SUBJECT :Gangtok is hosting a one day international conference on biodiversity and sustainable development goals on Friday at Chintan Bhawan. 

Gangtok, May 3, 2018: Gangtok is hosting a one day international conference on biodiversity and sustainable development goals on Friday at Chintan Bhawan.

The conference, organized by Forest Department, is themed ‘sustainable livelihoods and protecting the planet.’

Leading environmentalists from the country along with organic farming scientist Berward Geier from Germany are attending the conference. Chief Minister Pawan Chamling would be inaugurating the meet Friday Morning.

Addressing the media here on Thursday afternoon, environmentalist Vandana Shiva said Sikkim is a beacon for biodiversity and organic farming. The press conference was attended by Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, Speaker K.N.Rai, Forest Minister T.W.Lepcha, Agriculture Minister Somnath Poudyal and others.

Asked what Sikkim – specific conclusion could emerge from the conference, Vandana Shiva said the Sikkim effort on biodiversity and organic farming is a model towards Bio –Diverse Organic Himalayas aim. We can have Bio –Diverse Organic Himalayans with more participation from the respective State Governments and have a MoU signed on the Organic Himalayas initiative she said.

To a question where organically grown food items are feasible for poor people, Berward Geier opined that the supply chain of the food to the consumers have to be addresses so as to create a level playing field for the farmers.

Vandana Shiva added that there is huge subsidy given to industrial foods in India. A huge amount is spent on chemically grown food and this subsidy should be diverted towards organically grown food which can be used as Mid – Day – Meal, health centers and public subsidies, she said.

Geier also appreciated the organic farming mission of the State Government and spoke about his previous visits to Sikkim. He congratulated Chamling for become the longest – serving Chief Minister’ of India.

Forest principal secretary Thomas Chandy shared that five technical sessions to be attended by experts and stakeholders would take place after the inaugural function of the conference.

Horticulture director K. Bhutia presented the welcome address.

Among those attending the international meet tomorrow include organic scientist Andre Leu, IHES coordinator Dr. Mira Shiva, Navdanya NGO  director Maya Goburdhan , Dr.Saamdu Chettri ( former executive director of Gross National  Happiness Centre, Bhutan), biodiversity conservation expert Dr. H.K. Badola and macrobiotic coach Neha Upadhyaya.

Source: Sikkim Express