“Our tribal culture is deeply intertwined with the nature – be it the puja or our way of living, Each tribe have unique relation with their natural environment, which makes our culture inseparable with the nature.” said Chief Minister Pema Khandu while addressing the school children in a Tree sapling planting programme held in the Art of Living campus at Jollang village, organised by the state department of forest and environment to celebrate World Environment Day.
About 200 students from six schools planted more than 300 trees particularly fruits trees in the campus.
The Chief Minister said he was heartened by the participation of school children while addressing the audience in the campus auditorium.
“When children are made part of the nature conservation efforts, it has positive impact in their life,” he said and spoke about the experience of his school days when he was exposed to similar outdoor activities to learn about wildlife and the environment.
He said such 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 therefore urged the forest department to conduct nature conservation programmes in schools and colleges.
“Also Arunachal is known for its green cover, which enables us to receive extra grants from the centre,” said the Chief Minister and called on the people to protect the nature.
To gear up conservation efforts in the state, the Chief Minister said the onus lies not only with the department or the state government but with the people too.
He informed 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,” said the Chief Minister.
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 being have disconnected from the 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, etc 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 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 in his speech 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 in the programme, 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 Chief Minister, where he addressed the people of the area on importance of conservation of nature.
Minister of UD & Town Planning, Nabam Rebia, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture & Fisheries, Tatung Jamoh and Arunachal Pradesh Forest Corporation Chairperson, Talo Mugli also attended the programme.