A series of programmes to raise awareness among youth in the northeast Indian state of Manipur have been organized by CEC member Khuraijam Jibankumar Sing.
By Khuraijam Jibankumar Sing, CEC Young Professionals Leadership Team
CEC member Khuraijam has initiated Environmental Youth Summit of Manipur (EYSM) to involve the youth in understanding environmental issues and biodiversity conservation among the youth of Manipur with support of several government departments and non government organisations. The summit gave youths a chance to interact with environmentalist and present their views on environmental issues ranging from pollution to habitat destruction, protection of forest to conservation of endangered species and so on. EYSM 2011 was successfully organised in Imphal East district of Manipur. Hundreds of youth attended and participated the summit [News Video]. EYSM is a yearly event and will be organised in all the districts of Manipur in phase wise. Each district has one Youth Leader who led a team. School Students of Manipur are best in studies in North East India. However due to present law and order of the state coupled with lack of facilities, students are now facing lots of problem both academically as well as psychologically. The youth summit aimed to encourage students - public speaking and to make aware of the environmental issues of the state.
Manipur is situated in the northeastern region of India and is part of the Indo-Myanmar biodiversity Hotspot. The state is rich in faunal and floristic diversity with beautiful hill ranges and magnificent valley. Several endangered species are found in this tiny state. Cervus eldi eldi, locally known as Sangai, the dancing deer is found only in the state. Its last natural habitat is the world’s only floating national park, Keibul Lamjao National Park. Siroy lily (Lilium mackliniae, the state flower of Manipur is found only in Ukhrul district. Owing to the urbanisation and clearing of forest due to unsustainable agricultural practices, the forest cover of the state has lost significantly in the last few decades. Rivers and lakes became polluted and the aquatic lives are threatened. And above all, the entire ecosystem of the state has changed and affecting climatic condition of the region. Lack of organisations working on environmental or wildlife studies in the past as resulted in complete lack of awareness among the people. In order to sow seeds of environmental awareness among the local people, Khuraijam Jibankumar Singh started several awareness campaigns since 2008. Nationwide Save Sangai Campaign was launched in five metropolitan cities in 2008 to attract policy makers and youth participation for the conservation of the endangered deer Cervus eldi eldi, the state animal of Manipur. In the year 2009, with a group of young researchers launched a newsletter, Ecotone in collaboration with Environ, Guwahati. He also started several periodicals (NeBIO, a research Journal and BioDiverse Magazine) and youth participation events in New Delhi to create awareness on the environmental issues of Northeast India and wildlife conservation.
Khuraijam Jibankumar Singh along with his youth team aims to organise several events during the year 2011. Hotter Himalayas: Need concern, an interactive programme on impact of climate change on the Himalayas in New Delhi. National conference on Environment and Biodiversity of India (EBI 2011) in the month of December 2011 at New Delhi as part of the celebration of International Year of Forests.
Khuraijam Jibankumar Singh is co-ordinator of the Worldwide Save Loktak Lake Campaign which was started on 7th March 2010 at five Indian cities. The campaign is being organised in more than 25 cities across the globe with support of 20 national and international organisations. The campaign is the largest campaign for the conservation of a lake. More than 600 volunteers, 32 city co-ordinators and thousands of campaigners across the globe are campaigning for the conservation of Loktak Lake, a Ramsar site. A paper on the campaign “Conservation of Loktak Lake, the lifeline of Manipur” is selected for SCHOLL Research Challenge 2010. The paper was selected for providing a real picture of key challenges of Loktak lake ecosystem whose preservation is linked to the larger Manipur ecological and environmental identity.
Khuraijam Jibankumar Singh, ALS
Founder and Managing Trustee
North East Centre for Environmental Education and Research
Co-ordinator, Worldwide Save Loktak Lake Campaign