Nagaland: ‘We are the generation to revitalize and restore our ecosystems’

View of a mountain range under Tuensang district in Nagaland. (Morung Photo)

View of a mountain range under Tuensang district in Nagaland. (Morung Photo)

Vishü Rita Krocha
Kohima | June 4

“Can we be the generation that make peace with our land and contribute towards healing our only Planet Earth collectively? Can we bring back our healthy soil and lands, clean water and care solidarity as youths and global citizens?”

These are thoughts put across by Khrolhiweu Tsuhah, Practitioner, Development Sector on the eve of World Environment Day that is observed on June 5 every year. For her, the answer to all these questions is “a definite YES” even as she indicated its possibility, “if we all come together” because, according to her, “we are the generation to revitalize and restore our ecosystems.”

Noklak.

Further referring to the ‘extraordinary times’ we live in today, she pointed out that, “we are experiencing extreme rise in temperature never felt before in our State and across the globe, change in rainfall pattern, deaths caused by natural and human made disasters, snowfall in places during unexpected months, change in land use pattern, massive deforestation, growing scarcity of water and our water sources drying up rapidly, growing menace of plastic pollution etc.”

Stating that all these are taking place in a span of 5 years, she expressed, “I shudder to think what will happen in the next 10 years.” Towards this end, she cited the United Nations statement that read, “We cannot turn back time, but we can grow forests, revive water sources, and bring back soils.”

Terming the UN statement as “powerful,” she underlined that, “with the climate crisis and changing landscape today, we must adapt to new problems and challenges with new solutions or integrate traditional and modern knowledge.” “It is imperative that we are informed and engaged with the local and global vision for the future and strategically shape our community,” she emphasized.

Mention may be made here that the United Nations has declared 2021-2030 as the decade of ecosystem restoration, a global rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems and the healing of our only planet Earth.

In this movement of restoration of our ecosystem, Khrolhiweu Tsuhah underscored that, “the role of the youth is of utmost important and crucial.” As the World Environment Day is being celebrated under the theme ‘land restoration, desertification and drought resilient’ with the slogan ‘Our Land. Our Future’, she urged on the need to reflect on “what we can do as youths and citizens to protect our Planet.”

Further drawing from her own personal experience of working with young people, she related that, “I have truly witnessed that we can drive positive change impact future generations through small yet powerful initiatives.”

In this regard, she urged the youths and citizens to “identify issues, educate, take responsibility and leadership role in your own locality, join or initiate a campaign/movement and make your voices heard, action visible and impactful.”

“Engage in constructive dialogues and exchange ideas, build network and collaborate, navigate and create innovative solutions, revive water sources, plant trees and nurture it, participate in research and documentation - contribute to knowledge repository and Demand for policy change, reflect on our lifestyle choices, use your creativity to educate, empowered and inspire,” she also advocated.

World Environment Day, she added, is not only planting trees and participating in cleanliness drives and programmes, but asserted that, “we have to make an effort to change at an individual level, family, village and larger community and policy level because every small action counts.”

“We have to transform self and be the change we want to see in the world,” she put across.

CPO Mass Tree Plantation Drive to be an annual feature
Ten years down the line, the Chakhesang Public Organisation (CPO) envisions that the National Highway touching Phek district will be adorned with fruit trees. “This year, we are going to plant about 8000 wild apple on the entire stretch of the National Highway from Sidzü to Dzulhami, Sidzü to Lanye and Pfütsero to Phek,” CPO President, Vezuhu Keyho told The Morung Express.

On the occasion of World Environment Day, CPO along with other frontal bodies will be monitoring the mass tree plantation drive in the Chakhesang jurisdiction covering 71 recognized villages under Phek district. “We will not only monitor but also ensure that the plants are being nurtured,” he highlighted.

It may be recalled that in commemoration of 50 years of Phek district last year, CPO undertook one of the biggest tree plantation drives by planting 50,000 tree saplings covering 180 kilometres. Last year, the lack of rain during the plantation drive has impacted the survival of the tree saplings. However, the CPO President stated that, “50-60% survived and have grown to 4-5 feet in height.”

In continuation of its plantation drive which the apex tribal body has decided to initiate every year, he said that each of the 71 villages in the Chakhesang jurisdiction will be planting about 500 trees each in their respective areas in the current year. He is hopeful that this year, the plantation drive will have a better outcome with the onset of monsoon.