SHILLONG: Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma, participated in the Caux Forum 2019 Dialogue on Land and Security held in Montreux, Switzerland on June 27-30.
Addressing the audience, Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma, expressing happiness to be a part of the dialogue and giving an insight of the State said that, Meghalaya is a small State with a population of about 3.3 million people yet the State is known worldwide for receiving the heaviest rainfall in the world. “Another great aspect of the State is the discovery by Geologists in 2018 about the Meghalayan Age which put our State in the global spotlight,” said the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister also apprised the gathering about the traditional and indigenous customs and practices of the people. “We have a lot of traditional rules and laws that don’t apply to other parts of the country and it is a community driven society,” he said. He also informed the gathering about the Land Tenure System, the Sacred Groves and the Living Root Bridges of the State. “We as a government are proud of our society and the idea of our Sacred Groves and Living Root Bridges should be known to the rest of the world,” he said. He said that the government has given a importance to such indigenous knowledge and have stressed on community participation in the implementation of government programmes. “The government in its various policies and programmes has tried to ensure community participation so that the community becomes sustainable and we are working on brining environment conservation, community participation and community sustainability into governance and development,” he said.
He also informed that the State has about 6500 villages and the government will ensure that the National Resource Management Plans are made through full community participation. He informed that there is also a special emphasis on Restoration of Land in more than 400 villages of the State. He further added that the government has linked all livelihood programmes to natural resources and are encouraging people to protect these natural resources. “I am happy to inform that this year on World Environment Day we have planted 1.2 million trees and every citizen is encouraged to plant and adopt one tree,” he said.
“Water depletion and water crisis is a massive problem in our country and our State is one of the first States in the country to be ready with the State Water Policy to face the issue of water conservation and water use,” he added. The Chief Minister also informed that the State government will sign the Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Berkeley in September to adopt 100 villages to start the concept of Smart Villages in Meghalaya. “Our cities are already choking and having smart villages will prevent urban migration and related environmental issues,” he added.
The Chief Minister said that as the State celebrates the 50 years of Statehood in 2022 and the country the 75th year of Independence there is a need to start living for the State, the country and the world as a whole. “There are problems we have to address and there are also solutions, we just need to come together to talk, discuss and share and need to create goals that must permeate down to the individual level so that every individual has a goal for the development and good of the society, the nation and the world,” he said.
It may be noted here that The annual Caux Forum through conferences, training and dialogues aims to inspire, equip and connect people, groups and organizations to build a just, sustainable and peaceful world.
Each year,in a safe space of trust, care, solidarity and respect, around 1,500 participants from civil society, government and business meet in a true diversity of ages, genders, cultures, sectors and beliefs which builds bridges across cultural, social and ethnic divides. The Caux Palace, a former Belle-Époque Grand Hotel overlooking Lake Geneva and the Alps, provides a unique and inspiring setting.
A visit to Caux is about unlocking one’s potential: Caux encourages individuals, groups and organizations to reflect on their roles, explore their resources, and connect with their responsibilities as changemakers, on the principle that everyone can make a difference.
At the 2019 Dialogue, global thought leaders and practitioners will explore how community and individual actions can reverse degradation leading to peace and stability.