Shillong: Meghalaya Forest & Environment Minister James Sangma on Monday stressed the need to raise awareness on reforestation strategies and improving forest management in the State.
“It is important to take lessons from the recent alarming situation that the COVID-19 pandemic created, it also served its purpose for mother-nature in which many mundane things were undone for the better and it gives them time to introspect about the relationship human beings have had with the environment all this while,” Sangma said.
“It reminds us of the profound consequences on our own well-being and survival that can result from continued biodiversity loss and the degradation of ecosystems,” he said addressing the valedictory session of a one-day Capacity Building Workshop for the officials of Forests & Environment Department on the topic “Implementation of the provisions of Biological Diversity Act, 2002 with special emphasis on Enforcement Matters and Access & Benefit Sharing (ABS) in the state.”
Stating that Meghalaya, which is a part of the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot, harbours a rich and diversified flora and fauna, the minister said,” The region is in the middle of significant changes which are causing extreme temperature changes and erratic rainfall patterns over the last few years which affect agriculture, livelihoods and the health of the people.”
Therefore, he stressed the need to raise awareness on reforestation strategies and improving forest management in order to meet the objectives with regard to halting biodiversity loss and
protecting the ecosystems.
He also urged the stakeholders to start looking at biological diversity not only as a tangible resource for economic benefits but also to conserve and protect biological resources and the services it gives in intangible terms that sustain our lives.
On the occasion, Sangma also released the Meghalaya Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (MBSAP) 2017-2030, books “Flowering Plants of Meghalaya: A pictorial Guide, Part -1” and “ Bamboos of Meghalaya”. The minister distributed the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) fund to Singwilgre BMC, Selsella Block, West Garo Hills District.