Shillong, Sept 28: Meghalaya today received ‘Greeb Ribbon Champion’ Award which was presented by the Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri to Meghalaya’s Health Minister Dr Ampareen Lyngdoh.
Receiving the award Dr Lyngdoh in her speech stated that Meghalaya’s stunning landscape, with 94% of forests that are community-owned, underscores the importance of community participation in reversing climate change.
“Meghalaya, in 2019, became the first state in India to launch an integrated Water Policy, followed by the Water Mission, promoting sustainable water management and creating livelihood opportunities.”
“Communities have emerged as champions in the conservation of catchment areas. A shining example of their unwavering commitment can be witnessed in the Mawsynram Declaration, where 24 villages from the Mawsynram Block united to preserve critical catchment areas.Communities, exemplified by the Mawsynram Declaration, are champions in conserving catchment areas through collective action, providing a powerful model for other villages.
“Recognizing the need for efficient forest landscape management, we’ve initiated Forest Management Plans (FMPs), with 400 in 2022 and 500 more in preparation, to directly benefit our people.
“With approximately 80% of our population in rural areas and 70% dependent on agriculture, the Natural Farming Initiative promotes nutrition security through multi-cropping, reduced farming costs, and reduced carbon footprint.
“In 2022, we launched the Payment for Ecosystem Scheme (PES) to incentivize communities to conserve forests, covering over 17,100 hectares in its first phase, aiming for 50,000 hectares in five years.
“Our living root bridges, in over 70 villages, are recognized by UNESCO, symbolizing a sustainable balance between our economy and ecology. The Seedball initiative engages over 75,000 children to enhance our green cover.
“Recognizing the importance of grassroots natural resource management, we’ve introduced amendments to the Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Act 2005, establishing Natural Resource Management Committees (NRMCs) within every Village Employment Council (VEC). These committees ensure effective and sustainable natural resource management, with an expenditure reaching 45%.
“Our journey towards a sustainable future is built on collaboration, supported by the Meghalaya State Council on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, led by our Chief Minister. We’ve implemented diverse initiatives guided by scientific principles to conserve our environment and combat climate change.”
She also extended Meghalaya government’s appreciation to Network18 for their recognition of the state’s efforts.