The East Jaintia National Council (EJNC Khliehriat circle) on Tuesday sent a letter to Chief Minister Conrad Sangma requesting him for considering the ill-effects of palm Oil Cultivation in Meghalaya, even as they suggested a wide-scale Environmental & Socio-cultural Impact assessment by the Government.
In the letter to the Chief Minister, EJNC Khliehriat circle said, “We suggest that before introducing Palm Oil cultivation to the state there should be a wide-scale Environmental & Socio-cultural Impact assessment,”
Mebanteilang sukhliain General Secretary EJNC Khliehriat circle said, “….. due and timely consultation with the Civil societies/ NGOs of the State should be held before giving the project a go-ahead.”
The council under the leadership of its president Synjoy Bareh and General Secretary Mebanteilang Sukhlain sent letter through the District Magistrate of East Jaintia Hills E. Kharmalki.
EJNC-Khliehriat circle Gen. Secretary feels that eventually, people should have the right to choose their way of living and any decision regarding Palm Oil Cultivation should not be corrosively imposed on the people of Meghalaya.
Expressing concern over the Centre’s push on the Northeast as a target area for the production of Palm Oil is entirely Economy Centric which ignores the Biodiversity, the Organisation in its letter said, “The imposition of Palm oil cultivation upon northeastern states not only reflects a step-motherly attitude of the Central government toward the northeast but also goes against its sustainable development goal (SDG) policy.”
“The introduction of Palm Oil cultivation will alter the composition of flora and fauna species. As you might be aware, Indonesia and Malaysia account for more than 80% of the global production’ while more than half of the global demand comes from Asia,” the letter stated.
They also mentioned that that there are evidence of significant loss of tropical rainforest and orang-utan population from the South East Asian countries of Indonesia and Malaysia due to Palm Oil Cultivation.
Meghalaya, falls under bio diverse region with a high level of endemic flora and fauna species.
“Palm Oil is derived from oil palm trees, mostly grown near the equator. Its cultivation is a kind of mono-culture that clearing a large patch of forest area. Loss of forest area will affect the micro-climatic variables of the region disturbing the overall pattern of that introduction of Palm Oil cultivation will add to the economy of Meghalaya and create jobs for the people,” they said.
Asserting that it involves a huge trade-off between Money and Environment, the organisation in its letter maintains that the conclusion of Palm Oil cultivation ruining the tribal and natural way of living is not farfetched.