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Government of India

Forestry & Environment Mission Sikkim 2015

Scientific management of biodiversity for posterity

A biodiversity hotspot, Sikkim is famed both within and outside the country for its exemplary measures to protect and preserve its rich flora and fauna. The Himalayan State is blessed with more than 4,500 flowering plants and several globally endangered wildlife species.

With Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Pawan Chamling already declared as the ‘Greenest Chief Minister’ of the country, Sikkim government under his leadership has been working hard to protect its biodiversity and environment. It was under his stewardship that the State policy on environment, forest and land use aiming to preserve the fragile Himalayan ecology of Sikkim was evolved.

The green governance efforts have further been advanced under Forestry and Environment Mission 2015. The mission guided by the Hon’ble Chief Minister aims at scientific management of forests and its biodiversity for the benefit of all.

Expansion and success of flagship participatory greening programmes of the State government comes under the mission. The State Green Mission, a flagship progamme of the State government, would be made more participatory in coming years under the Forestry and Environment Mission focusing more on flowering and wild fruit varieties.

Another path-breaking green programme conceptualized by the Hon’ble Chief Minister is ‘Ten Minutes to Earth’ under which everyone in Sikkim dedicate ten minutes of their time to Mother Earth by planting a sapling on June 25 every year. The programme would be enlarged under the Forestry and Environment Mission which seeks to plant 1500000 seedlings by 2015.

Creation and management of propagation nursery is another component of the mission. New nurseries will be established in both lowland and highland areas for the purpose of ex-situ conservation and distribution of important indigenous plant species for cultivation, multiplication and trading. The nurseries will be used to propagate rare and endangered plant species with high medicinal and economic values. The Hon’ble Chief Minister has already directed production of 10 million plants of indigenous varieties.

The mission also includes strengthening of forest management and biodiversity conservation to enhance the global social and economic value of biodiversity and improve livelihoods in and around protected areas, buffer zones and reserve forest. The mission further entails study on the impact of climate change and grazing in the Himalayan ecosystem to analyze the trajectory of ecosystem dynamics influenced by global warming in alpine areas.

Management plans for protected areas and conservation of flagship species habitats, enhancement of working plans and establishment of forest management zones, inscription process of Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve on the World Heritage List are other tasks detailed under the Forestry and Environment Mission. It also seeks to build up a repository and dissemination centre in environmental science and generate awareness about environment and biodiversity among every individual to achieve the mission targets by 2015.

The thrust of forestry in days to come would be on conservation rather than production of timber. Forestry would be epicenter of income generation activities for Sikkimese people through its non-consumptive use, one major task outlined under the mission.

Date Published: 2016-02-25

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