Northeast Green Summit started in a very small but significant way in 2016 the sleepy little town of Garo Hills, Tura, in Meghalaya. With the noble objective of conserving the environment in regard to the Northeast and promoting sustainable livelihood, the mission took off and received support from not just the local community, student bodies and academic institutions but also international organisations like the UNDP and UNICEF which has footprint in the Northeast region besides all the State Governments of the Northeast and several Central Government ministries and organisations.
In tune with the realities of the Northeast region, we also had some interesting visitors in the first Summit – surrendered rebels of various rebel groups of Garo Hills who had surrendered and returned to the mainstream and who wanted to brainstorm and zero in on potential sustainable livelihood options for themselves. As Summit organisers, we were humbled to have been able to provide a platform to the former militants to interact with dignitaries like Shri John Borgiary, UNDP Head of Northeast and tourism expert Shri P.K.Dong, besides others.
From the first baby step at Tura, we decided to take the 2nd Northeast Green Summit to the beautiful locale of Assam’s Pobitora, a forest close to the hub of Northeast, Guwahati, which is famous for the largest density of one-horned rhinos and has a chequered conservation history where the local community has come forward to ensure zero-tolerance towards poaching of rhinos.
Every small step in the right direction and with the right intention counts, and as you flip through the pages of this journal, you would be able to gauge how the Northeast Green Summit has grown from strength to strength and how more and more individuals, organisations, the community and different governments have encouraged us to carry on this massive task of creating a platform – the only one of its kind in Northeast India – for a Clean, Green Northeast.
(Bitapi, Coordinator at Vibgyor Media Solutions)