SHILLONG: The Meghalaya Biodiversity Board on Monday organized a one-day capacity-building workshop for the officials of the Forests & Environment Department, Government of Meghalaya, on the topic 'Implementation of the provisions of Biological Diversity Act, 2002 with special emphasis on Enforcement Matters and Access & Benefit Sharing (ABS) in the state of Meghalaya', at the conference hall, Sylvan House, Shillong.
The valedictory session was graced by Meghalaya Forest & Environment Minister, James P K Sangma as the chief guest. Speaking on the occasion, James P K Sangma lauded the Meghalaya Biodiversity Board for coming up with this initiative which will enhance the performances of the officials of the State. He said that it was important to take lessons from the recent alarming situation that the COVID-19 pandemic has created. "It reminds us of the profound consequences on our own well-being and survival that can result from continued biodiversity loss and the degradation of ecosystems," he added.
Sangma stated that Meghalaya, which is part of the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot, harbours a rich and diversified flora and fauna. "The region is in the middle of significant changes which are causing extreme temperature changes and erratic rainfall patterns over the last few years that affect agriculture, livelihoods and the health of the people," he added. He stressed the need to raise awareness on reforestation strategies and improving forest management in order to meet the objectives with regard to halting biodiversity loss and protecting the ecosystems. He also urged upon the stakeholders to start looking at biological diversity not only as a tangible resource for economic benefits but also to conserve and protect biological resources and the services it gives in intangible terms that sustain our lives.
On the occasion, the chief guest also released the Meghalaya Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (MBSAP) 2017-2030, books Flowering Plants of Meghalaya: A pictorial Guide, Part -1 and Bamboos of Meghalaya. The minister distributed the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) fund to Singwilgre BMC, Selsella Block, West Garo Hills District.