Gangtok, June 05 (IPR): The World Environment Day 2021 was organised by the Forest Department at Raj Bhawan Gangtok today. The day was marked by plantation of saplings by the Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim Shri Ganga Prasad, and the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang, along with Hon’ble Minister for Forest Shri Karma Loday Bhutia, Chief Secretary, DGP, Additional CS Forest, and other dignitaries.
Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim Shri Ganga Prasad in his short press briefing extended his warm greetings to the people of Sikkim on the special occasion. He said that this year the World Environment Day is being celebrated with the theme “Ecosystem Restoration” with focus on aspects of restoration, rejuvenation and growth. He added that Sikkim is blessed with splendid nature and the people of Sikkim have preserved this natural heritage. He further stated that World Environment Day is important to all of us as it calls for global decadal action to restore our ecosystem. He added that we should preserve our natural resources by rationalizing our consumption pattern as the effects of global warming and pressing environmental issues have impacted our State causing environmental hazards.
The Hon’ble Governor concluded by saying that at this unprecedented crisis caused by Covid-19, Sikkim is strongly fighting to contain the pandemic. He urged all the fellow citizens to stay at homes with green good deeds and following necessary protocol and guidelines issued by the Government.
Speaking on the occasion, the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang said that Sikkim is a small Himalayan State rich in biodiversity. He added that over the years a negative impact on our environmental resources can be felt due to global warming and with the growing concern over environmental issues particularly climate change that confront us today we have no choice but to redefine our values and principles that underline the relationship of mankind with the earth. He said that World Environment Day is observed every year on 5th June to rededicate ourselves to the cause of nature.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister also mentioned that Sikkim is already on the path of restoration process as the State government has initiated measures to address growing concern on environmental degradation. He called on the citizens to pledge to continue with their efforts to keep the environment clean and healthy. He appealed to everyone to plant at least one sapling of our choice in our surroundings and be part of the global action for ecosystem restoration and conservation.
On the special occasion, the Hon’ble Governor Shri Ganga Prasad and Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang flagged off four numbers of Fire Tender Vehicles provided by the Forest Department for use in each district.
The World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated every year on 5th June since 1974, engaging governments, businesses and citizens in an effort to address the pressing environmental issues. It is the United Nations Day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. This year the WED theme is ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ and on this day, the decade 2021-2030 for ecosystem restoration has been launched.
In the state of Sikkim, the Forest and Environment Department steers the celebration of the WED by engaging all sections of the society for generation of true environmental consciousness. Due to the current situation caused by the pandemic, the department has organized the programme in a reduced scale with ceremonial plantation followed by flagging-off of the fire tenders by the Hon’ble Governor and the Hon’ble Chief Minister at Raj Bhawan premises.
The department at respective districts and blocks shall be holding similar plantation drives with other dignitaries at local levels duly following social distancing and all Covid-19 protocol.
To engage students from schools and colleges and the general public, the department has launched online competitive events such as quiz, painting and drawing, slogan writing, open photography and short video contest with cash prizes up to Rs 20,000. The online event is hosted in Sikkim ENVIS website www.sikenvis.nic.in and the entries are being accepted from 1st of June till 5th of June, 2021 till 5pm.
The Forest and Environment Department has taken up various measures and included activities in its various schemes and annual plan of operations for sensitization, generating awareness among masses and restoring the ecosystem through plantations, other engineering measures concomitantly generating livelihood opportunities. Also, in the past three years, cocoon production in the state has increased by three times and through construction of 1000 silk rearing houses, it has greatly benefitted 1000 women silkworm farmers supported under intensive sericulture development in the State. Sikkim is one of the most progressive states in the country for forest and environmental conservation and has won many laurels and national awards.
On the occasion of WED, the department has appealed to one and all to celebrate this day at individual level, at their homes by taking up plantation, gardening, cleaning and any green good deeds that contribute towards restoration of our ecosystem.