Climate change and global warming: Awareness programme at Laii (Senapati district)

An awareness programme on climate change and global warming organised by CIIRD, Tungjoy in collaboration with LYSO, Laii, under the aegis of Directorate of Environment, Government of Manipur was held at Laii on 3rd April, 2016. The awareness programme was organised to overcome the critical climate change issues and global warming. The awareness programme was started with the opening prayer and a song presentation from the school children.

It was continued by a speech on the global climate change revolution by Yengkokpam Satyajit, Project Scientist, Directorate of Environment, Government of Manipur. He defined climate change scientifically as the any long term significant change in the average weather that a given region experiences. He also discussed and analysed the climate change issues- the mitigation, approaches and methods in the context of Manipur and giving example on the surrounding Laii villages. In his speech, he also observed about the beauty of Laii village surrounded by hilly region on all sides covered by a cluster of mixed dense vegetation. Seeing the village environment, Satyajit shared that trees growing on the roadways was much better than the tree growing on the surrounding village.One possible factor for such declining of forests in the hilly region could be the practicing of slash and burn cultivation or jhum cultivation commonly known as the Pamlouuba which is done mostly by tribal people in the hill areas. (Cutting down) Felling of trees for household uses could be another factor for depleting forest conditions. Such decline of forests may lead to the rise in temperature in the near future. We already know that climate change is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods. Climate change has now become a part of global topic with the changing impact of the climate change already felt on more floods, drought, stronger storms and more heat and cold waves leading to enormous economic loss, private and public services, drawing resources away from development.

In the same vein, Apao Bunii, another Project Scientist from the same department attributed erratic rainfall as well as many other natural calamitieswhich are witnessing at a more frequent rate in today’s worldto “human induced climate change”. Anthropogenic stresses on nature dwindles wild life habitations and disturbed fresh water ecosystems, he noted.He spoke at length about the importance of conserving nature for human survival. He thus urged the people, especially the Church leaders, the Village Authorities and the youth leaders to take up the responsibilities of conserving naturefor better and safer future.

In continuation of the speeches, Mr H Nando, Cultural activist described the close relationship between the hilly people and the people living in the valley. He told the exact meaning of Laii, which was taken from the Meitei word Lai which means our forefather, the god. The place Laii is the head of all of us, a place of purity and a place where god enter first when life begins in the valley of Manipur. Mr Nando also brought a group of Thang-ta member for showing their skills ascultural and traditional activities of the day.

The president of the CIIRD, PA ThekhoIn his speech talked about climate change that has now become a part of the critical global issues in this era. Global temperature has increasing year by year and its effect has huge impact on natural resources as well as on human being as a whole. As a result of climate change, we are facing the rise of temperature and extreme temperature in different parts of the worlds, erratic rainfall, late arrival of monsoon rain etc. PA Thekho also told the gathering that when a tree is cut in its right season and right age in the next fall, you have ten trees sprouting out of the felled parent trees, making it true that “a tree dies, a tree is born and forest lives forever”.

In today’s world, the earth climate is not static. Over the billions of year of earth’s existence, many changes have been seen on the earth surface like the change in climate, temperature or even in natural resources. Among the changes, forest, which is one of the most valuable ecosystems in the world, is decline rapidly due to deforestation, slash and burn cultivation, permanent agriculture, cattle rearing or commercial logging. Others includes mining, urban expansion or cultivation etc. The prevention of deforestation and promotion of afforestation is the only possible mean to slow down the issue of global warming. Measurable steps to be taken immediately are plantations, agriculture, social community and urban forestry. People participation and awareness programme on the importance of forests must be applied on the long run.