Workshop to review policies pertaining to natural resources management in Meghalaya held

Shillong, Oct 8: A workshop on reviewing the policies, legal and institutional framework pertaining to Natural Resource Management in Meghalaya, as part of the state’s effort to scale up CLLMP principles, was organized by Meghalaya Basin Management Agency (MBMA) under the aegis of the Centre of Excellence for Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Livelihood (CoE) on Thursday.

The Community Led Landscape Management Project (CLLMP) is a project of the state supported by World Bank, that seeks to strengthen communities in 400 of the most environmentally degraded villages to plan and implement holistic natural resource management.

The workshop was attended by Conrad K. Sangma, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Lahkmen Rymbui, Minister Home Affairs and District Council Affairs, and saw the participation of all three Chief Executive Members of the Autonomous District Councils.

During the inaugural session, the Chief Minister expressed the importance of balancing development and environmental needs and for leveraging on the synergy between the agency of actors to harmonize efforts towards natural resource management.

Rymbui highlighted the complexities of land holding and land administration in the state making it difficult for any single agency to operate.

Titosstarwell Chyne, the CEM of KHADC, during his speech pointed that the challenges due to globalization including mining and quarrying are daunting and that efforts to strengthen the legal and institutional capacity of the ADCs is a welcomed step.

Benedict R. Marak, the CEM of GHADC expressed that while there are gaps in the capacity of the ADCs to meet their mandate, however, with the support of the government, a progressive administration can be maintained.

The inaugural session was followed by two technical sessions where current policies and legal frameworks where deliberated, conflicts between state and ADC legislatures identified and ways forward for strengthening the legal and institutional capacity of the ADCs were agreed upon.

Numerous focus areas emerged during the workshop which includes the urgent need for the Autonomous District Councils and the State Forest Departments to collectively discuss challenges faced by both parties in the area of forest and natural resource management, the necessity of a common forum between the ADCs, state forest department and allied groups, the need for scientific management of forest areas, the need to address landlessness and the need to understand the gaps in current legislations to strengthen legal frameworks.