State Governments of the Northeastern states may consider allocation of at least 5 per cent of their budgets for tourism, with a focus on eco-tourism.
This was one of the recommendations of policy makers, experts and stakeholders, including former poachers-turned-conservators, who gathered at the 3rd Northeast Green Summit which concluded recently in Shillong on October 26.
The Summit – founded by Guwahati-based Vibgyor Media Solutions and supported by various agencies working in the green and allied sectors across the Northeast, including State Governments, various ministries and UN organizations – is the only such platform in the region which deliberates on environmental and sustainable development issues annually.
The Summit, it may be mentioned, was supported by several oil majors operating in the Northeast, including Oil India Limited, ONGC and Indian Oil Corporation.
One of the key highlights of the Summit was the participation by poachers-turned-conservators from Manas National Park, who participated in a Technical Session on ‘Sustainable Development through Nature Based Tourism: Involving forest communities and other groups in NE to safeguard environment,’
Jaisaran Basumatary, Buddheswar Boro and Khebai Basumatary, who joined conservation activities in Manas in 2004 as conservation volunteers, had – for more than 15 years – been directly involved in poaching activities and had been in police custody many times.
CP Marak, Chairman of the Board and head of the organizing committee, said, “A significant suggestion which emerged following the deliberations was to explore the possibilities of having Decentralized Sewage Treatment Plants in Northeastern India to be identified and if feasible, implemented.”
The Summit, which kick-started on October 24, 2018 at the State Convention Centre, Meghalaya, witnessed a huge footfall from all the eight North Eastern states and other parts of India, besides senior ministers from Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh as well as senior bureaucrats from Government of India and the State Governments.
Participants included Tathagata Roy, Governor of Meghalaya, Jishnu Debbarma, Deputy Chief Minister, Tripura, Metbah Lyngdoh, Tourism Minister of Meghalaya, Meghalaya, Pijush Hazarika, Urban Development Minister of Assam, Wangki Lowang, Minister of Public Health Engineering of Arunachal Pradesh, Hamleston Dohling, Minister of Urban Affairs, Meghalaya, Kampa Borgoyary, Deputy Chief, Bodoland Territorial Council, Y Tsering, Meghalaya Chief Secretary, Naveen Verma, DoNER Secretary and also Padma Jadav Payeng, the Forest Man of India.