Silchar, Nov 6: Sustainable development and conservation strategies for the Northeast and its contiguous biodiversity zones, a round table of forest ministers of the region, besides green art and green music events are on the agenda of the three-day Northeast Green Summit beginning here from November 16.
The focus area of the sixth edition of the summit is 'Greening after Covid: Regional Cooperation, Innovation & Entrepreneurship'. Union Minister of State for Environment Ashwini Chaubey is expected to attend the summit, where delegates from Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar will also brainstorm on various issues.
Several stalls showcasing sustainable products from across the northeastern region will be part of the summit, which is organised by Vibgyor NE Foundation and supported by United Nations Environment (UNEP). As a run-up to the event, a green cyclothon is being organised on November 8 to create awareness among the public about the rapidly-depleting resources.
The rally also aims to promote the heritage points of southern Assam, also known as Barak Valley, and eco-tourism and create awareness on sustainable development.
"The agenda of the forest ministers' round table will be primarily to focus matters of common concerns - climate change, animal migration, movement of forest produce, management of natural resources on interstate and international borders, forest and wildlife offence with ramifications across each other's territory among many other issues," says former IFS officer C P Marak, who is an advisory board member of the summit.
A Silchar Declaration may be unveiled at the end of the round table, subject to consensus on the issues raised, Marak adds. According to Rajdeep Roy, Lok Sabha member from Silchar and one of the brains behind the summit, the forest ministers' round table is expected to come out with certain consensus and resolutions to evolve guidelines which will positively contribute towards conservation of natural resources and livelihood of forest-dependent people. Atul Bagai, India head of UNEP, says while the northeast is comparatively at a better position in terms of greenery and natural resources, the effect of global warming and climate change is evident with delayed rains and longer summers.
"It is the time to act so that we can give back what belongs to nature. Like previous years, Northeast Green Summit 2021 will act as a catalyst in the northeastern region to combat global warming and act towards conservation," he says.
The summit espouses #BuildBackBetter as the mantra for the Northeast post-pandemic since a "green recovery" could benefit not just the climate but also human health and prosperity, says Marak. Over the years, the summit has been acknowledging innovative and successful conservation programmes across the Northeast and this time, Arunachal Pradesh Forest Department's Air Gun Surrender Abhiyan - a unique conservation initiative aiming to save birds and animals from hunters - would be feted.