After the successful completion of the Northeast Green Summit 2016, the second edition of the Northeast Green Summit, was held during December 1-5 2017 with an aim to conserve the natural and cultural heritage of Northeast India by bringing together stakeholders from all walks of life through deliberation, sharing experiences and proposing solutions to some of the unique environmental challenges being faced in the region. The underlying theme of the Summit 2017 was ‘Green Northeast, Clean Northeast’. The Summit had the ideal setting of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam which has the world’s highest population density of one-horned rhinoceros and is located in the flood-prone region of Mayong in Morigaon district of Assam. It provided a unique platform for academicians, policymakers, industry leaders, student organisations, NGOs, civil society representatives and media persons to have a dialogue on four key areas for ecological conservation and sustainable development in the Northeast Region of India. The technical sessions were delved on series of environmental issues and its preservation. They were viz., “Diversified Farming with Medicinal Plants in Northeast India: Markets Within and Abroad ; “Northeast India’s Community Based Model for a Clean, Swachh Northeast: Deforestation/Pollution & Sustainability of the Villages of Northeast”; “Developing Northeast as a ‘Natural Economic Zone: Sustainable Livelihood Avenues for Indigenous Tribes of Northeast Through Food Processing Skilling and Allied Activities & finally on “Social Entrepreneurship: Promote Sustainable Economic Growth and Employment Amongst Local Youths”. These key areas were discussed in detail and resulted in identification of actionable points and recommendations for the Central and State governments and as well other stakeholders. Some of the prominent resource persons who deliberated in different technical sessions included Shri B.S. Rawat, Director General, North East Centre for Technology Application and Research (NECTAR), Shri A.M. Singh, PCCF (Planning & CAMPA), Department of Environment & Forests, Government of Assam, Lt. Gen Ramesh Halgali, Chairman, Catalytic Thinktank Forum (Bangalore, Karnataka), Dr. S.K. Malhotra, Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Dr. Manish Das, Principal Scientist, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Shillong, Shri R.S. Gill, CEO, Meghalaya State Medicinal Plant Board and Additional PCCF, Forests & Environment Department, Government of Meghalaya, Shri Tendril Wangdi, Dean, Institute of Traditional Medicine Services from Bhutan, Shri A.K.M. Haruner Rashid, Registrar/Secretary, Bangladesh Board of Unani & Ayurvedic Systems of Medicine, Shri C.P. Marak, Chairman, Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board & PCCF and HoFF, Forest & Environment Department, Government of Meghalaya, Shri Ranjan Chatterjee, Former Chief Secretary, Meghalaya & Former Member, National Green Tribunal, Shri Ashwin A.S., Senior Manager – Forestry, IORA Ecological Solutions, Shri C.P. Suresh, Professor, Department of Horticulture, North Eastern Hill University, Tura Campus,Meghalaya, Km. Sriya Mohanti, Manager, Climate Policy, IORA Ecological Solutions, Shri Jayanta Sharma, Expert, Environment, Development & Livelihoods, Shri Prashant Srinivas, Founder and Chairman, Catalytic Thinktank Forum & Expert Group Member, Niti Aayog, Shri Sudipto Chatterjee, Associate Professor, TERI School of Advanced Studies, Dr Bibhuti P. Lahkar, Manas Landscape Administrator, Shri Kumar Rakesh Chandra, Deputy General Manager, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Dr Albert Chiang, Scientist, Institute of Bioresources & Sustainable Development (IBSD), Manipur, Shri John Borgoyary, Regional Head – Northeast India, UNDP, Shri P.K. Dong, Regional Director – Tourism (Retd.), Ministry of Tourism, Shri Tengsak G. Momin, President, Garo Students Union, Dr. Pawan K Kaushik, Regional Director, Centre for Forest based Livelihood and Extension, Tripura.
Action on their recommendations through robust, scientific planning and participatory implementation can result in converting the challenges being faced in Northeast India into potential opportunities for socio-economic development and ecological conservation.
(Dr.Bhattacharjee is an Associate Professor, Department of Management of North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Tura Campus, Meghalaya)