A Cheque Distribution Programme on Payment for Ecosystem Services as a part of the Green Meghalaya initiative of the State Government was held for community members of Garo Hills Region on the 17th of November 2022 in the presence of the Chief Minister of Meghalaya Conrad K Sangma.
During his speech, Sangma briefed about the importance of the program concerning the preservation of the environment. He stressed the causes of deforestation, and the environmental issues that are causes of global warming. Furthermore, the Chief Minister stressed the ongoing problems of forests disappearing, and springs drying up, among others.
He informed that the government is working on spring shed rejuvenation and other programmes on various activities related to addressing environmental issues adding that the Govt. of Meghalaya has brought forward the Green Meghalaya scheme to incentivize communities that are proactively conserving forest areas.
He also mentioned that about 50 crores have been allotted for the PES scheme out of which 15 crores has been sanctioned adding that the Govt. plans to release the funds on an annual basis. He urged the Nokma council and the community participants to leverage the government’s initiative.
The idea behind this GREEN Scheme is to provide payment to the communities who have been conserving their forest resources so that we can enjoy the various ecosystem services (clean air, fresh water, soil enrichment, aesthetic value, etc.). Further, this would help create awareness and also motivate others to value their natural resources and imbibe restoration and sustainable management practices, the fruits of which would be passed on to our next generation
The cheque distribution for 294 PES villages under the Garo Hills region amounts to Rs 5, 86,64,857.27 /-Crores.
Also present on the occasion were Shri Swapnil Tembe, IAS Deputy Commissioner of West Garo Hills, Shri Manoranjan R. Marak, MCS, BDO- Rongram Block, Smt Rikse R Matak- Chief Executive Officer, Tura Municipal Board, Shri Ganesan P. IFS- DFO, Tura, Shri Gunanka D.B, Additional Project Director – CLLMP & MegLife, Shri James Kharkongor – DPD-CLLMP. Officials from agriculture, Forest, Nokma council, and other departments were also present. The programme was organized by the Meghalaya Basin Management Agency as part of the initiative of the World Bank funded Community Led Landscape Management Project.