Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma participated in the Caux Forum 2019 Dialogue on Land and Security which is underway in Montreux, Switzerland from June 27 to 30.

Addressing the audience, Sangma, expressing happiness to be a part of the dialogue and giving an insight of the state said that, Meghalaya is a small state with a population of about 3.3 million people yet the state is known worldwide for receiving the heaviest rainfall in the world.

“Another great aspect of the state is the discovery by geologists in 2018 about the Meghalayan Age which put our state in the global spotlight,” said the CM.

He also apprised the gathering about the traditional and indigenous customs and practices of the people. “We have a lot of traditional rules and laws that don’t apply to other parts of the country and it is a community driven society,” Sangma said.

He also informed the gathering about the land tenure system, the sacred groves and the living root bridges of the state. The CM said that the government has given a importance to such indigenous knowledge and have stressed on community participation in the implementation of government programmes.

“The government in its various policies and programmes has tried to ensure community participation so that the community becomes sustainable and we are working on brining environment conservation, community participation and community sustainability into governance and development,” he said.

Informing about the special emphasis on restoration of land in more than 400 villages of the State. He further added that the government has linked all livelihood programmes to natural resources and are encouraging people to protect these natural resources. “I am happy to inform that this year on World Environment Day we have planted 1.2 million trees and every citizen is encouraged to plant and adopt one tree,” he said.

The CM also informed that the state government will sign the Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Berkeley in September to adopt 100 villages to start the concept of Smart Villages in Meghalaya. “Our cities are already choking and having smart villages will prevent urban migration and related environmental issues,” he added.

A visit to Caux is about unlocking one’s potential: Caux encourages individuals, groups and organizations to reflect on their roles, explore their resources, and connect with their responsibilities as change makers, on the principle that everyone can make a difference.

At the 2019 Dialogue, global thought leaders and practitioners will explore how community and individual actions can reverse degradation leading to peace and stability.

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