Meghalaya Govt presented Climate Action Budget for the first time
To emphasize the centrality of the climate agenda, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma announced the presentation of a Climate Action Budget for the first time this year along with an overall allocation towards climate action for 2023-24 of Rs. 3,412 crore, which corresponds to about 15 % of the State’s budget.
In his budget speech presented in the floor of the house on Thursday, Sangma said that Meghalaya’s ecology is fragile and the livelihoods of lakhs of people depend on nature. Accordingly, focusing on sustainability and building climate resilience are important components of the State’s growth strategy.
He further said that they have operationalized the State Water Mission through which an integrated and coordinated approach to water management is being put in place.
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He also said that the State is currently implementing externally aided projects to the tune of Rs. 2,500 crore focusing on environmental sustainability, forest management and water harvesting while adding in 2023-24, water harvesting structures at 300 locations costing about Rs 250 crore will be initiated.
Meghalaya is leading the way in implementing interventions for protecting forests, the Chief Minister informed that about 88 lakh saplings have been planted over the last five years to grow 10,000 hectares of forests.
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He further said that the State is also implementing the country’s largest ‘Payment for Ecosystem Services’ project called Green Meghalaya.
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Under the program, Sangma said that the communities are being incentivized to conserve forests. We are currently covering about 16,000 hectares of forests and have disbursed over Rs 13 crore during the current financial year. He also said about 50,000 hectares of forests will be protected under the program and Rs 250 crore will be transferred to the communities over the next five years.
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