Shillong (Meghalaya), June 19 : Meghalaya was invited to be a participant at the Cities in Transition Biennial, 2023 in Grenoble, France, between the 8 th and 11 th of June to as part of the Cities in Transition Network, a platform to learn best practices from a cohort of 50+ Cities from around the world and address challenges in economic, ecological, social, and democratic transitions. Through the efforts of the Government of Meghalaya and the Office of the Consul General of France in India, this was an opportunity for Shillong City and the state as a whole to bolster its international ties and boost opportunities for knowledge-sharing collaboration.
The event, which was organised by the City Council of Grenoble discussed issues such as mobility, the management of public spaces as well as social, economic and ecological transitions through the medium of workshops, conferences, meetings and other activities. The need to strengthen alliances between civil society and local government was a key message shared across different events in the Biennial.
The Biennial was hosted in Grenoble, which was adjudged the Green Capital of Europe in 2022. The representatives from the network cities were invited to engage in discussions and interact with each other. The second edition of the Biennial was earlier held in March 2019,where several themes were discussed such as urban agriculture, responsible economy,mobility, energy transition, housing and quality of life, etc.
A delegation led by Smt. M. Ampareen Lyngdoh, Minister for Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare and comprising officials of the Government of Meghalaya, and a cohort of Food production Entrepreneurs, Agro-ecology practitioners, and skilled crafts-persons attended the 4-Day event.
The Delegation attended several conferences and discussions, that included subjects of women’s rights, sustainable tourism, climate change, and citizen engagement. In addition, Meghalaya was also represented in a panel discussion on Ecological Agricultural Practices, where conversations about Meghalaya’s activities in the field were brought to the audience.
The Meghalaya panel shared learnings and best practices in natural farming and agro- ecology practices currently being taken up both by Government departments, as well associated agencies and individuals in the state. The NESFAS project supported underCLLMP was represented by their Chairman Nestar Kharmawphlang, a practitioner who shared insights on food systems and traditional farming practices in Meghalaya. Further, the officers of the Agriculture Department and the Meghalaya State Rural Livelihood Society shared current interventions under the Organic Mission and natural farming practices by SHGs.
The officials, participants, and entrepreneurs were exposed to dialogues and best practices from across the world, especially in understanding how other cities and communities are engaging with transitions to more sustainable and ecologically sensitive modes of agriculture. Additionally, aspects of nutrition and food security were also discussed, and new perspectives from panelists were brought to light from fellow delegations from other countries.
The Minister, who led the delegation, also addressed the organisers and participants, by highlighting the Government of Meghalaya’s continued efforts to engage with communities and diverse stakeholders to ensure joint coordination and success of all initiatives.
The delegation also deliberated upon the possibilities of coordination, partnerships and knowledge exchange between the cities of Shillong and Grenoble with the Mayor of Grenoble. Going forward, the intention of the Government is to continue a dialogue with thecities of the network, and establish new ties of friendship and collaboration, to benefit the people of Meghalaya.