Gangtok: November 3
The Government of Sikkim in its Chief Minister’s Forestry and Environment Mission Sikkim-2015 envisages spreading environment awareness and education in schools and local community and has come up with a vision to achieve “100% Environment Conscious Citizens in Sikkim by 2015”.
In compliance to the vision, Forest, Environment and Wildlife Management Department, Government of Sikkim in the recent North-Eastern Regional Committee (NERC) meeting had presented proposals for implementing National Environment Awareness Campaign (NEAC) on the theme “Forests for Sustainable Livelihood” for the year 2011-12.
In the meeting held on October 17th-21st, 2011 at Guwahati Assam, the Officers from Environmental Information System (ENVIS), Forest, Environment and Wildlife Management Department had presented 116 proposals from State Environmental NGOs and School Eco-Clubs to the tune of Rs. 18.46 lakhs. The
proposals in detail were scrutinized by the North-Eastern Regional Committee and the approving authority accorded approval to 111 proposals for conducting this year’s awareness campaign throughout the State. This campaign is being conducted on annual basis and the theme for 2011 session has been selected taking into consideration that the year 2011 is International Year of Forests as declared by the United Nations.
Sikkim is a state with 47.59% forest and tree cover and a biodiversity hot spot; hence a rich repository of unique flora and fauna. It has been recognized that sustainable forest management can contribute significantly to sustainable livelihood. Owing to the State’s rich forest, Government of India has made several
attempts to value the services provided by forests and the indicative value is 0.5 to 0.9 million rupees per hectare. Sustainable development implies use of natural resources such that future generations can attain the same level of well being as enjoyed by the present generation. Sustainable livelihood of forests means
utilizing, in a way to use it today to ensure similar benefits, health and productivity in the future also. Many conflicting factors – commercial and non-commercial values, environmental considerations and community needs – must be kept in mind while developing a sustainable forest management plan for this campaign.
The campaign will focus to sensitize and aware the local community at 111 different locations throughout the State during its period of implementation from December 2011 till the end of March 2012. The follow up of the campaign will include involvement of the local community in various action oriented activities throughout the year. The participating agencies as approved by the North-Eastern Regional Committee will be provided financial grant-in-aids to the tune of Rs. 6,000/- to Rs. 15,000/- respectively. Out of 111proposals sanctioned by regional committee four are from north, 29 from south, 59 from east and 19 from west districts and the selected agencies includes NGOs, government institutions and educational institutions.