Int'l Conf to spread Sikkim Model of Biodiversity Conservation

Gangtok, 03 May (IPR):

As a curtain raiser for the one-day International Conference on Biodiversity and Sustainable Development Goals themed ‘‘Sustainable Livelihoods and Protecting the Planet” to be organized in the State capital on 04 May, 2018, a press conference was held this evening at Samman Bhawan, Gangtok. The event was chaired by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and had the distinguished presence of national and international luminaries in the field of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

Addressing the press conference, renowned environmentalist and Founder of Navdanya, New Delhi, Dr. Vandana Shiva stated that the one-day Conference seeks to spread the Sikkim Model of Biodiversity Conservation vis-à-vis Organic Agriculture to the rest of the Himalayas. There will be more collaboration and exchanges among the mountain States in the Himalayas and we could even see MOU being signed in future for an Organic Himalaya, with Sikkim leading the way, she shared. It will be a transition from Bio-diverse Organic Sikkim to a Bio-Diverse Organic Himalayas, she iterated. The Conference will also help establish a clear link between biodiversity conservation practices and Sustainable Development Goals locally, nationally and at the international level, informed Dr. Shiva.

Congratulating the Chief Minister of Sikkim for becoming the longest serving Chief Minister in the country and for his leadership in Organic Agriculture and Sustainable practices, Dr. Vandana Shiva stated that Mr Chamling is one of the very few long term democratically-elected leaders in the world.

"The reason we have come to Sikkim for this Conference is because Sikkim has established itself as a beacon for biodiversity conservation and sustainable practices and other States in the country can emulate these practices," stated Dr. Shiva.

She added that Sikkim’s good practices can become a learning for other States through this Conference.

"We want to celebrate Sikkim’s success and share it with the rest of the World," she concluded.

Dr. Vandana Shiva invited the Chief Minister for the Biodiversity Congress to be held in October this year and requested for Sikkim’s leadership role in the Conference. She also gifted the Chief Minister a basket of organic products from Navdanya.

Director, COLABORA, Germany, Bernward Geier commended the contribution of Sikkim towards biodiversity conservation and sustainable practices and stated that the world has started to look towards Sikkim for inspiration. Sikkim has become the point of reference for those taking steps towards Organic Agriculture, he added.

He stated that diversified farming and cropping pattern and maintenance of biodiversity leads to enhancement in the incomes of farmers thus promoting sustainable livelihoods. Terming Sikkim as an ecological wonderland, he expressed happiness to be in the State for the International Conference.

Earlier, Secretary Agriculture & Horticulture, Government of Sikkim, Khorlo Bhutia, welcomed the dignitaries to the Conference.

PCCF cum Secretary Forest Department, Dr. Thomas Chandy gave a brief outline about the various sessions of the Conference to be held on 04 May.

The event had the presence of Speaker Sikkim Legislative Assembly, KN Rai, Minister Agriculture, Somnath Poudyal, Minister Forest, TW Lepcha, host of national and international delegates who will lend their expert participation in the Conference, and senior officers of the Government of Sikkim.