President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the first edition of World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) in New Delhi on October 6, 2016. It is organised by TERI with emphasis on the need to limit the rise of climate change.
- Theme: “Beyond 2015: People, Planet and Progress”
- WSDS was earlier called as Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS),The first DSDS was organised in 2005.
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling was conferred with the ‘Sustainable Development Leadership Award’ by President Pranab Mukherjee in recognition of his leadership in making the northeastern state the first and only organic state in the country.
About Pawan Kumar Chamling :
Pawan Chamling is the fifth and incumbent Indian chief minister of Sikkim. Chamling is the founder president of the Sikkim Democratic Front, which has governed the state for five successive terms since 1994.
- He is also the longest standing Chief Minister in India, having won the legislative assembly elections for 5 terms in a row and will be completing 25 years of governance by the next legislative elections in 2019 creating a political history in India.
- On 28th April 2018 he is set to be India’s longest serving Chief Minister ever. Right now the record is with Jyoti Basu who was Chief Minister of West Bengal from 21st June 1977 to 6th November 2000.
- It is noted that On 18 January 2016 Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi made a two-day visit to the state to declare Sikkim as the first and the only “organic state” in the country, as it has fully implemented organic farming statewide.
About Sikkim :
Sikkim is a land locked state of India, the last to give up its monarchy and fully integrate into India, in 1975. Located in the Himalayan mountains, the state is bordered by Nepal to the west, China’s Tibet Autonomous Region to the north and east, and Bhutan to the east. The Indian state of West Bengal lies to the south.
- With 607,688 inhabitants as of the 2011 census, Sikkim is the least populous state in India and the second-smallest state after Goa in total area, covering approximately 7,096 km2 (2,740 sq mi).
- Sikkim is nonetheless geographically diverse due to its location in the Himalayas; the climate ranges from subtropical to high alpine, and Kangchenjunga, the world’s third-highest peak, is located on Sikkim’s border with Nepal. Sikkim is a popular tourist destination, owing to its culture, scenery and biodiversity. It also has the only open land border between India and China. Sikkim’s capital and largest city is Gangtok. Almost 25% of the state is covered by the Khangchendzonga National Park.
- According to legend, the Buddhist guru Padmasambhava visited Sikkim in the 8th century CE, introduced Buddhism and foretold the era of the Sikkimese monarchy.
- Sikkim’s Namgyal dynasty was established in 1642. Over the next 150 years, the kingdom witnessed frequent raids and territorial losses to Nepalese invaders. In the 19th century, it allied itself with British India, eventually becoming a British protectorate. In 1975, a referendum abolished the Sikkimese monarchy, and the territory instead became part of India.
- Sikkim has 11 official languages: Nepali (which is its lingua franca), Sikkimese, Hindi, Lepcha, Tamang, Limbu, Newari, Rai,Gurung, Magar, Sunwar and English. English is taught in schools and used in government documents.
- The predominant religions are Hinduism and Vajrayana Buddhism. Sikkim’s economy is largely dependent on agriculture and tourism, and as of 2014 the state had the third-smallest GDP among Indian states, although it is also among the fastest-growing.
About the Award :
The award was conferred during ‘World Sustainable Development Summit’ organised by the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
- Sikkim is the only state to have attained the official status of fully organic state in January, 2016 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement during his visit to the state.
- The state, known as the ‘Land of Flower‘ with a population of around six lakhs, is now gaining popularity as fully organic state in India.
- The World Sustainable Development Summit 2016, themed, ‘Beyond 2015: People, Planet & Progress‘, is among the first international platforms to discuss the new agenda post the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the signing of the Paris Agreement. It has gathered global leaders and thinkers on a single platform to stimulate action for sustainable development
- The award was presented to Chamling for his vision and leadership in environment and sustainable development leading to the establishment of Sikkim as the first and only organic state in the country
- Around 75,000 hectares of land has been converted into certified organic farms over the years following the guidelines as prescribed by the National Programme for Organic Production.
- Sikkim contributes around 80,000 million tonnes of organic production out of total 1.24 million tonnes of organic production recorded in India.
- The state government has stopped procuring chemical fertilisers and chemical pesticides from 2004 onwards and also eliminated the existing subsidy to farmers for procurement of chemical pesticides.
- Chamling has also taken various initiatives under which ban on pan masala/gutka was enforced in the state in 1995 and subsequently in 1997 an Act was passed on prohibition of throwing of non-degradable garbage in public drains and sewerage.