River island to be biodiversity heritage site and country’s first carbon neutral district
GUWAHATI, March 21: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday launched initiatives to develop Majuli as India’s first carbon neutral district and as a biodiversity heritage site, coinciding with the celebration of International Day of Forest at Brahmaputra State Guest House in the city. Sonowal also launched ‘Forests are Lives’ campaign to celebrate the importance of Assam’s rich forest wealth and biodiversity.
The Chief Minister said that steps must be taken to generate more awareness among students to conserve nature.
Sonowal directed the Forest department to celebrate the International Day of Forest from next year in every school of the State.
Underlining the State government’s goal to make ‘Green Assam’, Sonowal said everyone has to conserve nature, urging all parents to gift a sapling to their children on their birthdays and to inspire them to plant trees at all available spaces in their household premises.
Reiterating that tourists visit Assam to see its wildlife and nature, Sonowal said that continuous degradation of its ecology would adversely affect the State’s economy.
Majuli is facing existential crisis and therefore initiatives like designating it carbon neutral district and biodiversity heritage site are needs of the hour to preserve the river island’s rich heritage and legacy, Sonowal said.
Underlining the importance of making the people of Majuli aware of these plans and taking them on board for effective implementation of the same, the Chief Minister also electronically launched a registry on Majuli biodiversity district. The registry would record and analyze the impact on climate due to all proposed projects in Majuli.
The Sustainable Actions for Climate Resilient Development (SaCReD) Initiative is developing pathways to ensure that infrastructure in Majuli is low carbon.
Further, declaration of Majuli as a Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS), the first in the State, enforces the rich biological persity in the wild and cultivated areas of the island and cultural heritage of Majuli and gives it a renewed identity.
The celebration is organised by Care Luit and IORA Ecological Solution with support from Assam State Biodiversity Board and State Forest Department.
Declaring that Assam Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) and NGO partner Care Luit would organise Green Gold Bamboo Summit 2017 at the end of April this year at Guwahati, Sonowal highlighted the importance of bamboo plantation for the growth of State’s economy.
Stating that bamboo plantation is rooted in the State’s culture, Sonowal said that the government would invest more in organic sector like bamboo plantation to revitalise bamboo-based industries in the State.