The State government has allotted Rs 50 crores as financial support under the Payments for ecosystem services (PES), also known as payments for environmental services (or benefits) scheme.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma told a gathering at the cheque distribution programme of PES held today for community members of the Garo hills region that Rs 15 crore out of the allotted amount has been sanctioned. The government also plans to release the funds annually, he added.
PES, a state-wide scheme was launched on June 14, 2022 implemented under the Community Led Landscape Management Project (CLLMP) for villages, communities, clans and individuals willing to conserve existing natural forests for a period of 30 years in order to counter the losses due to conservation measures.
At the programme, the chief minister distributed cheques for 294 PES villages amounting to Rs 5, 86, 64,857.27.
The chief minister briefed about the importance of the program concerning the preservation of the environment. He stressed the causes of deforestation, and the environmental issues that are causes of global warming.
He informed that the government is working on spring shed rejuvenation and other programmes on various activities related to addressing environmental issues adding that the State government has brought forward the Green Meghalaya scheme to incentivize communities that are proactively conserving forest areas.
West Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Swapnil Tembe, Rongram BDO Manoranjan R. Marak, Tura Municipal Board CEO Rikse R Marak, DFO Ganesan P, CLLMP project director Gunanka D.B, officials, the nokma council and others were present at the programme organised by the Meghalaya Basin Management Agency as part of the initiative of the World Bank funded Community Led Landscape Management Project.