May 18, 2024

Khandu seeks green events in schools, focus on conservation

TAP | Updated: June 5, 2017

ITANAGAR, Jun 05: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday joined school children in planting tree saplings, organised by the state Department of Forest and Environment at Jollang village’s Art of Living campus, to celebrate World Environment Day.

About 200 students from six schools planted more than 300 saplings of fruits trees on the campus.

Addressing the audience in the campus auditorium, the chief minister said he was heartened by the participation of school children, a report from the CMO said.

“When children are made part of the nature conservation efforts, it has positive impact in their life,” he said and recalled such outdoor activities during his school days. He said exposure with nature helped him widen his perspective, increase curiosity and develop a practical understanding of why all things natural need to be conserved.

He urged the forest department to conduct nature conservation programmes in schools and colleges.

Underlying the importance of nature in the tribal society, Khandu said, “Our tribal culture is deeply intertwined with the nature – be it puja or our way of living. Each tribe has unique relation with their natural environment, which makes our culture inseparable with the nature.”

“Also Arunachal is known for its green cover, which enables us to receive extra grants from the centre,” he said and called on the people to protect nature.

To gear up conservation efforts in the state, Khandu said the onus lies not only with the department or the state government but with the people too.

He said that the department has been directed to use CAMPA funds for afforestation activities only and not to divert these funds for other activities. He also asked them to take up activities to develop wastelands with afforestation activities.

He discouraged unplanned destruction in the name of development and urged all the departments to see that the development activities have minimal impact on nature.

“When nature thrives – we all live – else we are doomed,” the chief minister added.

Earlier in his speech, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein said that this year’s theme “Connecting people to Nature” is quite appropriate.

Narrating how human beings have disconnected from nature with the passage of time in the pursuit of development and comfort, he said, “We have degraded the abundant natural resources like forest, animals, fish, etc., through our own degrading activities like rampant forest cutting, hunting and fishing”.

He called to protect the environment from degrading further and appealed to take necessary corrective measures by minimizing forest degrading activities.

He pitched for restricting hunting and fishing in “shrine areas” in the state and also to ban rampant fishing by means of explosives, poison, electric shocks, which are the major causes of day-to-day diminishing fish population in our rivers. He also said that Kamlang Tiger Reserve is deteriorating day by day and it needs to be protected from further deterioration.

He exhorted the students to spend time with the nature by participating in outdoor activities in between their studies and play outside instead of confining themselves within the four walls of the house engrossed in computers, TVs and other electronic gadgets for refreshing their minds.

He also requested the forest department to organize exposure tour to sanctuaries, parks and zoos for the students. This way they will expose themselves to the nature and would learn by seeing.

Parliamentary Secretary for Forest and Environment CT Mein stressed upon the need to protect and save our forests and should plant more and more trees to ameliorate the environment.

Chief Secretary Shakuntala Gamlin elaborated on the environmental issues concerning the climate change and the mitigatory measures to combat climate change. She told the audience to strike a balance between development and environmental conservation and both should go hand by hand.

PCCF Omkar Singh, in his welcome address, highlighted the meaning and importance of this year’s theme “Connecting People to Nature” of World Environment Day, 2017.

Later, the chief minister distributed prizes to the children who won in the essay and drawing competition. He also released a book, ‘Orchids of Arunachal’, a newsletter, ‘Arunachal Envis’ and a pocket book of laws for forest officers.

Earlier in the morning, the day started with tree plantation by the chief minister and other dignitaries at Hollongi. It was followed by inauguration of forest check gate at Hollongi by the Khandu, where he addressed the people of the area on importance of conservation of nature.

UD and Town Planning Minister Nabam Rebia, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Fisheries, Tatung Jamoh and Arunachal Pradesh Forest Corporation Chairperson Talo Mugli also attended the programme, the report added.

The day was also celebrated in the districts of the state with various programmes.

Ziro: The Hapoli Forest Division in collaboration with Apatani Students’ Union organised a bicycle rally cum awareness program on various local environmental issues.

