World Environment Day (WED) 2021 was celebrated on 5th June world over. In Nagaland, we began with a full day of social work at the Resource Centre Campus in Chizami on a pre-celebration event held on 4th June. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and state Lockdown with restriction in movements, NEN has confined itself to the safe space of the resource center, developing creative ways of engaging with our communities with the changing time and adapting to the new normal.
In observance with WED theme for 2021,“Ecosystem Restoration,” NEN with our team of staff, spend the day planting trees of local fruits around the campus, nurturing the campus garden and raising new kitchen garden beds to make the center vibrant and self-sustaining.
Seno Tsuhah, Honorary Member, NEN spent the day with the team sharing her experience of working in the communities for the last 24 years in Nagaland. She emphasised on the need for the Resource Centre to be a vibrant space open for anyone to connect with nature and be a reflection of all that NEN advocates in the communities, a self-sufficient and sustainable center.
“For someone who has been talking about food security, sovereignty and promoting local and indigenous food, I can now say I am enjoying the harvest from my little kitchen garden and sharing the harvest with friends and family, I am trying to practice what I preach” shares Seno, encouraging the team to also take up initiatives whether big or small. Speaking on the theme, “Ecosystem Restoration” she also stressed on the drastic depletion of our natural resources, the imbalance in the ecosystem with the needed development but comes with a cost. Citing the example of the new Highway development in the district where massive lands has been carved out for better roads, it came with a heavy price. “As conscious beings, it is our responsibility to take action and partake in the process of restoration each day and not just on World Environment Day, a practice that each person needs to cultivate”.
Seno also shares with optimism that “We can say we are still blessed to have nature still surrounding us, many do not have the forest anymore” and hopes the younger team will continue the work of conservation as a core value of the organisation. A film was also shared with the team: ‘This is an incredible natural food forest grown in Auroville,Tamil Nadu, India’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iOTq6kb4qM by Down to Earth.
On 5th June, NEN continued its campaign in collaboration with Chizami Youth Society, Chizami Students’ Union & Chizami Women Society by engaging with the local community members who came together in the cleaning and plantation drive at the community land in Chizami, a continuation of the plantation drive conducted in 2019. NEN continues to follow conscious efforts to sustain the initiatives taken to emphasise on the need for sustainable campaigns. A total of 20 youngsters participated in the event along with our own team.
The community organisations have been influential in advocating and proactively endeavors collective actions towards environmental care. Working closely with different community agencies, we strengthen relationships in working for the larger cause of saving the environment. Understanding the need to continue the initiatives, NEN is rendering support even during the crucial time of the pandemic.
Working largely on Natural Resource Management (NRM), NEN Nagaland is closely working with the close knitted community members by activating new strategies to engage with youths, community knowledge holders, elders, village leaders, and other stakeholders through methodologies such as Biodiversity walk – emphasising on documenting and learning indigenous flora and fauna diversity, archiving traditional knowledge systems through video documentary and photographs, observing events to stand in solidarity with the global campaigns whilst keeping the community in loop of each process, organising annual NEN farm school – to bridge the knowledge gaps. NEN continues to labor persistently in implementing inclusive approaches designing viable platforms for motivating and engaging with the communities.