The Meghalaya Community Led Landscape Management Project (CLLMP) project was officially launched by Shri. Conrad K. Sangma, the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Meghalaya, on the 8th of May, 2018 during an event held at the Yojana Bhavan, Secretariat, Shillong.
The CLLMP Project is a unique project of the State of Meghalaya that seeks to leverage on the strength of the community to develop sustainable Natural Resource Management system that will lead to the restoration of degraded landscape of the state, build climate resilience and generate opportunities for livelihoods. Other dignitaries present during the function included Shri. Sampath Kumar, IAS, CEO MBDA, Smt. RV Suchiang, Principal Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, Shri. S.M. Sahai, IFS, Addl. Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and CEO, MBDA and Project Director, CLLMP., Shri. Comingone Ymbon Cabinet Minister of Meghalaya, Shri. Lahkmen Rymbui, Cabinet Minister of Meghalaya, Shri. Samlin Malngiang, Cabinet Minister of Meghalaya, Shri. WMS Pariat, IAS (retd.) Shri. Y. Tsering, IAS, Chief Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, and Shri. Piyush Dogra, Senior Environmental Specialist, World Bank and Task Team Leader, CLLMP.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri. Conrad K. Sangma during his speech brought up his meeting with the Japanese Ambassador and how the Japanese culture embraces the sense of ownership, and how this sense makes one respect resources and assets, including governmental development works. In the same way, he felt that this sense of ownership is key to the success of the project, and hoped that ownership can be cultured into the community system. The second aspect of the CLLMP Project is job creation, and Shri. Sangma stated that the Project has tremendous potential to create new livelihoods. With regards to Climate Change, Shri. Sangma highlighted recent weather events that have become a cause of concern for the state- unusual hailstorms, cyclones, flash floods. Hence an adaptation policy is needed to ensure that water sources are protected. He concluded by reiterating that everyone must have that sense of ownership and targets should be set under timelines and must be monitored to ensure goal realization. He wished the project the very best and assured all involved of his participation to make this one of a kind project a success not just in the state but on worldwide scale.
Shri. Sampath Kumar spoke about the focus on the sustainable management of Natural Resources, its need, its design, the share of funding between the Government of Meghalaya, the World Bank and contributions by the Community. He explained that a key feature of the project is "community participation" wherein communities will identify their own challenges and generate Community Natural Resources Management (CNRM) Plans that they can implement with the support of the project. He also introduced the Field Leadership Development Initiative (FilDI), which will be embedded in the project and will help train and develop the leadership capacity of officers and staff of the Government of Meghalaya, which will greatly improve the quality of governance and service delivery of the government to the people.
Shri. Pyush Dogra highlighted the critical nature of several landscapes of Meghalaya and pointed that this degradation of land and water needs to be addressed. Recognizing this challenge, the government of Meghalaya has already taken several measures to address these issues and that the CLLMP project is an outcome of this endeavour of the Government of Meghalaya. He explained that this is the first ever engagement of the World Bank in Meghalaya and added that it took several rounds of discussions, visitations to the rural areas by senior officials of the Government and World Bank, and significant work before the project could finally be rolled out in the state with the convergence of various government departments.
Smt. R.V. Suchiang stated that in the past, the approach to natural resources management has always been the government trusting their projects/programmes with the community, but that now, the time has come where the centre must also have an eco-sustainable management. In previous years, solutions have been prepared by experts and passed down to leaders, and in a similar way, the CLLMP project will aim to integrate the traditional and local expertise of the people in bringing out solutions to solve problems prevailing within their own natural environments. Smt. Suchiang cited the 17 sustainable development goals and how the United Nations have set new standards in development. She stated that these standards not only contribute to the development of the community but does so in a way that such social, ecological and sustainable goals leave no one behind. Ms Suchiang stated that CLLMP will help provide a platform or a forum for natural resources management that can enable the people’s voices to be heard while also ensuring that the community takes full ownership of their own natural resources, which can then affect positively on their lives.
The vote of thanks was given by Shri. S.M. Sahai and this was followed by a presentation on the Project Implementation Plan (PIP) of CLLMP which was given by Shri. L. Shabong, OSD, Institute of Natural Resource Management.