GREENING AFTER COVID: Regional cooperation, innovation & entrepreneurship
A green recovery is key to ensuring a sustainable and resilient return to growth and development after COVID-19. Global examples show how climate change and other green themes can be central to COVID-19 responses so that countries can build back better. The Northeast Green Summit espouses #BuildBackBetter as the mantra for Northeast India post pandemic since a “green recovery” could benefit not just the climate but also human health and prosperity. Kickstarting a green recovery from COVID-19 can be done in multiple ways and sectors – avenues which the Summit would explore and put forward. For example, the Summit would dwell on the vast potential of a regional value chain dedicated for medicinal plants, agriculture and horticulture right from availability of quality planting materials and cultivation practices encompassing not just the eight states of Northeast India but also the neighboring countries of Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Besides, the Summit would also deliberate on how to boost the eco services sector in the region with focus on herbal tourism, eco-tourism, cultural tourism and ethnic tourism, especially through development of value chain of traditional medicines and showcasing the traditional healing practices of the region.
India and its Northeast is a rich source of flora and fauna that has commercial value and the major natural resource for future economic growth of the country. However, infrastructural challenges, lower investment ratio and skill gap especially in rural areas is probably the major reason of slow bio-economic growth in the region. The Summit aims to dwell on technological advancement, bio-entrepreneurship and rural skilling in the biotechnology sector of the region as well as in adjoining countries.
The Summit will also review the renewable energy programmes in the region, especially the solar, hydro and biomass technologies, and suggest measures for development of the sector. Besides, the impact of the process of urbanisation on the environment, infrastructure and socio-economic conditions of the region would be discussed at length, especially keeping in mind the lessons learnt during the pandemic.
The Summit would also discuss appropriate technologies that are befitting for solving problems of resource crunched areas like Northeast India. These organically grown technologies and innovations are opening up new pathways for economic, technical and logistical advantages across applications.
In the quest towards disaster risk reduction, the Summit aims to provide a common platform for stakeholders of construction sector, policy and decision makers, scientists, technologists, representatives of industry, researchers, students etc. from not only from the country but also from neighboring nations.
Good national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction must be multi-sectoral, linking policies in areas such as land use, building codes, public health, education, agriculture, environmental protection, energy, water resources, poverty reduction and climate change adaptation.
Nature can provide cost-effective, no-regret solutions to disasters. However, despite its value in reducing the risk of disasters and building communities’ resilience to climate change, investment in ‘natural infrastructure’ has been underexplored in disaster risk reduction policies – an area which would be taken up for discussion at the Summit.