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Meghalaya fares better than Bhutan in carbon emission

SHILLONG: The report of the carbon footprint of Meghalaya has revealed that in terms of carbon emissions, Meghalaya is doing better than Bhutan which is famous for its low carbon footprint. This presents tremendous opportunities for tourism and research promotion of the state.
This was revealed in a seminar on climate change in the the city on Friday.
The first meeting of the re-constituted Meghalaya State Council for Climate Change and Sustainable Development (MSCCSD) was held on Friday with Tura MP Agatha Sangma as the chairperson. Chief Minister Conrad Sangma along with officials from various other government departments also attended the meet.
P Sampath Kumar IAS, CEO MBDA and member secretary of MSCCSD, while making a presentation for setting the agenda highlighted the likely impacts of climate change in the state, the state’s action plan and approaches and the different studies already conducted.
The chief minister explained about the importance of adaptation measures particularly for the urban areas since the people of the city are the prime consumers of water and energy.
He also explained that the state will leverage on the Rs 1,290 crore allocated by the central government for the development of the bamboo sector in the North East, adding that the country currently imports about 1 lakh crore bamboos for consumption, which presents tremendous opportunity for the state.
He also emphasised the need for adaptation using green building concept, water and energy conservation, city and urban planning and for officials of different departments to visit work sites together so ideas can converge. The unemployment issue and the migration of youths from rural to urban areas leading to demographic changes should be taken as priority and climate change adaptation efforts can help in job creation and address employment issues locally, he said.
Agatha stressed on the importance of having a start-up policy that is also linked to the long term sustainable development goals of the state to encourage young entrepreneurs to take up green businesses. In light of the growing global and national concerns on the growing generation of plastic and non-biodegradable wastes, she stated that Meghalaya can become a manufacturing hub of green packaging and bio-degradable products by local entrepreneurs. This she added, will also help address the unemployment challenges the state currently faces.
The chairperson and the chief minister suggested the council to set goals for seeing the results. The One tree – one citizen campaign which is supervised by Deputy Commissioners is set to mobilise every citizen to adopt a tree and taking policy initiatives to implement the campaign especially to reduce the plastic in daily lives of people. The chairperson also suggested that the Council work closely with traditional institutions to help people understand and accept new norms for climate change adaption.
The Council also had detailed discussions on formulation of policies to tackle environmental and climate change issues, monitor key policy decisions related to climate change adaptation, natural resource management and interventions aimed at achieving sustainable development goals and their implementation status, especially Externally Aided Projects (EAPs). During the meeting, it was revealed that over the last 30 years, the average temperature of the state had risen by 1.2 degree celsius and that parts of the state can expect unnaturally higher rainfall over the coming decade.
The Council will also identify goals and priority areas and focus on involving traditional institutions, local dorbars, religious bodies and others to adapt to climate change.
Others who spoke include the Chief Secretary, Y. Tsering IAS and Principal Secretary Planning, Finance, Forests R.V. Suchiang IAS.

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