Pawan Chamling, the Chief Minister of Sikkim, on 6 October 2016 was conferred the prestigious 2016 Sustainable Development Leadership Award.
President Pranab Mukherjee presented the award to Chamling during the World Sustainable Development Summit organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi.
The award was presented to Chamling in recognition of his vision and leadership in environment and sustainable development leading to the establishment of Sikkim as the first and only organic state in the country.
Initiatives taken by Pawan Chamling
- Sikkim is known as theLand of Flower and holds a population of around six lakhs.
- Around 75000 hectares of land has been converted into certified organic farms over the years following the guidelines as prescribed byNational Programme for Organic Production.
- Sikkim contributes around 80000 million tonnes organic production out of total 1.24 million tonnes of organic production recorded in India.
- On the initiative of Chamling, a historic declaration was made through a Resolution in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly on 24 February 2003 for transforming Sikkim into aTotal Organic State.
- TheSikkim State Organic Board was constituted on 16 September 2003 for outlining policy issues and strategic plans, as well as developing standards and regulations.
- The state government stopped procuring chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides from 2004 onwards and also eliminated the existing subsidy to farmers for procurement of chemical pesticides.
- The state government created category-wise organic farming schemes and organic action plans to set the targets of conversion.
- Chamling has also taken various green initiatives under which ban on pan masala/gutka was enforced in the entire state in the year 1995.
- In 1997, the state government passed an Act on prohibition of throwing of non-degradable garbage in public drains and sewerage.
- The state also passed a law for prohibition of smoking in places of public work or in public service vehicles in the state in 1997.
- On 14 August 1998, Sikkim became the first state in the country to impose a ban on plastics and non-degradable materials and the tourists were also prohibited from carrying plastic bags and containers in under the rules.
- The state government imposed complete ban on collection of medicinal plants and non-timber forest produce for commercial purposes and framed Statutory Rules for mandatory planting of ten saplings in lieu of one tree felled in private holdings implemented in 2001.
- On 25 June 2009, Chamling started a unique programme called10 Minutes under which all the citizens of the state plant one sapling each during a pre-announced 10 minutes.
- The State Government imposed a ban on the use of diclofenac sodium and burning of agricultural wastes in 2015 and all the old trees in government forests were identified as Sikkim State Heritage Trees in 2016.
- The state government imposed a ban on use of Styrofoam products and a ban on the use of Plastic Bottled drinking water in state government functions and also banned tyre fires in 2016.