Shillong, June 5:Various online and offline functions were held by state government and organisations to mark the World Environment Day on Saturday.
Forest and Environment Minister James Sangma, during a virtual meet on the occasion of World Environment Day on Saturday said the department is committed to carry out restoration of environment and clean two stretches of rivers in East Jaintia Hills district which were polluted due to unscientific coal mining.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma also participated in the virtual meet.
The chief minister urged people to bring about 500 more square kilometres of forest cover in the state in the next few years.
Soil and Water Conservation Minister, Hamletson Dohling pointed out that the state has a rich biodiversity and asked the citizens to come together in conserving the natural resources and the ecosystem.
Chief Secretary MS Rao also spoke.
SPARK and villages
The SPARK helped the members of households from villages of Mawlong, Mawlynrei Trianshnong, Pongkung, Rangmen and Bara Bazaar slum to observe World Environment Day.
Acknowledging their crucial roles in preservation of environment and lives, the villagers came forward to plant trees with a commitment to nurture and take care of them.
Around 500 samplings were planted on Saturday in these villages across the fields, roadsides, gardens and school boundaries. The initiative will continue and every month, the same will be repeated.
Shima Modak, the President & Founder of SPARK, said that the organisation believes that children are the best advocates for changes and they take learning back into their homes and communities. They are often seen teaching their parents and others to acknowledge their part in conservation and preservation of the ecosystem. Hence, children are always made a part of every initiative of SPARK.
Modak said protecting the environment is important during Covid-19 pandemic.
“The recent cases of people with Covid 19 losing their lives due to scarcity of oxygen made it more relevant and visible the importance of the environment and its impacts on each one’s life”, Modak said.
With this year’s theme of ‘Restore our Earth”, SPARK conducted a week-long special programme in various communities reaching out to each household in different villages and slums.
Modak and her team sensitised them on the importance of environment and ecosystem restoration.
The Border Security Force marked the World Environment Day 2021 with the theme ecosystem restoration at its headquarters at Umpling and various border locations of the state taking all precautionary measures against Covid while organising massive plantation drives.
Contributing towards protecting and preserving the environment and promoting a greener ecosystem, the tree plantation drive was undertaken within all the campuses of BSF in Meghalaya and more than 3000 saplings of various species were planted.
Hardeep Singh, Inspector General, BSF, Meghalaya Frontier said that plantation is the simplest and effective way to protect the environment. The tree plantation combats many environmental issues like soil erosion, desertification, global warming and enhances carbon sequestration capacity of globe.
Meghalaya Bharat Scouts and Guides
The Meghalaya Bharat Scouts and Guides alao celebrated the World Environment Day 2021 under the theme ecosystem restoration via a webinar on zoom platform.
DP Wahlang, State Chief Commissioner, Meghalaya Bharat Scouts and Guides greeted the Bharat Scouts & Guides. “Let us all pledge together to make this world a better place by protecting & ensuring our environment today & always. A green earth is a better earth”.
Joel Blah Kyndiah, an environmentalist was the first resource speaker to deliver a session about climate change and the pandemic. He emphasised the importance of environmental preservation while also reminding the repercussions in the form of degradation resulting from rapid urbanisation. He also pointed out the importance of safe-guarding the environment for a sustainable future for all. Ranger Megha P. Yadav from the Meghalaya Open Ranger Team was the second resource speaker who appreciated the Bharat Scouts and Guides for undertaking activities through global goals called SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) adopted by the United Nations.
She also appealed to change the habits in order to save the environment and limit the damage.
A video presentation on Plastic Tide Turners – a global youth movement to combat plastic pollution around the world was presented by the state coordinators for the project.
A Swer, state secretary thanked both the guest speakers and stressed the importance of the day and its celebrations. An online slogan and poster competition was also conducted for the youth to mark the day and the winners will be presented with digital certificates.