The KSU written to Mr Cornad, Palm Oil should not be implemented in the state of Meghalaya

Shillong, Sept 08: The Khasi Student,s Union today has written to the Chief MInsiter of Meghalaya Mr. Cornad K Sangma on the implementation of Palm Oil Cultivation in Meghalaya.

In the letter sent today to the Chief Minister the Environment Cell of the Khasi Students’ Union draw your attention to the ill impacts and effects of palm oil cultivation which will harm our environment, biodiversity and the public at large.

The KSU said that  as per reports, palm oil plantation will result in vast deforestation which will automatically increase the carbon footprint, habitat fragmentation, habitat loss of organisms and will cause mass destruction to the ecosystem in the State.

It has also been reported that the plantation of such different monoculture crop which is not indigenous will lead to the depletion of underground water and led to the diversion of stream waters into such areas, therefore, it will adversely affect the water table and obstruct the natural flow of rivers and streams which is one of the main source of livelihood of the people.

In some areas, we may be receiving heavy rainfall but those same areas in the state are facing portable water scarcity in other seasons. This type of cultivation is harmful to the soil due to the high intake of soil nutrients by the young, growing palm trees and usage of excess fertilizer will cause soil pollution.

The clearing of vast acres of forest land for this kind of plantation will release the sequestered carbon and therefore add to the greenhouse effect whereby increase in temperature will follow suit.

It may also be pointed out that the crop is not a traditional crop and the introduction of a foreign species in the ecosystem may have a haphazard impact on several other local species of plants which may cause a loss of biodiversity and may have several other unseen impacts on the environment.

It is also learnt, that the mitigation process of the end products is tedious and expensive which would cost dearly to our farmers and the environment at large in the long run. One of the leading effects of this cultivation is the wastewater generated during production known as Palm Oil Mill Effluent, which releases large amounts of greenhouse gases and must be treated before being discharge.

The KSU stated that this will be a costly affair, if untreated, the palm oil effluent released into water bodies tremendously decrease the dissolved oxygen of such water bodies and therefore endangers the flora and fauna of the interdependent species.

It may be noted that the newly ambiguous definition of oil palm plantation will count as forest cover and will be classified under the forest report, this shows the attempt to manipulate the target put forth by the Union government on its pledge to the Paris Climate Agreement before 2030.

This has create confusion and will misinform the public at large through its attempt to encourage widespread deforestation and replacement of other diverse, traditional vegetation and local crops with palm plantation.

The KSU ha mention the example of the policy that was adopted by the Sri Lankan Government towards these palm plantation over the recent years, the KSU demands the State Government to take into account their initiative and actions as they have already discouraged such plantations and putting a ban throughout their country due to various alarming environmental and health concerns.

The Environment Cell of the Khasi Students Union is of the opinion that the National Mission on Edible Oils – Oil Palm, should not be implemented in the state of Meghalaya.

The KSU urged the Chief Minister to look for the alternative schemes and projects which will be more sustainable and beneficial to the environment and the livelihood of the farmers and public at large, the letter was sign by B. Nongsiej Chairman and  S.Kharshandi secretary of the  Environment Cell Environment Cell Khasi Students’ Union Khasi Students’ Union.


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