Call to fight Climate Change marks Biodiversity Festival
Dimapur, March 6 (EMN): To combat the challenges of Climate Change that has started affecting the Northeast region of India, which is one of the mega biodiversity hotspots of the world, advisor of IT&C, Science and Technology, New and Renewable Energy, Mmhonlumo Kikon called upon the farming community to fight carbon emission by ‘thinking globally and acting locally.’
Kikon stated this on the second day of the 11th Biodiversity Festival organised by the North East Network (NEN) at Chizami village in Phek district on March 6 on the theme “Embracing cultural diversity and biodiversity for a resilient future.”
Kikon asserted that preservation of seeds, biological resources and culture tantamount to preservation of one’s race. In order to have a future which is secure for the people, Kikon urged to embrace the diversity.
He also highlighted on the challenges of Biopiracy from outsiders. He assured that the government would develop modalities to protect the rights of its people vi-a-vis traditional knowledge systems.
He further encouraged NEN to collaborate with the government towards making the ‘Biodiversity Festival’ a state-level event in the future and reach out to larger stakeholders.
In her welcome address, Seno Tsuhah, NEN director (programmes), highlighted the objectives of the ‘Biodiversity Festival’ – to celebrate the rich diversity of the region; to acknowledge the contribution of communities towards conserving biodiversity, genetic diversity in particular, to create a synergy between the young and the old, the traditional and the modern.
She also spoke on the need to promote diverse livelihood that strengthens local ecosystem. For this to happen, she said we need multiple solutions and approaches and not just one solution.
In a keynote address, Supongnukshi Ao, member secretary of Nagaland State Biodiversity Board (NSBB), pointed out that Climate Change and the alienation of youth from their natural resource-based livelihoods are two biggest challenges threatening the State. He shared that NSSB is planning to address issues pertaining to the preservation of traditional knowledge, agricultural practices, and biodiversity.
He further highlighted the mandate of the State Biodiversity Board, which is to advice the state government on issues of biological resources, environment, and natural resource management. He also stated that NSBB planned to have a people’s biodiversity register that would document all the plants, animals and traditional knowledge of communities to safeguard their rights.
Around 300 participants representing farming communities from the districts of Phek, Dimapur, Mokochung, Tuensang, Noklak, Kiphire in Nagaland, members of Millet Network of India (MINI) and All India Millet Sisters’ Network (AIMS) from Telangana and Gujarat, NGO representatives from Guwahati, Shillong, Darjeeling, Bangalore and officials from the state government attended the festival.
Other speakers have highlighted on need to grow one’s own food, significance of biodiversity conservation for food, nutrition and sustainable livelihoods, the need to safeguard resources from biopiracy.
Other highlights of the festival included a seed exchange among different communities from within and outside the state; biodiversity exhibition – of uncultivated foods, healing plants, honey, natural fibres, bamboo; sale of bamboo craft, weaves, farmers’ produce; a traditional potluck lunch prepared by Chakhesang, Khiamniungan, Pochury, Ao and Sema communities. Cultural items were also presented by Chakhesang women farmers of Sakraba and Chizami villages, Yimchunger women from Shamator town, Pochury women farmers from Meluri, Khiamniungan community from Tsawao village, Noklak.