'Aizawl Declaration 2017'
Aizawl, Sept 22: Lawmakers, both MPs and MLAs, representing India’s 10 mountain states, have noted with concern the “rapidly changing weather patterns” as a result of climate change and the “havoc it has unleashed” in the Himalayas, the north-east and other parts of India and the world, and have resolved to work collectively to face its manifold challenges for the greater good of people.
About 35 such lawmakers gathered on Friday in the Mizoram capital to come out with a unique “Aizawl Declaration 2017” that resolved to “rethink and re-engineer” State Action Plans on Climate Change and “engage more fully in the constituencies” to see how it was affecting the lives and livelihood of local people, including those who depend on their livelihood on the land and forests.
Meeting at the Assembly House, legislators called upon the Central government to engage more closely with local communities while formulating plans and policies in order to understand more fully how climate change was impacting them and what best could be done to mitigate its effects.
The Legislators’ Meet was held as part of the 6th edition of the Sustaible Mountain Development Summit (SMDS-VI) organised by the Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI), a civil society effort involving the 10 Indian Himalayan mountain states and the hill districts of abutting states in association with the Mizoram Sustaible Development Foundation.
Ninong Ering, MP from Aruchal Pradesh, wondered why there was provision for flood relief to plains’ states but there was no provision for landslide relief for hill states which were major victims of such tural disasters. He said Aruchal Pradesh, which had at one time 82 per cent forest cover, now had only 68 per cent, thanks to massive deforestation.
Alfred Arthur, legislator from Meghalaya, talked of eastern areas of Meghalaya, bordering Myanmar, being denuded of trees because of rising demand for wood in the plains. James Sangma, another legislator from Meghalaya, sought the incorporation of the knowledge of local people in government plans as they “traditiolly knew how to live in harmony with ture”. (IANS)