Shillong (Meghalaya), Feb 9: Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma today underscored the importance of inter-state and international dialogue on climate change and the environment.
“Water does not have boundaries and when it comes to crucial issues like water and environment, there is a need for inter-state and international dialogues. If neighbouring states or countries are not aligned in our efforts and goals, we will not achieve the desired results,” the Chief Minister said while addressing at the first International Water Conclave in Shillong.
Stressing on roles of climate councils at the state, regional and national levels, the Chief Minister said, “The issues concerning climate change are impacting water resources on a large scale. The involvement of different stakeholders to discuss and work collaboratively on climate issues with coordinated response and information sharing will go a long way in addressing concerns”.
Talking about the International Water Conclave, he said “The objective of the conclave is to bring different departments of the government and different members of the civil society together to address the issues and not just focus on scheme implementation or completion of targets”.
Underscoring the importance of Water Policy, the Chief Minister said, “Meghalaya has been very pro-active and is one of the few states to have a State Water Policy, which is a holistic approach towards water from its distribution, storage, water reservoirs, protection of catchment areas, rejuvenation of springs to management of water.”
He further said that the policy has enabled the government to address various challenges and concerns related to water.
“This conclave is of great importance to the region to collaborate and synergize our efforts to achieve a larger goal and outcome and to bring different departments like PHE, Soil & Water Conservation, Forest, Agriculture, Fisheries, Mining, and Tourism together”, the Chief Minister added.
He also suggested the use of technology to collect information and data and monitor different aspects related to water. “We will soon have the Data Innovation Center to collect data and information departmentally and then superimpose the information departmentally to create a predictable model that will be useful for different departments for the overall management of water,” he said.
He informed that the Asian Development Bank is supporting the government in building 600 Small Multipurpose Reservoirs across the state. Additionally, 81 fish sanctuaries have been developed across Meghalaya.
The two-day conclave is being attended by delegates from Thailand, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam and stakeholders from different agencies and international institutions.
As part of the conclave, a Shillong declaration will be signed by delegates from different parts of the country to share best practices and models for the conservation of water bodies and sustainable management of water resources.
The programme was also attended by Water Resource Minister Comingone Ymbon, Health Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh, Minister Fisheries, etc A.L. Hek and Secretary from the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India Debashree Mukherjee.
During the programme, winner of various events, which were held as part of the conclave were awarded with cash prize and certificates.