Dear members of the ACT and people of Sikkim,
Thursday 28 June 2007
Dear members of the ACT and people of Sikkim,
i realised that I was ignoring the earth to chase after psychic political phenomena. Like trying to find gold at the end of the rainbow....I do not have to concern myself with the cosmic world, the world of Gods,politicians, angels and devils.
I was losing track of the physical world i live in, and this will result in madness.
The test of my sanity is how directly i relate to earth. Anything else is a sidetrack.
However i would like to invite people/experts with knowledge of various topics associated with the ongoing hunger strike like.......CLIMATE CHANGE, THE MELTING GLACIERS, RIGHTS OF INDEGENIOUS PEOPLE, HUMAN RIGHT and OTHER ECOLOGICAL ISSUES and any other realted issues to write.
We did have a beautiful article on the Tibetan mastiff and other disappearing alpine beings in Lhonak Valley posted in the old blog by one of our best expert on wildlife in Sikkim, Mrs Usha Lachungpa.
We're so sorry, we dont have it anymore....and my request to Mrs Lachungpa to post it again.
So dear people and friends......till then.....Keep Writin in.
Alternatives to Hydel Projects............
One of the major social tensions today is between the demands of private capital and national governments for economic growth and globalization, the energy to provide it and the demands of local communities for security and livelihoods.
These public sector companies have had a history of giving back nothing to the land and the natives where they exploit its resources for profit. Profit is the sole motive above other consideration. The profit they say will compensate for all the losses that are to be borne in social and ecological means.
Other than Sikkim, look at the people living in the vicinity of uranium mines and other places where hazardous elements are extracted like places in Jharkand, Bihar etc etc. every now and then we read newspaper or other reports where there is only denial of wrongdoing.Look at the recent protests against the move to mine Uranium in West Khasi Hills in Meghalaya. Some activists there have been booked under the State Terror Laws which is as bad as the erstwhile TADA with the authorities being able to detain anybody even for six months at a strech! Look at
So what we mean here is that there are so many examples in history that the
Environmentalists, conservationists and other citizens can argue otherwise and crib and the people taking the policy decisions to go ahead with the hydel projects will have equally number of data and points to prove people them wrong. They will argue the need for development and nothing but development.............
But in arguing things, solutions have to be thought of.
ACT too is talking the same thing. They have offered solutions like Mini hydels...even hundreds of those all over Sikkim because it doesent need Dams and 8 meter diameter tunnels being dug ranging from 17kms to 8 to 10 and thousands of tonnes of Dynamite to do it! etc etc The hills of
Modern Education, Knowledge based Human Resource coupled withvlarge scale ECO TOURISM could be one of the best alternatives to these sort of development projects. We could earn long time revenue, even beyond the span of 50 years of a dam and the revenue it generates. Even though critics would laugh and maybe ridicule such a suggestion and assumption, however, many an example would argue otherwise
As one of the best experts on Environmental matters and the pioneer of modernising Sikkim Forests, Mr K.C Pradhan says, "Within a 10 km of a crow flying range i.e about the size of
The Eastern Indian Himalaya has been identified as one of the 25 global hotspots in terms of biodiversity. A part of this system Darjeeling- Sikkim Himalaya has tremendous biological diversity. Its complex terrain system, high humidity, varied aspects and abruptness of altitudinal variation are a few important factors that contribute to the immense wealth of biological resources of more than 6000 species of flowering plants, 500 species of birds, about 400 species of butterflies, 350 species of ferns and allies, more than 238 species of bamboos, 450-500 species of orchids, 144 species of mammals, and many species of reptiles. Thus,
Tourism is the largest economic sector in the world, generating almost 500 billion US dollars annually, excluding the approximately 65 billion US Dollars spent on international transport.
Tourism has become the symbol of opportunity in virtually every corner of the globe.
A very good example of reversing mega environmental projects and their impacts by switching to good and honest Eco-Tourism is the Central American country of
In the nineteen sixties and early seventies,
The government finally after much debate and judging public mood decided to act and finally asked the companies operating to leave and eventually inviting the wrath of the American Government!
Next what the Government of Costa Rica decided to do was to declare a lot of places where mining had taken place in Costa Rica as protected national parks and promote it by ways and means Eco Tourism side by side. In doing so the affected land could regenerate by itself and protected.
Things couldn’t change overnight and one of the main changes that the policy makers did was improve the quality of education and the paramount change was also the introduction of Eco Tourism and other compulsory studies on the local environment as curriculum in all schools. It was done with a lot of hard work, earnestness and belief.
Therefore, in a matter of a just two decades, a whole young generation of young Costa Ricans who grew up knowing a lot about their country, their surroundings, ecology, environment and biodiversity and were trained to handle serious ecotourism.
So modern day figures and statistics show that eco Tourism is the biggest foreign exchange earner for a small country like
For links to ecotourism in
For Link on Pro Poor tourism:
The Electricity generated by the planned mega dams all over
We should be looking to sustain the ecology we have by striking a balance with our need to generate revenue and live in harmony with nature. Everything and everything in
We are unique to the country and to the world. Even the Supreme Court on numerous occasions protecting Article 371 F has said time and again that" SIKKIM IS TRULY UNIQUE" It is a shame that our policy makers don’t want to take initiatives to preserve our uniqueness which has everything to do with the sustaining and saving the environment. They rather believe that our we are safe in the hands of a few private hydel corporates who have only profit as their motive. 35 years is all that will take to lead us to utter ecological barrenness.
Policy of preserve should be given strict priority. Dams are a strict no. Cultures are dying with the languages as the editor of an english daily in Gangtok keeps writing about, time and again.
Lets preserve the last thing we have left, our beautiful rivers, ecosystem and our sacred hills............lets start with Dzongu which is truly unique!