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State gears up for eco-summit SMDS Summit

By EMN Updated: Sep 13, 2013 11:58 pm


The third edition of Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS-III) of the Indian Mountain Initiative (IMI) will be held in Kohima from September 25-27. SMDS is a platform of the IMI involving 11 Indian Himalayan states – Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and the hill districts of Assam, Tripura and West Bengal- to collectively share experiences, discuss issues of development and to find ways that influence national and state public policies. SMDS-III, which is also referred to as the Kohima Summit 2013, will be hosted by the Sustainable Development Forum Nagaland (SDFN) where over 200 delegates and 30 legislators from the member states are expected to participate.
Addressing a press conference here at Kohima on Friday, chief secretary Nagaland, Alemtemshi Jamir, who is also the convenor SDFN, said the Kohima Summit 2013 will delve into issues relating to three themes- water, forests and agriculture, on a mountain perspective through sharing and collaboration on research, information and knowledge dissemination. Giving a brief background of the event, Jamir said the SMDS is convened annually against the backdrop that policy makers at the central level fail to take the mountain regions into consideration despite their immense contributing factors toward the biodiversity, climate and geography etc of the country. He pointed out that most of the central policy guidelines are tilted towards the Indo-Gangetic plains and the mountain regions and their people are left ignored. Jamir emphasized that steps for sustainable development of the mountain region as well as its people is the need of the hour and they have to be taken into consideration while formulating nationwide policies and plans.
He said the themes of the Kohima Summit are matters of great concern for the region and expressed optimism that many pre-eminent issues related to them are going to be addressed during the summit. The chief secretary also informed that along with the themes, there will also be an underlined focus on disaster pertaining to the mountain states.
He also highlighted some of the landmark achievements of the previous two SMDS, making a special mention of the setting up of a working group by the Planning Commission of India to look into mountain specific issues relating to the formulation of the 12th Five Year Plan and the interest and initiatives of the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India for SMDS. This has highly indicated that SMDS affects the government policy framing, he said. He also mentioned that SMDS has attracted tremendous response not just in India but from all over the world and participation from abroad is also expected at the Kohima Summit 2013. Jamir also explained that though IMI SMDS has government patronage, the organization is kept at an NGO level so as to increase participation for all levels.
Meanwhile, commissioner & secretary Land Resources, Menukhol John, who was also present at the press conference highlighted the side events that will be held as part of the Kohima Summit. These include the Himalayan Youth Summit, the first of its kind, to be held at Kisama from September 22, 3rd Indian Himalayan Photography competition, Food Fest and site visits for participants on community conservation which will be coordinated by NEPED.
Kohima Summit 2013 will be organized by SDFN in collaboration with ICIMOD, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Swiss Development Corporation, UNDP, Sir Ratan TATA Trust, Government of Nagaland, GIZ, LEAD India, India Water Portal, YouthNet and YARD.

By EMN Updated: Sep 13, 2013 11:58:08 pm