Imphal, Feb 16:
A One-day Round Table Discussion on “The Environmental Impacts of the Water Crisis in Manipur” was held on the 16th of February, 2023 at the conference hall of the Department of Zoology, Manipur University. The event was jointly organised by the Department of Zoology, Manipur University, the Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, Manipur University and the Apunba Imagi Machasing Manipur under the guidance of the North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCORMP), a joint developmental initiative of the North Eastern Council (NEC), Ministry of DoNER, Government of India.
Prof N Mohilal Meitei of the Department of Zoology, Manipur University graced the occasion as the Chief Guest of the event. Guest of Honours included Yutaka Agatsuma, Chairman, Asia Supporting Organization, APOP, Japan and Teruaki Watanabe, Director of TMH Green, a Japanese firm based in India. Dr. Homen Thangjam, Faculty, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Regional Campus Manipur was the Special Guest of the event. Dr Vivek K. Vaishnav, Head, Department of Forestry & Environment Science, Manipur University presided over the function.
The event started with presentations from representatives of NERCOMP units in Manipur such as the Chandel Unit, Tamenglong Unit and Senapati Unit about the activities and achievements of their respective units. These presentations were followed by a presentation by Mr Watanabe on behalf of Agatsuma about their organisations’ interventionist activities in Myanmar in the horticultural and agricultural domain as steps towards sensitisation the people against poppy plantation and deforestation.
Next Dr. Homen Thangjam shared his thoughts about the “essence” of water in Manipuri civilisation and the water crisis that the citizens of Manipur is facing at the moment. He emphasised that once governance distortions are corrected and people get their due shares, many of the crises can be overcome in Manipur including water crisis.
Prof N Mohilal Meitei emphasised that we need to learn from people like Agatsuma in bringing about a green world through community participation. Preventing water crisis demands voluntary contribution from the communities and assist government in solving the problem.
Dr Vivek K. Vaishnav appraised the activities of the Department of Forestry & Environment Science has been undertaking in the far-flung areas of Manipur. According to him, people resort to illegal practices like poppy cultivation because they want “easy money”. So making people get their deserving basic needs is the call of the hour and at the same time awareness programmes are needed to sensitise people about environmental issues.
The presentations were followed by a round of discussion in which participants expressed their opinions. After proposing the Vote of Thanks, Agatsuma and Watanabe distributed Japanese sesame seeds to the participants.