Gangtok comes together for the World Water Day
Sikkim has a variety of flora and fauna and is a vital part of the Himalayan Biodiversity Hotspot. Covering only 0.2% of the geographical area of India, Sikkim is home to more than 200 high altitude lakes/wetlands and over 100 rivers and streams. The World Water Day event in Gangtok aimed at raising awareness amongst the local communities for sustainable use of freshwater resources in the mountain state of Sikkim.
During the event, interactive discussion sessions were organized where participants from different part of the mountain state shared their experiences and opinions on conserving the water sources in their areas. Community representatives from the wetland areas of Lachen, North Sikkim, Tsomgo, East Sikkim and Mirik from Darjeeling, West Bengal, shared the uniqueness and importance of wetlands. They also shared the various challenges and threats faced by these wetlands and the conservation measures initiated by them. A painting competition along with an open street exhibition showcasing the varied initiatives undertaken for water conservation was also put up for the general public. 27 students from various schools and colleges participated in the competition. The painting competition was planned in consultation with the Oviya Art Circle of Sikkim.
Representatives from the Zero Waste Himalaya group, presented an interactive poster explaining the participants the concepts and principles of zero waste. Exhibits from various schools from different districts of Sikkim also enriched the street exhibition with their displays highlighting the importance of water, and how people could contribute in conserving this precious resource. An exhibition stall sharing information on water quality assessment was also of great interest to the visitors.
Chief guest for the day, Mr. Anil Raj Rai, Special Secretary – Rural Management and Development Department, Government of Sikkim congratulated the organizers, mentioning that such events help in renewing our commitments towards the planet, and it is every individual’s responsibility to work for a sustainable future and live up to their pledges. Participants and visitors took individual pledges on the occassion and had put it up on a pledge tree.
For more information, contact:
Khangchendzonga Landscape Programme| WWF India
Sr. Communication Officer
Species and Landscapes Programme | WWF India