Shillong, June 7: The weeklong celebrations to commemorate World Environment Day 2022 came to close with a grand function organised at the U Soso Tham Auditorium in Shillong today.

The Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma graced the occasion as the Chief Guest on the concluding day of the ‘Meghalaya Environment Week 2022’ which was also attended by Minister, Forests and Environment, James P.K. Sangma, senior officials from the Government of Meghalaya, students, and village committees from across the State.

During his address the Chief Minister said that the most important objective of having a weeklong programme was not only to create awareness on various environmental issues and highlight the steps that are being initiated to better manage the natural resources in the State but also to acknowledge and encourage proactive behaviour among individuals towards the preservation and protection of the environment.

‘I think what is important is while we look at what the Government and the organisation and officials are doing. We should also look at what we can do as a citizen. And that is I think the most important point of having this one-week programme’, Mr. Conrad said.

Talking at length on the present Government’s approach to natural resource management the Chief Minister said that the different departments and agencies of the Government need to be in sync and work together to achieve the intended results.

When they started in 2018, when we talked of natural resource management, we realised that we need to have a policy for water because without that the entire process would be not connected. So, they started with the water policy, then we realised that the state budget and funds are not enough for us to be able to fund the different projects that they want.

So, the state government started moving aggressively on different externally aided projects’, he said, while informing that the Government has mobilised close to 4700 Cr worth of externally aided projects for natural resource management in the State.

The Chief Minister also underlined the importance of community participation and the role of natural resource management committees at the rural level. The state have natural resource management committees at all the 6500 plus villages.

The entire effort of the Government, the plan that we have, can trickle down to the grassroot level, they can be connected with the different programmes that are being implemented, so that ultimately, we are able to achieve the big picture’, he said.

The Chief Minister also highlighted the role of technology and innovation to better manage the different programmes under NRM. The Chief Minister also took time to inform the gathering on the Government’s innovative programme – Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) that aims to preserve catchment areas and forest cover from degradation due to rural livelihood activities.

The project, first implemented as a pilot in the Ganol catchment areas of West Garo Hills District, aims to bring on board rural communities in preserving the forests in return for monetary incentives and alternate livelihood activities.

‘I would like to inform you that this is the largest form of this program in the whole country today. No other state has taken up the program on such a large scale as Meghalaya has done. This is going to show the way for many other states and regions and this I feel very strongly is the best way to ensure that we’re able to protect our environment’, he said.

The Chief Minister added that PES along with other interventions of the Government, is a great example of an innovative initiative to balance ecology and economy.

During his address, Minister, Forests and Environment, James P. K. Sangma, spoke on the important role that technology plays in our efforts towards protection and preservation of the environment and ecosystems.

He informed that the Forest and Environment department is implementing nature-based solutions to combat the environmental problems faced due to human activity.

During his address he also said that his department is working on collaborating with the education department on bringing climate change as part of the school curriculum.

‘One way of battling climate change is to go to the young population, to our youth, to our school children. The State of Meghalaya presently, we have something called environmental sciences, but not that, it’s redundant, but today climate change is far more overarching than environmental science.

It is not just far more overarching, It is also extremely relevant and important for our children to know where this time and how things are moving, and how things will be in the future, and the power lies in them or rather with them’, he added.

During the programme the Chief Minister along with the other dignitaries launched the Forest Management Plans. The Environment Day theme song 2022 and the NRM mascot was also unveiled by the Chief Minister in today’s function in addition to the online ‘Community Nursery Information System’.

The Chief Minister also distributed the State NRM awards to the different village NRM committees. After the programme the Chief Minister also interacted with students on his visit to the different stalls and exhibitions set up by eco clubs from various city-based schools.



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