GUWAHATI: Northeast Green Summit 2018 would give a great opportunity to preserve the Northeast of India which has such unique features that distinguishes it from the rest of the country, said Wankhi Lowang, Minister of Public Health Engineering of Arunachal Pradesh, while speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the Third Edition of the Northeast Green Summit 2018, at State Convention Centre, Shillong in Meghalaya on Wednesday.
He shared his experience of how villagers of Arunachal Pradesh, also known as the land of the rising sun, confronted him on why people are cutting down trees which have been preserved for centuries.
“I could not answer them as population density was increasing for which land was required. I hope we come with solutions to problems of such nature,” added Lowang.
Metbah Lyngdoh, Tourism Minister of Meghalaya, graced the Summit as Chief Guest. CP Marak, PCCF & HOFF, Meghalaya and Chairman, Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board, was also present.
Lyngdoh warmly welcomed all, especially the young ones thronging the Summit from universities, schools, and colleges, who were also important stakeholders of the Summit.
Addressing the delegates, Y Tsering, Chief Secretary, Meghalaya said, “I would like to raise some questions for which I am sure the answers would be found in the Summit.”
“The sustainable development goal, which is a topic here, is a big challenge and how one can achieve it, is to be known,” he mentioned.
He added, “We have the best waterfalls in Meghalaya for which people from various parts of the country come to witness but preserving and sustaining it is a challenge.”
He hoped that access to affordable, sustainable, reliable and modern energy to all, are ensured.
“We should all act as brand ambassadors of Northeast, which is among the top ten biodiversity zones in the world,” said Dr. Dinabandhu Sahoo, Director, Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD).
The three-day Summit organized by Meghalaya Pollution Control Board, Social Forestry Wing, Forest, and Environment Department, Govt. of Meghalaya, IBSD, and Vibgyor Media Solutions, Guwahati, began with a magnanimous crowd which included participants and key stakeholders from state governments, private sector and PSUs, besides international development organizations.
Pijush Hazarika, Urban Development Minister of Assam, mentioned about global warming and simultaneously said that there is still hope as afforestation went from 24 percent to 25 percent.
He spoke about simple changes that we all have to take care first before delving deep into all aspects to save our environment.
Hazarika described how in Hong Kong, people have to first fill up a form before entering a taxi there. “A fine of Rs 50,000 will be charged if you litter inside. My fellow Indians will go there, follow their rules but when they come back, the attitude is not the same. So this mentality has to change,” he said.
Ranjan Chatterjee, former Chief Secretary, Meghalaya, and former Member, National Green Tribunal, who is also on the Advisory Board of the Northeast Green Summit, reminded all once again to be the brand ambassadors of Northeast, before the start of the first parallel technical session of the Summit.