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Environmentalists come down heavily on Pala for statement against Jhum Cultivation

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Shillong, Oct 22: Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) Chief and Shillong MP, Vincent H. Pala, has drawn a lot of flak for his statement that he is going to raise the issue of impacts of Jhum cultivation at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). North East Slow Food & Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS) in particular has come down heavily on Pala, stating that the Congress MP should have done proper research before making the statement which is devoid of facts.

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference. It is scheduled to be held in the city of Glasgow, Scotland, between 31 October and 12 November 2021, under the co-presidency of the United Kingdom and Italy.

Expressing disappointment on the MP’s statement, Executive Director of NESFAS, Pius Ranee, said the MP, being a tribal, should understand that jhum cultivation is closely tied to the culture of the people, which is an ancient tradition and part of the tribal culture. They are upset with his statement because it comes at a time when NESFAS is making efforts to make shifting cultivation a sustainable activity.

Adding to this, senior associate research and knowledge management at NESFAS, Bhogtoram Mawroh, informed that shifting cultivation can help in combating climate change instead of the perceived notion that the cultivation promotes climate change.

Mawroh also felt that the Congress MP should be more concerned about the coke factories and coal mining which is contributing to climate change. He also felt that Pala was being hypocritical to only pick up on jhum cultivation.

Meanwhile, Hamkhein Mohrmen, an environmentalist, said a community in Jaintia Hills has been living on Jhum cultivation for ages and Pala should have learnt about it before deciding to speak on the impact of Jhum cultivation.

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