Supported by UNEP, Northeast Green Summit to be held in Silchar

Guwahati, Nov 08, 2021, IANS

The 6th Northeast Green Summit (NGS), supported by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), will be held in Assams Silchar, where Forest Ministers of eight northeastern states will meet to discuss climate change and conservation issues in the region, officials said on Monday.

Union Minister of State for Environment, Ashwini Kumar Choubey and delegates from Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar are expected to attend the three-day summit from November 16 in a bid to effectively brainstorm on common sustainable development and conservation strategies for not just northeast India but also its contiguous biodiversity zones.

The NGS advisory board member and a senior Indian Forest Service officer from Meghalaya C.P. Marak said that in the Forest Ministers' Round Table meet during the summit would focus matters of common concerns -- climate change, animal migration, movement of forest produce, management of natural resources on interstate and international borders, forest and wildlife offence with ramifications across each other's territory among many other issues.

"A Silchar Declaration may be unveiled at the end of the Round Table meeting subject to consensus on the issues," Marak said.

India Head of UNEP Atul Bagai, who has been supporting the summit for many years now, said that the northeast is comparatively at a better position in terms of greenery and natural resources, the effect of global warming and climate change is evident with delayed rains and longer summers, an official statement said.

"It is the time to act so that we can give back what belongs to nature. Like previous years, the NGS 2021 would act as a catalyst in the northeast region to combat global warming and act towards conservation," the statement said quoting Bagai.

Rajdeep Roy, the Lok Sabha MP from Silchar and also a passionate environmentalist, said that the Forest Ministers' Round Table would be the crowning moment of this year's summit.

"It is expected to come out with certain consensus and resolutions to evolve guidelines or protocol or recommendations, as may be decided, which would positively contribute towards conservation of natural resources and livelihood of forest-dependent people living inside or in its vicinity," said Roy, who is one of the brains behind the summit.

Acknowledging innovative and successful conservation programmes across the northeast has also been another feature of the Summit, which would be held at the National Institute of Technology, Silchar and Don Bosco School campuses in Silchar.

This time, Arunachal Pradesh Forest Department's 'airgun surrender abhiyan' - a unique conservation initiative aiming to save birds and animals from hunters - would be feted during the summit.

"Ours was an initiative to save our birds, animals, and nature. I am glad that hundreds of people came out to surrender their airguns for the sake of nature.

"We are happy that the success of our mission would be recognised during the NGS and it would help spread awareness about our cause," Mama Natung, the Forest Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, was quoted as saying.

Ahead of the NGS, a "green cyclothon" was organised on Monday in Assam's Barak Valley, to create awareness among the public about the rapidly depleting resources. Over 500 cyclists participated.