Celebration of World Environment Day 2021 and webinar on “UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration” was organized by the Department of Geology, NEHU in collaboration with Shillong Chapter, Indian Science Congress Association, Kolkata using online mode on 5th June 2021 at 11:30 – 13:00 hrs with more than 225 participants.
The program started with a pledge to make a difference together during this decade (2021 to 2030) to restore our planet and its ecosystem. During the Inaugural session Prof. S.K Srivastava, Vice- Chancellor, NEHU paid homage and dedicated the celebrations for contribution of Sunderlal Bahuguna ji (Late), Padma Vibhushan (2009), an Earth warrior who dedicated his life to save the environment.
Prof. Srivastava gave insight on the various achievements of Sunderlal Bahuguna ji and quoted “the ecology is a permanent economy”. He stressed the importance of long-term economic sustainability instead of short-term quick growth by sustainable utilization of natural resources. He further stressed that youth can play vital role in resetting relation with nature through a better understanding of the value of natural resources, enhancing water quality and quantity, growing and sustaining livelihoods and adopting ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction practices and bringing restoration.
Invited speaker Mr. Karan Dhaul, Chairman & Co-Founder Theta Enerlytics Pvt. Ltd gave insight on the modern tools and techniques which are used in the various fields of sciences that directly relevant to the ecosystem restoration objective. He emphasized that aligning with the Government schemes, modern technology such a DRONE using various sensors including LIDAR, Multispectral and Hyperspectral sensors can prove to be an excellent tool for resolving various issues at local and regional level with accuracy. He further stated need of integrating and developing entrepreneurship among young students and scholars in ecosystem restoration using the latest technologies including DRONE and assure that his company Theta Enerlytics will provide all possible support for aspiring entrepreneurs. He also emphasised that the management of ecological restoration must start with local level and larger scale which will eventually have the regional and global impact.
Prof. Devesh Walia, Head, Department of Geology, NEHU, Shillong delivered a talk on ecosystem services management and restoration and discussed the ecological niche, and benefits which people obtain from their ecosystems, and consequences of ecosystem change for human wellbeing with direct and indirect drives of change. He enumerated the threats to our ecosystem services, this wealth of distribution and abundance of organisms in time and space on Earth has developed over hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary history and is largely a result of the diversification of a species as it adapts to different ecological niches and ultimately evolves into different species controlled by large-scale geological events. He stressed that the species cannot survive outside of their physiological tolerance range and biogeography, hence before it is too late to heal and restore the ecosystem for uninterrupted supplies due to ecosystem services there is a need to take challenge and restore. He further emphasized the role of youth to be extra responsible for the conservation of ecosystem for themselves as well as future generations.
The webinar ended with vote of thanks from organisers and the declaration of result of the Eco-selfie competition and award of certificate of participation.