SHILLONG: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Monday attended the Sustainable Mountain Development Summit VIII held at NEC Auditorium, Nongrim Hills, here as the chief guest. The Sustainable Mountain Development Summit VIII (SDMS-VIII) is being held from November 4-6.
Speaking to the gathering during the inaugural session of the summit, Sangma expressing gratitude to the Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI), Integrated Mountain Development Initiative (MIMDI), Shillong and the other partners for organizing the summit in Meghalaya, said there is a need to convert the thought processes and policies into actions.
“The world scenario is going to change in the next ten to fifteen years in two major areas. That is in technology where everything will revolve around artificial intelligence and the next major change will be climate change,” he said.
He added that though these changes will bring along a lot of disruptions, it will also create a lot of opportunities especially for entrepreneurs.
The Chief Minister further said that there is a need to be ready for these changes and take advantage out of it. “It is platforms like these that enable us to take stock of the alarming changes and take measures for sustainable development and convert policy aspects into sustainable economic opportunities for entrepreneurs,” he said.
The Chief Minister also said that the entrepreneurs need support, recognition and appreciation and urged the entrepreneurs to be solution providers and not merely product providers and to continue with their entrepreneurship in the face of challenges that they will face.
He also said that the government will in the next few months make the Meghalaya Secretariat net zero waste area.
The SMDS-VIII builds on the outcomes of previous seven summits which focussed on issues such as climate change, forests, mountain agriculture and other livelihoods, water, disasters, sustainable cities and drivers of change which threaten the region’s ecological, social and economical well-being.
The theme of SDMS VIII is “Sustainable Mountain Initiatives for Livelihoods and Entrepreneurship for Youth” (SMILEY) with sub-themes on “Sustainable Agriculture” to identify approaches and strategies including policy options for new age farming practices in view of climate and socio-economic changes, “Sustainable Energy” to promote specific renewable energy generations and energy efficiency enhancement through youth entrepreneurship, “Sustainable Agri-business” to encourage mountain youth to take up food processing and allied agri-business as sustainable entrepreneurship and “Sustainable Tourism” to promote sustainable tourism in the Indo Himalayan Region focusing on youth employment retaining socio-environmental-cultural heritage.
A special side event of SMDS VIII is “Zero Waste” which is a call for action for sustainable waste management in the mountains. “Zero Waste” strives to reduce waste at source through rethinking and redesigning products so that nothing is sent to the landfill in the long run.