Meghalaya’s lighthouses of sustainable development

Caux Dialogue on Land and Security 2019

17/09/2019

 

‘Our goal in Meghalaya is to build a low-carbon economy through complete involvement and ownership of communities,’ Conrad Sangma, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, told the opening session of the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (CDLS) in June 2019. ‘I acknowledge that we have a long way to go, but we have definitely taken some significant steps to restore our land and build climate change resilience amongst our communities.’

 

MMeghalaya CDLS 2019 Conrad Sangma

 

Conrad Sangma, who also launched the first Summer Academy on Land, Security and Climate, which ran alongside the CDLS, spoke of the long-standing link between Initiatives of Change (IofC) and Meghalaya. In the 1960s, the guiding principles of IofC were used by leaders of the non-violent movement which eventually led to the creation of the State of Meghalaya in 1972. More recently, many officials and leaders from the State have been trained at Asia Plateau, Panchgani, the IofC headquarters in India. In 1994 Meghalaya sent a government delegation to Caux. ‘Our engagement with IofC is long and continuing,’ said Sangma, ‘and I am glad to have added another chapter to this through participation in this year’s Caux Dialogue.’

As in the rest of the world, Meghalaya’s traditional ethos of environmental conservation and community governance has been diluted in the last few decades, leading to land degradation in some regions. In addition, the impact of climate change is being felt in multiple ways. The rainfall pattern in the state has become erratic and extreme weather events have become more frequent. Against this background, Sangma’s government has placed sustainability, environmental conservation and strengthening community-level governance at the centre of its development efforts.

Under his leadership, Meghalaya has become the first state in India to draft a comprehensive Water Policy. In recent years the state has also strengthened community governance through nurturing new village-level bodies that are in sync with traditional institutions. Some Meghalayan villages are lighthouses for rural communities across the globe, and the state government’s efforts have been appreciated both by the Government of India and by international donor agencies.

Now Sangma wants the experts he met at CDLS to deliver sustainable projects which will enable the Government of Meghalaya to provide green jobs for its people and revenue for industry, government and communities. ‘I extend a warm welcome to all of you to visit Meghalaya and to help us with more thoughts and ideas to better solve the challenges of environmental conservation,’ said Sangma. ‘I am also certain that there is much to learn from the sustainability-related interventions of both the government and the communities of Meghalaya. I urge the CDLS to engage with Meghalaya and to extend this engagement to the whole of North East India in times to come.’

As a first step in this direction, Meghalyan officials worked alongside the IofC international delegation to the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP14) in Delhi, where they presented the implementation of the Meghalaya Water Policy.

 

 

Featured Story
Off

related stories

Christine Beerlie square big

My Learning Experience: Christine Beerli

Discover our interview with Christine Beerli, President of the IofC Switzerland foundation, as part of our series ‘My Learning Story’....

COVID 19 slider EN final

COVID-19 : The Caux Forum 2020 is being transformed

In light of the global health crisis surrounding coronavirus, as well as its organizational and financial implications, the Council of Initiatives of Change Switzerland has decided to adapt the Caux F...

Jowan Oesterlund big

My Learning Story: Jowan Oesterlund

Discover our interview with Jowan Oesterlund, Founder & CEO at Biohax International, as part of our series ‘My Learning Story’....

Bram Jonker long

My Learning Story: Bram Jonker

‘My Learning Story’ hopes to become a global learning experience, connecting people around the world as they share their stories of what we all do every day: learning to build a brighter future. Disco...

Caux_Palace_Sunset

Job offers for the Caux Forum 2020

For the Caux Forum 2020 IofC Switzerland is looking for a Dining-room Manager, a Cash Desk Manager, a Buffet Manager, an Allocation Manager and a Support Team Manager....

Open House Day group with kids

Internship: Open House Day & Project Support (40%)

IofC Switzerland is looking for an intern who will be in charge of the Open House Day on 5 July 2020. The intern will also support IofC's projects in the area of trustbuilding, in particular with rega...

Caux Palace, credit: Paula Mariane

3 Job Offers: Dining-Room Assistant / Technical Services Assistant / Reception Desk Assistant

You would like to work in an inspring place with people from all over the world? IofC Switzerland is looking for a Reception Desk Assistant, a Technical Services Assistant and a Dining-room Assistant...

Biliana Vassileva

My Learning Story: Biliana Vassileva:

Our new feature ‘My Learning Story’ hopes to become a global learning experience, connecting people around the world as they share their stories of what we all do every day: learning to build a bright...

Rainer Gude

My Learning Story: Rainer Gude

The UN’s fourth Sustainable Development Goal is about access to quality education and life-long learning – both essential to bringing positive change into the world. Our new feature ‘My Learning Story...

Alan Channer Bremen prize

Dr Alan Channer shortlisted for the 2019 Bremen International Peace Prize

Dr Alan Channer, who has been one of the organizers of the Caux Dialogues on Land and Security since their inception, was a runner-up for this year's Bremen International Peace Prize....

Bo Sprotte Kafod

Saving a sacred grove

Bo Sprotte Kafod volunteered to help organize the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (CDLS) in 2019, after meeting former CDLS participants at the UN climate change conference (UNFCCC COP24) in Katowi...

Oliver Gardiner

Filming regeneration

One-man film crew, Oliver Gardiner, travels to remote regions around the world to tell stories of how people have addressed complex issues through food, farming and land use....

Michael Akampa

Making investment work for the people

The Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (CDLS) in 2017 was a ‘turning point’ for sustainable investment professional, Micheál Akampa, who was invited to speak at its Invest in Peace conference. ‘I met ...

CDLS 2019 Tom Duncan

Empowering communities to restore mangroves

Tom Duncan is passionate about problem solving and strategic systems thinking, primarily in regenerative economics, green finance and financial technology, as a means of restoring relationships betwee...

Nhat Vhuong

Plucking water from the air

Webmarketing consultant and social entrepreneur Nhat Vhuong is passionate about tackling water scarcity. A Vietnamese refugee, who grew up in Switzerland, he worked in Japan for eight years before ret...