To facilitate smooth implementation of the proposed ‘Revision of State Action Plan on Climate Change of Manipur (SAPCC Ver 2) & Preparation of District Environment Plan (DEP)’, a one day District Level consultative workshop was held at DRDA hall, Mini-Secretariat complex here in Ukhrul district headquarters on Friday.
Speaking as the main resource person on the occasion, State Nodal Officer, Climate Change and NGT Related Issue, Department of Environment & Climate Change, Manipur, Dr Brajakumar said that SAPCC was a plan that aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change, and developing practices for adaptation and mitigation of climate variability and natural resource conservation in the state.
He said that the plan would be implemented guided by its eight main missions namely, State mission for Ecosystem, Biodiversity and Livelihood sustainability; State mission for Water Resources; State mission for Sustainable Agriculture Practices; State mission for Health; State mission for Forests Resources Conservation; State mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency & Conservation; State mission for Urban Planning and State mission for climate change Strategic Knowledge & Information.
Highlighting about the existing action plan in SAPCC VER (2013 – 2020) and the proposed plan in SAPCC Ver 2 (2020 – 2030), he said that the same sought to improve adaptability of the public through developing suitable infrastructures and preserving eco-systems of the state by address various adaptation challenges being faced by the local community.
During the day long consultation, different participants representing Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long, UDCRMS Ukhrul, Tangkhul Naga Long, and other local bodies and NGOs, expressed their desire and urged the government and its nodal agency to take into confidence the local customary authorities and land owners of the community in implementing the plan.
According to them, land, forest and natural resources in Ukhrul and Kamjong districts are within the jurisdiction of customary bodies like TNL, TNWL etc. and any strategies on climate change action plan ought to be worked out in due consultation with these customary authorities to ensure hassle-free implementation and success of the plan.
Clearing doubt of the participants, Prajakumar assured them that a series of further consultation meetings would be taken up with all stakeholders including villagers for finalization of the plan.
“We will also do spot visit and survey of different villages for adopting policy and strategies before implementing any part of the plan,” he further assured.
He explained that the proposed plan would not be implemented by the Government alone, but would be jointly done by both the state and community, whose main objective is to address the climate change in the state.
He also stressed on the need for adoption of a proper plan in all districts across the state to achieve the goal. “The Government is currently in the process of working out strategies and will be putting forth proposals but these won’t be implemented by the government alone. In fact, we are doing this to primarily seek suggestions from the local community,” he assured.
He said that while the department of Environment was the nodal agency and key resource in framing the climate change policy and creating the necessary institutional mechanism for the plan, all stakeholders like local villagers and the community would be taken on board for its finalization and implementation.
Traditional knowledge and practices of the local villagers or the community who have proper knowledge about their lands and forests, would be required to ensure success of the plan, he added.
Speaking as a resource person, Ukhrul DFO Shanngam Shali observed that: “Nothing, not even pandemic or war will kill us, but climate change will. So to counter climate change, people need to plant trees as much as possible.”
“Climate change mainly caused by the growth of carbon dioxide in atmosphere. And so, growing and planting trees is seen as an effective way to counter this phenomenon,” he said.
He also said that development and climate change are two contrast things, going in opposite directions. “While development is indispensable, it brings negative impacts on humans and the environment in one way or another.”
“But today, we have found an answer to this and that is sustainable development,” he said, adding that it is the practice of balancing the use natural resources for sustenance, reserving the same for the prosperity.
Ukhrul DC Joseph Kamson, AC Kachamthai, senior environment journalist Salam Rajesh, Ukhrul DFO Shanngam Shali, Additional SP Ringthing Hongchui, DLOs, CSO leaders, NGO representatives, experts and stakeholders attended the event.