The bicycle expedition was flagged off by Food and Civil Supplies Parliamentary Secretary Tage Taki. It started from and ended at Govt Higher Secondary School through Hong-Hari-Bulla-Lempia-Old Ziro-Hija-Dutta-Mudang Tage-Bamin Michi, with awareness generation and tree plantations at different villages en route.

Taki called upon the denizens to retrospect and start adopting measures to preserve and protect the environment from further degradation.

“The water level of the lone river of the valley, river Kley is 50 times less than it used to be 50 years back, which is a matter of serious concern. Our rain-fed rivers will dry up if deforestation is not controlled. Intellectuals will have to brainstorm and guide the youths to adopt naturally viable development and economic activities,” he said.

He also advised against commercial construction between the fields and catchment areas, as these could accelerate water pollution. Kley with very less turbulence is unable to carry away wastes disposed in it, and therefore such constructions could choke the river and destroy the aquatic life, he said.

Deputy Commissioner Kemo Lollen suggested discontinuing jhum cultivation and adopting alternate horticulture farming, which will not only augment economic development but also lessen deforestation. He also informed that the use of pesticides would be banned in the district.

Aalo: The Aalo Forest Division in collaboration with Army and civil administration organised a plantation drive to mark the Day at Aalo, Kamba, Kaying and Tato to make their surroundings green.

Station Commander Brig JS Budhwar inaugurated the drive by planting saplings at Aalo Military Garrison. DFO Abhinav Kumar and his staff had taken the initiative to plant ornamental trees such as Gulmohar, Nahar, Ajar to beautify the town and the roads leading to Menchuka and Panging.

Budhwar urged to raise the awareness level of locals about the importance of conservation of environment.

Bomdila: District and forest officials celebrated the day at Government College campus at Wanghoo by planting saplings.

DC Sonal Swaroop underlined the importance of nature and its preservation and propagation. “The follies of people have led to global warming and climate change,” she said and urged the people to go for mass plantation to secure the future.

“Planting of saplings should be followed by proper care. We need to nourish and nurture the environment if at all the mankind needs to exist”, she added.

On the eve of the day, the District Legal Services Authority Basar organised a plantation drive in and around the premises of Additional District and Sessions court in presence of bar members of West Siang district.

Tezu: World environment day was celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. The celebration started with mass plantation drive from club road to Govt higher secondary school gate followed by a film show at Amik Ringya hall.

Around 60 students from four different schools participated in the programme.

DC Danish Ashraf while highlighting the theme ‘connecting people to nature’, said that the theme is very apt especially for our state as the indigenous tribes of the state has always lived in harmony with the nature.

He urged the students to appreciate, learn and take inspiration from the nature.

Expressing concern over the rapid destruction of nature, he stressed on the need to conserve and protect nature and requested everyone to take responsibility for the same.

Tawang:Joining the rest of the world, the ICICI Tawang Branch convened a plantation drive in collaboration with Social Forestry Division.

The forestry team lead by Tawang DFO Dr Abdul Qayum Siddique and the Bank team skippered by its Manager Rahul Upadhyay and Deputy Manager Shamim Bharbuiya,  planted around 50 saplings near Kalawangpo convention hall near parade ground with the objective to paint the city green.

"More similar ventures are in the pipeline", the manager said.

Public leaders and students from Kendriya Vidyalaya Tawang also participated in the drive.

Boleng: A door to door awareness campaign on source segregation of municipal solid waste-cum-plantation drive was on Monday organised at Boleng by the department of urban development and housing, on the occasion of World Environment Day.

As part of the campaign, a team led by Deputy Director Sonkoli Sonam demonstrated how waste generated in every household can be segregated into biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste right at the household level for easier collection, transportation, treatment and subsequent disposal of the generated waste while protecting the environment.

Through usage of various audio-visual aids, the team also stressed upon the need to adopt environment friendly compost system in every office complex, schools, other Public places and vicinity areas of every household in town. Additionally, various techniques on re-use and recycling of non-biodegradable waste such as plastic, metal, glass etc were shared and demonstrated.