The first ever environment youth summit of Manipur was organized by the North East Centre for Environment Education and Research (NECEER), on 16th January, 2011 at Lamyaanba Shanglen, Palace Gate in Imphal.

The inaugural session of the summit was graced by Th. Ibobi, Project Director of Loktak Development Authority (LDA); James Mayengbam, Founder of E-Con, Mumbai; Pradip Phanjoubam, Editor of Imphal Free Press; Dr. R.K. Ranjan, State Coordinator of Bombay Natural History Society and R.K. Sunita, Junior Scientist of Manipur Remote Sensing and Application Centre.

Speaking at the inaugural session, the editor of Imphal Free Press, Pradip Phanjoubam stated that environmental issues such as global warming, rise in sea-level, carbon emission etc. are major global issues which must be tackled carefully at every level. “Environmental issues cannot be considered as mere local matter as degradation in the environment in one part of the world will affect other parts too in some way or the other”, he said.

Referring to the inter-connectedness of ‘our common environment’, Pradip cited that rise in sea-level in the coastal areas of Bangladesh might affect Manipur even though it is far away from the sea since Bangladeshis who will be impacted by sea-level rise may travel to North East Indian states in search of new habitat.

The Project Director of LDA, Th. Ibobi stated that the youth should play a greater role in tackling environmental issues. He believed that the youth summit on environment as such will make the youth of the state aware of various environmental issues and also motivate them to join the campaign for a greener and safer world.

Dwelling on the biodiversity of the state, Dr. R.K. Ranjan stated that the North East Region (NER), especially Manipur, is abundant in medicinal and useful plants. People should explore the vast biodiversity resources rather than exploiting them.

The Loktak Lake, which has been enlisted as one of the important wetlands according to the Ramsar Convention, should be conserved by the people of the state. The environmental issues should be held equally important to social issues, Dr. Ranjan concluded.

Junior Scientist R.K. Sunita asserted that the people should act locally and think globally to conserve the environment. The people should have access to advanced technologies realated to environmental studies and render help and support to make the earth a safer and greener planet.

As a part of the youth summit, seminar and photography contest on environmental issues were also held in which large number of students participated, thus fulfilling the objective of NECEER to create more awareness on environment among the people.

Adapted from The Imphal Free Press with inputs from Kh. Jibankumar Singh, NECEER.

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