New Delhi: On the occasion of The International Day of Biological Diversity (IDB) National Mission for Clean Ganga and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) organised a oneday workshop at India Habitat Center on Wednesday.
Welcoming the guests, Director General, NMCG, Mr. Rajiv Ranjan Mishra said that ‘Sustainability is the key-mission of NMCG’. Sustainable agriculture integrates environmental viability, economic profitability and social equity. Organic Farming is being promoted in certain regions along Ganga and it would be scaled up over the Ganga basin.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Bharat Sharma, former Director IWMI Delhi emphasised on effective water management and conservation of rain water as basic requirement for sustainable agriscape. He recommended different approaches of water conservation in Himalayan basin, Western Gangetic basin, Eastern Gangetic Basin and coastal or delta region.
Shri Upendra Prasad Singh, Secretary, MOWR, RD and GR said that sustainable water resource management is the key to the success of the program. He expressed his satisfaction that subjects like biodiversity conservation and water conservation has become the center of the narrative. He also emphasised on the inter -departmental collaboration for better result from the river conservation initiatives.
The objective of the workshop was to understand the impact of agriculture on the Ganga basin through landscape approach and the larger ecosystem services that the basin provides.
The workshop was designed to bring together experts, academicians, civil society organization and policy planner to understand the linkages between agriculture and river Ganga.
The workshop saw participation from organizations like IUCN, Ministry of Water Resources River Development and Ganga rejuvenation, Ministry of Environment and Climate change, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare, IIT Kanpur, BHU, Institute of Economic Growth, NEERI, FRI, WWF, WWI, CGanga and representative of state governments including UP, Bihar and Uttarakhand.
Further eminent dignitaries including Prof. RK Sinha, VC, Nalanda Open University, Mr. Amit Mohan Prasad, Principal Secretary, Agriculture, UP and participants from organisations like Welthungerhilfe, OISCA, WHO, FAO and Development Alternatives, also took part in the workshop.
Two technical sessions were held on ‘Biodiversity, Ecosystem services & Sustainable Agriculture challenges and Opportunities for India’ and Sustainable Agriculture; Ground Level Experiences’.
Promotion of organic farming in Ganga Basin was recurrent theme of the workshop. It was informed that Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare released an amount of Rs.1413 lakh for the year 2018-19 to the Government of Uttar Pradesh for organic farmaing under Namami Gange Clean Abhiyan for 700 clusters i.e. 14000 hectare area.
Participants advocated curbs on cultivation of non-essential water-guzzling crops such as sugarcane, particularly in water-constrained regions and creating adequate buffer regions of natural vegetation (trees, shrubs and grasslands) between farmlands and rivers, lakes, etc. for minimizing polluted runoff from agricultural fields directly into the nearby water bodies.
The concluding session sought to create a roadmap for sustainable agriculture in the Ganga basin by bringing in various solutions and experiences from the field.
The workshop succeeded in getting close to 20 national and international organizations involved in sustainable agriculture, biodiversity conservation and community building on a common platform. Sharing success stories and challenges in creating ecologically sustainable world keeping water and river Ganga at the center was an excellent learning experience for the participants.