Shillong: Meghalaya’s forest cover has been reduced by 73 sq kms, State Forests and Environment Minister, James P K Sangma said on Friday and urged students and millennials to dedicate themselves to save planet earth.
“We as stakeholders should start to move ahead and find solutions on how to tackle climate change,” Sangma stressed at a Cherry Blossom Trees plantation programme at Shillong Golf Course organised by the State Social Forestry and Environment Wing in collaboration with Department of Sociology, Lady Keane College, Education Department, NEHU and Shillong Club.
Various stakeholders and students, officials from the Forests Department and Shillong Golf Course took part in the tree plantation programme.
Acknowledging the initiative taken by the organisers to plant trees along the periphery of the Shillong Golf Course, the Forest and Environment Minister said that preserving the greenery of this Green Island of Shillong city is the need of the hour in order to bring this patch of land to its natural glory.
“The planting of 1500 Cherry Blossom Trees should relay a strong message to the citizens that climate change should be taken seriously. The save environment campaign should not end here and we should shy away from tokenism, symbolism and imbibe this commitment in our everyday lives,” he said, adding that ‘Everyday should be Environment Day’
While lamenting the fact that the forest cover in the State has reduced by 73 sq kms, Sangma informed that in these last three years, the Government has transitioned from just regulating the acts and rules to design out of the box solutions and interventions.
For this, the Minister said that the government is cooperating and collaborating with communities to ‘use nature to solve nature’s problem’ while citing example of the Phytoremediation method to detoxify the Lukha river where Algae was used to remove major toxic contents from the water to improve the pH balance of the river.
Sangma urged upon each individual to shoulder the responsibility along with the government to tackle climate change by working towards restoration of nature’s valuable resources and to rededicate ourselves to save our planet Earth.
The highlight of the day was the distribution of Meghalaya Excellence Award for Environment Protection to Tambor Lyngdoh of Dongiewrim Mawphlang for his effort to protect and preserve the natural resources in private and community forests and to Ka Synjuk ki Hima Arliang Wah Umiam Mawphlang Welfare Society Dongiewrim Mawphlang for setting up of grassroot level organisation
for motivating people in conserving the environment and promoting sustainable use of natural resources. The award carried a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh and a memento.
Prizes were also distributed to students who took part in the drawing, painting, elocution and slogan writing competition.