Sikkim Chief Minister honoured for development leadership

New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling was on Thursday honoured with prestigious “Sustainable Development Leadership Award” by President Pranab Mukherjee here.

During “World Sustainable Development Summit” (WSDS) organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) at Vigyan Bhavan here, Chamling was recognised for his efforts to convert Sikkim into a fully organic state.

“The award was presented to Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling in recognition of his vision and leadership in environment and sustainable development leading to the establishment of Sikkim as the first and only organic state in the country,” an official statement here said.

Sikkim is the only state in India to have attained the official status of fully organic state in January 2016 announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Around 75,000 hectares of land in Sikkim has been converted into certified organic farms and it contributes around 80,000 tonnes of organic production out of total 1.24 million tonnes of organic production recorded in india.

“Chamling has taken various green initiatives under which ban on pan masala/gutka was enforced in the entire state in the year 1995, and subsequently in 1997 passed an Act on prohibition of throwing of non-degradable garbage in public drains and sewerage,” it said.

There is a ban also in the state on smoking at public places.

Congratulating Chamling, the President said that Sikkim was smallest but the most progressive state of India.

“Sikkim has established harmony between nature and development. Over decades, people of this beautiful land have based their trust in him (Chamling),” the President said.

He said that climate change is the real and immediate concern ahead of the whole world today and developing economy are more vulnerable.

“As a developing country we should be concerned. India has 18 per cent of the world population but there is only four per cent of water and six per cent of consumption of global energy. Right now, as we speak here over 250 million people have no access of any sort of electricity. We have to work very hard,” the President said.

Defining prosperity, not in terms of evaluation of gross domestic product (GDP) but the wellbeing and happiness of people, the President said we have to aim to create a society which is not wasteful.

“We should not encourage waste to create artificial demand in the market. We have lot of challenges and capacity to deal with them. We should also be concerned with large scale utilisation of resources. We have no right to waste these resources,” the President said.

Cautioning the world against patterns of unsustainable consumptions, Mukherje said world partnership would be required to achieve sustainable economies.

The President praised the Paris climate agreement and sustainable development goals as two crucial stages in the development of world.

“Let all the people and countries of the world work for a common future. I hope that next Conference of Parties (CoP 22 to be held in Morocco) will encourage other countries to follow suit,” the President added.

Saying that India will continue pursuing more such goals, Mukherjee praised the WSDS, hoping that it will conceptualise new solution for innovation and development.

–IANS

kd-rak/ask/vt

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