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Committee urges NE CMs to shelve Palm Oil project

 Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, September 06 2021: Eastern Himalayan Youth Coordinating Committee on Climate Change has petitioned the chief ministers of Manipur, Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya requesting to stop plantation of Palm Oil Trees in the North-eastern states fearing adverse effects to the biodiversity by the proposed mission of the government of India.

A statement issued by the Committee informed that the biodiversity of Northeast is a genetic treasure of various forms of plants and animals and the region falls under the Indo Burma biodiversity hotspot which ranks 6th among the 25 biodiversity hotspots of the world.

Most of the North-eastern states have more than 60 per cent of its areas under forest cover.

Large scale forest areas have disappeared due to construction of mega dams, mining, oil exploration, expansion of highways, etc., giving serious negative impact on the inhabitants of the region, environment, animals, flora and fauna, etc, it said.

Yet another project of destruction is observed to have been proposed and approved by Prime Minister of India for large scale Plantation of Palm Trees for the production of Palm Oil in the region which is yet another doom proposal for the people of Northeast under the NMEO-OP (National Mission on Edible Oil - Oil Palm), the Committee opined.

The statement continued that the world witnessed the negative impact of Palm Tree plantation and learning from the same, the Sri Lankan government totally banned plantation of Palm Oil Trees and also import and export of the same in the early part of this year.

The large scale negative impact of Palm Oil plantation is already witnessed in Malaysia, Indonesia, Colombia and others.

However, the proposal of the Prime Minister for the plantation of Palm Oil across the Northeast is not a people friendly and environment friendly step.

It is very important to learn from the bitter experience being experienced by the people due to plantation of Palm Oil in Mizoram, it added.

To committee also highlighted that Palm Oil plantation leads to air pollution, soil and water pollution, soil erosion, human and animal conflict, encourage climate change, deforestation, loss of habitation, loss of biodiversity, displacement and demographic change due engagement of migrant workers, etc.

The committee also requested all the chief ministers to stop and withdraw the proposed Palm Oil plantation in all the states of the Northeast under the NMEO-OP (National Mission on Edible Oil - Oil Palm) as there is no alternative solution proven by the experts to curb the negative impact of Palm Oil, to withdraw all the laws passed by the respective legislative assemblies with regard to Palm Oil Plantations in the North-eastern states of India and to encourage the farmers to produce large scale vegetable oil by planting and producing mustard oil.