TURA: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, accompanied by North Tura MLA and the Chief Adviser to the Chief Minister, Thomas A Sangma, launched the Statewide Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) scheme and distributed cheques under the FOCUS programme for the producer groups at SMELC Building here on Monday.
Launching the scheme, the Chief Minister highlighted the objectives of PES and informed that the scheme is being launched to help the community in protecting the natural environment and to provide assistance to the farmers, stated an official communique.
Stating that the response of the people towards PES is positive in the State, the Chief Minister informed that in the last four-and-a-half years, the NPP-led MDA Government had created schemes for the uplift of the farmers in the State. He also urged the community leaders to organize volunteers to take care of the natural environment and informed that the Government will be providing financial assistance of Rs 15,000 per hectare under PES for preserving and conserving the environment, for which the Government has earmarked Rs 50 crore per year.
The Chief Advisor to the Chief Minister, Thomas A Sangma, while highlighting the activities of the Village Natural Resources Management, informed that after Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya is the first to implement the PES scheme in the entire North-East and lauded the Chief Minister for his initiatives towards successful launching of the scheme.
The Additional Project Director of CLLMP, Gunanka DB, while highlighting the aims and objectives of the PES scheme, stressed on the need to preserve the forest cover and urged the stakeholders to organize the volunteers for the successful implementation of the scheme.
The Nokma of Baladinggre A.king land, Klason T Sangma, who is also a PES partner, while sharing his experience, urged the people to join hands in saving the water-catchment areas and the water bodies in their respective localities.
During the programme, the Chief Minister also distributed cheques to the different producer groups under the FOCUS programme.
On the day, the West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner delivered the welcome address.
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