World Wide Save Loktak Lake Campaign, Mumbai

Posted by: James Mayengbam on




26/05/2010, E-con, Mumbai – The Mumbai chapter of NECEER’s “Worldwide Save Loktak Lake Campaign” was jointly organized by E-con (Environmental - Consciousness) along with BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society) as a seminar at the auditorium of BNHS on 22nd May 2010. Technical Support was provided by “e-con talks” (Environmentally -Conscious Talks). Among the list of speakers were Sachin Singh, Area Manager – DD Greenpeace India, Ganesh Nochur, visiting faculty of TISS, former campaign director of Greenpeace India with 20 years of experience in Environment related fields, Anand Pendharkar (Founder SPROUTS Environment Trust) - Wildlife Biologist & Educator and James Mc Mayengbam founder E-con and coordinator of the Mumbai Campaign . The Seminar was attended by approximately forty individuals from different backgrounds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The seminar started at 4:30 pm with a welcome speech by James Mc Mayengbam followed by an introduction of BNHS by Atul Sathe, PRO BNHS. Mr. Sachin Singh started the presentation with the campaigns Greenpeace India is involved with. He emphasized more on the youth participation of environmental movements across the world. He demonstrated how innovative campaign can attract the attention of Governments and moved them. An example on demonstration against the use of palm oil was presented. He concluded with a thought provoking small movie clip of Greenpeace with the massage that humans has ever growing needs and in that we tend to forget that all of us fundamentally need clean air first to breath. 

Mr Ganesh Nochur gave a very interesting and highly interactive lecture that covers his own past experience and the world we live in today. He talked about his past experience with NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN – how government and corporate agencies exploited the natural resource without realizing the aftermath. He talked about how constructions of damns and hydroelectric project most often changes the natural course of rivers there by affecting the natural cycles of livelihood of every living creatures associated with the eco-system. He later on highlighted that people living in urban cities are the greatest natural resource consumers and therefore contribute more on climate crisis. He emphasized on the urgency to change our lifestyle – reduce our needs – live a more simplified life that doesn’t depends much on extravagant energy and natural resource. As an effective example he compared the frustration of city dwellers when there is just an hour of power cut and the accustomed villagers to regular power cuts in rural areas.

Mr Anand Pendharkar gave a highly graphic presentation on Wet land diversity of India. He talked about the importance of wet land the vast biodiversity it supports. On Mumbai, he said that it is also a collection of smaller island like any other island nations or cities in the world which has a very limited natural resource. On the contradictory there is madness running over the city to acquire lands to construct more buildings and other huge structures. He asked how the huge structures are and people living in it, suppose to be managed if there is little resource to feed all their needs. He demonstrated how reach is India in its biodiversity and important roles each and every creature in it plays in maintaining the balance. He expressed his views that we humans can be a part of the solution and contributor of the magnificent biodiversity only when we experience the value and beauty of each and every organisms and their correlation to each other.

The presentation was followed by a token of appreciation given to the speakers. “Angles of change” organic cotton brands of t-shirts from “E-con” meant for gifting to recognized leading figures in the Environmental movements were given to the three speakers. It was followed by a presentation on Loktak Lake by James Mc Mayengbam.

The presentation started with the Loktak Lake being a wetland of international importance. The uniqueness of the lake in terms of biodiversity was graphically explained with natural vegetations and the formation of Phumdies. The importance of Phumdies as a part of eco system, the biodiversity that Loktak Lake supports and a brief explanation on the topography was highlighted. The socio-economic importance and livelihood it supports were discussed. The increase of population and the dependency of people on Loktak Lake, the affluence and impact on the eco-system followed with pollution of rivers and streams, shallowing of the lake, increase in water level, extinction of endemic fishes and impact on migratory bird were elaborated. The presentation colluded with a modified version of Environment Impact Equation (Paul and Anne Erhlich) where technology becomes a tool to minimize the impact along with a multiple factor of innovation; along with an explanation that we human can use technology and innovation for conservation and restoration purpose along with sustainable means to Save the Loktak Lake and the planet as a whole.

The Seminar concluded with a thank you note from the organizer. The Campaign was concluded with a photo session of the participants at approximately 6:45 pm.