Wednesday, June 06, 2007


CM reiterates government’s commitment to restore ecological balance with massive conservation measures and sanction of funds for the same

GANGTOK, June 05: Amid growing concerns over environmental degradation, the 35th World Environment Day in Sikkim came with a happy note with Chief Minister Pawan Chamling confirming a commendable 45.97 percent forest cover in the state.

The 35th World Environment Day was observed today at Ipecac Garden with Chief Minister, Pawan Chamling as the chief guest accompanied by Minister for Forest SB Subedi, ministers, MLAs, representative of NGOs, students and other guests. Theme for this year was ‘Melting Ice - A Hot Topic?’

Addressing the function, the Chief Minister said that amidst burgeoning global concern for environment, Sikkim as a Himalayan State has always played its responsible part with sustained commitment and contributed towards ecological regeneration.

The Chief Minister said that the state government has taken up massive environmental conservation measures with Harit Kranti Varsh and State Green Mission afforestation drive around the state. Counting on the achievements under his governance, Chamling appraised that State Green Mission, ban of plastics, green funds, Smriti Van are few feathers in the state government’s cap.

Expressing his concern over the melting of glaciers and depletion of ozone layers, the Chief Minister said the latest cyclonic winds and lightening that struck the state accompanied by landslides are grave indications of nature’s wrath.

Stating that to fulfill our self vested interests, there has been a tremendous afforestation all over world, he added glaciers around the globe are experiencing accelerated melting in hand with other ecological changes in mountainous region’s leading to melting of snow caps at an average rate of 131.4 sq kms per year in the last 30 years.

Mr. Chamling today informed of a special fund allocation from the budget on Green Mission and other environmental issues by every government department along with 1 percent from Panchayat funds. He also emphasised on making Sikkim a ‘Chemical Fertilizer Free State’.

Likewise, Minister for Forest SB Subedi placing his introductory remark highlighted the various achievements of Forest Department in the recent years. He also committed himself for the cause of environment conservation through out his life taking a pledge. DB Shreshtra, PCCF cum Secretary to Forest Department, on his part invited a huge co-operation from the people in making Sikkim the greenest state.

The chief guest today also released a book on important bird areas of Sikkim with posters and awareness materials on the lakes of Sikkim. The posters were jointly prepared by World Wide Fund (WWF), Sikkim and Environment Wing of the Forest Department. The function also witnessed release of fund amounting to Rs 1,02,000 to 17 NGOs under National Environmental Awareness Campaign (NEAC).

The Chief Minister also handed over a letter of appreciation and cash award of Rs 5,000 to the committed departmental employees for their dedication and service. The awardees are Devi Prasad Sharma, Tikalal Sharma, Bishnu Maya Biswakarma, Mangal Raj Subba, OP Rai and Peter Lepcha of ECOSS.