The NIRDPR of the NERC organised jointly the off-campus training programme at Nongsder

Shillong, May 19: The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, North Eastern Regional Centre (Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India), Guwahati (NIRD&PR – NERC).

Assam and State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD),Meghalaya, Nongsder, jointly organized a 5 days regional off-campus training programme on the topic “Strategies for Planning and Implementation of Carbon Neutral Villages” during 08th – 12th May, 2023 to address India’s performance on climate action.

Officials representing the Department of Agriculture, Horticulture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Development, State Biodiversity Boards, Meghalaya Basin Development Agency and other organizations drawn from Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram participated in the programme to deliberate on Biodiversity act and its Institutional Mechanism for Implementation, roles and responsibilities of Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) for good governance at local village institution level.

This training module has been developed and designed by Dr. V. Suresh Babu, Associate Professor (NIRD&PR – NERC) to create a pool of employees who can create awareness among the village communities and support the BMC emphasizing on Access and Benefit Sharing Provisions; Preparing PBR (People’s Biodiversity Register);  Estimation of carbon emission.

Sequestration process and sink; Marketing of carbon credits and Enhancement of Biodiversity through holistic approaches of the Rural Development flagship programmes including centrally sponsored line department schemes could enhance the afforestation, biodiversity and livelihood opportunities of tribal rural households.

Dr. V. Suresh Babu, Associate Professor and Program Director, NIRDPR-NERC, Guwahati, while welcoming the esteemed dignitaries, resource persons and the participants to the event laid focus on the climate change performance Index (CCPI), India’s performance on climate action has been rated as ‘high’ in the GHG emissions, energy use and climate policy categories, ‘medium’ in renewable energy, and is already on track to meet its 2030 emissions target aligned to a well-below ‘2OC scenario’.

India made further progress towards a 1.5OC future at COP26, declaring an intent to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070 to achieve five-fold strategy — termed as the panchamrita commitments to reduce shortages of water, food and greater risks to health.

Dr. D. Evanoreen Ann Khongwir, Scientist, Meghalaya Biodiversity Board (MBB) presented an interactive session on People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR) and a case study of Khweng BMC in detail regarding seven PBR formats. Dr. S. Dey, Senior Technical Officer, Meghalaya Biodiversity Board delivered a lecture on Access and Benefit Sharing Provisions, facilitating the village household and village council with economic benefits and respective shares.

In continuation, participants were also exposed to the National Bamboo Mission for biodiversity conservation with focus on promotion of bamboo in degraded lands and  scrub forests to sequester maximum carbon and accelerate the rural livelihood and economy through value addition.

Session on Agroforestry models, criteria for selection of agroforestry tree species, types of agroforestry models, merits and demerits were discussed at length. Shri Sanwar Mal Swami, IFS, Silviculture Division, Meghalaya Forest Division addressed the participants with the topic on Forest Department Initiatives to reduce carbon emissions.

Besides, Dr. Vincent. T. Darlong, Director, delivered a lecture on “Promotion of Common Property Resources for Biodiversity Conservation. He referred to the role of GPDP in holistic planning for CPRs conservation across the country.

The programme focused on interactive deliberations inclusive of two days practical exposure. Participants visited the Community Village Forests in Sohra, Umdiengpoh, home based nursery at Laitthemlangsah as well as Assisted Natural Regeneration in Dympep village site managed by the community with the technical support extended by Khasi Hills Community REDD+ Project. Participants visited the Mawphlang Sacred Groves which is a carbon sink protected with the concept of local indigenous tribal divinity.

Mr. Felix Pde, Forestry Team Leader, shared his rich experiences on carbon emissions, sequestration and sink to develop carbon neutral villages, Mrs. Anne P Lyngdoh, Project Associate elaborated on estimation of carbon emission and carbon sequestration. Mr. KhrawborlangLyngdoh Sr. Accountant discussed the aspects of promotion and marketing strategies for carbon credit trading. Mr. Kenneth B Kharsyntiew Tourism Development Specialist, exposed the participants with the opportunities of eco-tourism in REDD+ organization.

The programme concluded with the closing ceremonyon 12th May, 2023.  Further, for wider dissemination of knowledge on carbon neutral villages, a similar programme will be conducted by NIRDPR- NERC in collaboration with SIRD Meghalaya on 7th -11th August 2023 at SIRD Meghalaya Nongsder campus.

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