Workshops on the effective implementation and community inception for the project “Model Carbon Positive Eco Village at Phayeng, Manipur” under National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC)

In relation to the project Model Carbon Positive Eco Village at Phayeng, Manipur” under National adaptation fund for climate change (NAFCC), two workshops were conducted. Of the two, the first was “One Day Stakeholder’s Workshop on the effective implementation of the project ‘Model Carbon Positive Eco Village at Phayeng, Manipur’ under National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC)”, held at Hotel Classic Grande on 4th August 2016.

The main objective of the workshop is to develop a better understanding amongst the stakeholders for effective implementation and execution of NAFCC project. The Model Carbon Positive Eco Village in Phayeng is the first project in the North Eastern States which has been taken up under the NAFCC. As per the regulation of the NAFCC, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Manipur state regional office will be the implementing entity (IE) and the Directorate of Environment (State nodal agency for climate change), Government of Manipur will execute the project as executing entity (EE) in collaboration with the line department/agencies and the Communities of Phayeng village, K phaizawl, Lei village etc..

The inaugural function of the workshop began with the lighting of candle on the dais. M. Homeshwor, Director, Directorate of Environment and State nodal officer (Climate Change) gave the welcome address and background note of the workshop. In his speech, the Director described in detail, the choosing of Phayeng village as model carbon positive eco village which is going to be the first  project of its kind in the  whole North Eastern states. The project will be implemented in collaboration with the NABARD, Manipur. The important reason for choosing Phayeng as the carbon positive model village is due to the presence of community forest being conserved for years by the villagers. He also shared the role of agriculture, forestry and water resources in relation to their livelihoods and for better socio economic conditions. He stressed on the importance of planting trees and its contribution in combating the ill effects of climate change. He also mentioned about a yoga resort to be built near the community forests to keep relationship of the villagers with the natural environment for a healthy life. He also talked about the national missions enshrined in the National Action Plan on Climate Change that represent multipronged, long term and integrated strategies for achieving key goals in the context of climate change. He concluded his speech by welcoming the initiatives from the line department for the project and prayed for a grand success in building the eco model carbon positive village.

The General Manager, Manipur Regional Office, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), A.C Srivastava thanked the Directorate of Environment for implementing such project in the state and shared his happiness of being a part of the project. He believed that the project will give one and all an opportunity to communicate our low carbon development efforts in a transparent manner. He also said that Phayeng is one such village in the whole state taking the effort to conserve a community forest for the welfare of the people and the society as a whole. He regarded the workshop as a good step and encouraged such workshop to be organised at ground level in order to make each and every person in the village understand the term “Model carbon positive eco village”.

Angom Gojendra, the Pradhan of Phayeng Gram Panchayat narrated the history of the conservation of Phayeng community forest and its importance to the villagers. It was in 2013, the gram sabha of the Phayeng community passed the eco model village for the welfare of the villagers. He thanked the Directorate of Environment, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and all the line departments of the state for their participation in developing Phayeng in to an eco model carbon positive village.

Dr. Y. Nabachandra Singh, Joint Director, Directorate of Environment, closed the inaugural function of the workshop with vote of thanks to all the members present.

In the technical session of the workshop, Professor L Nabachandra Singh, Head Agronomy, CAU, Manipur talked on “Climate resilient practices of agriculture in Manipur with special focus on suitable cropping pattern”. He talked about the global climate change which has already been felt in the state. The changing pattern of rainfall results in the change of cropping pattern of the summer crop as well as to the winter crops. Other factors responsible for the changes are using of high yielding varieties, fertilizers and other faulty practices which also play a major role in the decline of species diversity in the given environment. The time has come to change the system; otherwise the effect of climate change will surely affect us all in the near future. Some possible techniques like smart agriculture, zero tillage plantation and quantum biomass burning can be applied as mitigating measures against the climate change.

This was followed by Dr. I Meghachandra Singh, Principal Scientist, ICAR- Manipur, sharing his experience on the topic “Roles and responsibilities of farmers in climate adaptation agriculture practices”. He shared that in the present scenario, awareness is one major factor for the change in terms of climate change effect. Many crops failed in the state due to the sudden changes in rainfall pattern, flash floods and extreme of temperature (high or low). The need of the hour is to change the agricultural practices, shifting cultivation or water resources etc. in the state. Planting of horticultural crops, control of jhum cultivation, research on adaptation and mitigation of cover crops, livestock, fisheries, livelihood and natural resource management are the possible steps to be taken to avoid the harmful effect of climate change.

Dr. Brajakumar, Deputy Director, Directorate of Environment, Government of Manipur outlined the concept and target of the NAFCC project “Model Carbon Positive Eco Village at Phayeng - roles of the executing entity and line departments”. He analysed the project site Phayeng in detail - its components and outcomes. He also talked on the importance of building different bodies like Implementation institutional mechanism (Implementing Entity- NABARD and Executing Entity, Directorate of Environment, State Nodal Agency for Climate Change), supervisory body (technical and executive body) and technical evaluation and advisory services (services and consultancy services).

The “Roles and responsibilities of NABARD as National Implementing Entity (NIE)” was stressed by Shri Rajkumar Y Meitei, Assistant General Manager, Manipur Regional Office, NABARD. He shared a video clip on climate change adaptation, “it’s time for decision now”, to know the changing climate in the present scenario. He discussed the development of model eco-village in the Himalayan ecosystems blending traditional and modern adaptive practices to reduce vulnerability and enhanced resilience for traditional livelihood and the role of NABARD in financing the project.

Towards the end of the workshop, discussions were carried out with questions and answers, among the stakeholders to look forward towards a sustainable and practical solution to convert Phayeng village into a carbon positive eco model village.

In continuation of the programme, the second workshop was held at Phayeng on 8th August, 2016. The “Community Inception Workshop for the Project entitled, “Model Carbon positive Eco-Village in Phayeng of Manipur”,  graced by Shri Shambu Singh, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary (Forests and Environment), Government of Manipur as the Chief Guest. The programme started with the auspicious ceremony of “Tairen Khikthokpa” by an elder of Phayeng community.

 The key note and welcome address was delivered by Dr. M. Homeshwor Singh, Director, Directorate of Environment, Government of Manipur. Appreciating the villagers for consenting and welcoming the development project, the Director optimistically opined that the project would result in enhancement of livelihood outcomes.  A ‘Project Component Display Board’ was also unveiled during the function by the chief guest.  Then saplings were also planted as a mark of initiation of the project by the dignitaries.

A.C. Srivastava, General Manager, NABARD, Manipur Regional Office and Angom Gojendro Singh, Pradhan, Phayeng Gram Panchayat also addressed the gathering. This was followed by a speech from the chief guest. All the speakers emphasized on the positive prospects of the project and also appealed for active and willing participation from the community for its successful implementation.

Vote of thanks was given by Dr. Y. Nabachandra Singh, Joint Director, Directorate of Environment, Government of Manipur. The workshop was not only attended by a number of representatives from the line departments, experts members and executives of committees formed for the Project, but a large number of people from the Phayeng village turned up for the event.