World Nature Conservation Day: A look at Northeast's conservation scenarios
Climate activism in Dhubri by Fridays for Future

Guwahati: Nature Conservation is the need of the hour, especially when climate change is already witnessing the ill effects on the planet. So, on the occasion of World Nature Conservation Day, let us take a look at how people of the Northeast are working to conserve nature in their own unique and feasible way.

“The current trend of climate change implies that there will be more floods in the short term and water scarcity in the long term,” said Rituraj Phukan, National Coordinator for Biodiversity, International Union for Conservation. He added, “It is important that our underground aquifers are recharged. Even after rainfall, in cities like Guwahati, there is a scarcity of water. This is because the rainwater is unable to perforate through the ground to replenish the underground water level.”

A young group of people are understanding the seriousness of climate change and coming forward to do their part in their own unique and diverse manners. Alifa Zibrani, a part of the Fridays for Future movement said, “We are the generation that is seeing it and facing it. Moreover, the easy access to a wide range of information has given us knowledge on subjects like climate change and sustainable living. So we use the energy and passion that we have to bring the required changes because we want to live in a better place.” Fridays for Future movement is a decentralised movement and has chapters everywhere. “In Assam specifically, we try to bring out voices of people who are facing the climate injustices. We believe in system change, not climate change,” she added.

Another group of youngsters, The Midway Journey, has been working on collecting plastics and has successfully collected over 2 tons of plastic from different households in Assam. “In 2019, we started the Sunday riverbank clean-up drive, which continues every Sunday, and gradually the team started growing,” said Shirshendu Sekhar Das, a member of The Midway Journey.

Bonti Saikia, Senior Program Associate and Admin, Green Hub, said, “We tried to bring change through the visual medium and try to reach out to indigenous communities residing in the interiors.” In 2015 Green Hub started as an initiative that provided skill to the youth of the Northeast and equipped them to portray the message of conservation through their films or documentaries. It provides completely free fellowship. “Many of the films have had the opportunity to be screened in many International Film festivals both in India and abroad. The students are our strength, we are giving the light and they are leading the road,” added Saikia.

Northeast is a biodiversity hotspot with diverse indigenous flora and fauna. People are doing their part, some by awareness programs, some through their documentaries, some through drives. As said ‘action starts with conviction’, educating ourselves and doing our part to conserve the biodiversity hotspot is a choice left to us. Choosing to be an informed consumer, recycling and reusing materials to reduce waste, the choice is ours.

“It is all about resources. The idea is to use it minimalistically and not exploiting it. Resources are coming at a cost and let’s respect the resources from where it is coming. Let us use it for a maximum time. Using the resources for its capacity, helps in reducing the waste,” said Shirshendu.

Also Read | World Nature Conservation Day: Meet 4 inspiring conservationists

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