ULFA and the Centre are all set to hold the first round of formal talks on Wednesday next. The count down began when the banned outfit has submitted their charter of demands before the Union home minister on Friday.
Led by chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, the ULFA delegation met Chidambaram at his North Block-based office at around 12 noon in presence of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and peace interlocutor P C Haldar. According to sources, ULFA has dropped sovereignty and independence demands. They are set to press for more autonomy, special status for Assam and other safeguards for the people there under the Constitution.
Talking to reporters, chief minister Gogoi called it a significant step in bringing peace in Assam and said both state and central governments were sincere about finding a solution for permanent peace in the restive state.
It is learnt that Rajkhowa and others are understood to have asked the government to bring back its Anup Chetia, who is in detention in Bangladesh since 1997, to facilitate his participation in the peace talks.
The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has decided to organise a two day camp for sikh population in Assam and Meghalaya to equip them with the schemes being run by the Centre and state governments for welfare of the Minorities in the country.
Disclosing this in a statement released in Delhi the DSGMC President S. Manjit Singh GK & General Secretary S. Manjinder Singh Sirsa said that this two day camp will be on September 13 and 14at Nagaon in Assam and Shillong in Meghalaya which have a sizeable population of sikhs in these states.
He said that DSGMC is sending four member team to these states for the said camp which will brief the sikhs about the schemes being run by the Centre as well as concerned state government for welfare of the minority communities. He said that this four member team will be headed by Bibi Ranjit Kaur member DSGMC.
Sirsa said that centre and state governments have launched a number of schemes for minorities which included Pre Matric (online), Post Matric (online) scheme, Merit Cum Means (online), Paro Pardesh Scheme and Maulana Azad Education Foundation scholarship schemes. He said that there is provision of reimbursement of fees being paid by minorities particularly economic weaker sections. He said that there is also a scheme for education loan on nominal interest rates for those who want to study abroad under the Paro Pardesh Schemes.
He informed that Social Activist Mrs. Indu Singh & Assamee Sikhs Association in Nagaon, Assam, Sikh Pratinidhi Eastern Board Zone Dhubri Sahib, Assam and City Gurdwara Management Committee, Shillong (Meghalaya) are coordinating for organizing these camps.
Sirsa said that once the sikhs residing in these states become aware of these schemes, this will help them a lot for up bringing of their children and also for their development and progress.
The DSGMC General Secretary also urged the Singh Sabhas formed in different states that they can approach the DSGMC if they want organizing of such camps in their respective areas which can prove to immensely helpful for the sikh community.
WWF’s Living Planet Report 2016 predicts decline of global wildlife populations by an average of 67 per cent in the timeline between 1970 and 2020, as a result of human activities. The report indicates that global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have already declined by 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012, the most recent year with available data. This places the world on a trajectory of a potential two-thirds decline within a span of the half-century ending in 2020.The report also highlights the magnitude of human impact on the planet and highlights the changes needed in the way society is fed and fuelled.
“Wildlife is disappearing within our lifetimes at an unprecedented rate,” said Dr. Marco Lambertini, International Director General, WWF. “This is not just about the wonderful species we all love; biodiversity forms the foundation of healthy forests, rivers and oceans. Take away species, and these ecosystems will collapse along with the clean air, water, food and climate services that they provide us. We have the tools to fix this problem and we need to start using them now if we are serious about preserving a living planet for our own survival and prosperity.”
According to the report, the top threats to species are directly linked to human activities, including habitatloss, degradation and overexploitation of wildlife. The report’s findings provide additional evidence that the planet is entering completely unchartered territory in its history in which humanity is shaping changes on the Earth, including a possible sixth mass extinction. Researchers are already calling this period the Anthropocene– an era in which human activities are influencing changes in the climate and the environment.
The 2016 edition of the Living Planet Report states that food production to meet the complex demands of an expanding human population is the primary factor responsible for the destruction of habitats and overexploitation of wildlife. At present, agriculture occupies about one-third of the Earth’s total land area and accounts for almost 70 per cent of water use.
The report also shows that India ranks fifth in terms of bio-capacity – an ecosystem’s capacity to produce resources such as food, fibre and renewable raw materials and absorb carbon dioxide. While Indians have a low personal footprint at an individual level, it is a challenge when aggregated by population size. This equation will be further affected as wealth grows and consumption patterns change. India’s carbon footprint currently makes up 53% of the country’s overall Ecological Footprint.
“Our consumption patterns and the way we look at our natural world are constantly shaping the future of our planet. At WWF-India we believe that the power to build a resilient planet for future generations lies in our understanding of how we are moving into this new epoch that scientists are calling the Anthropocene and adopting sustainable practices that decrease humanity’s impacts on the planet. We need to come together as a global community and address the threats to biodiversity to protect our environment, as well as our economic and social structures,” said Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO, WWF-India.
Looking ahead, however, 2020 is also a year of great promise. In that year, commitments made under the Paris climate deal will kick in, and the first environmental actions under the globe’s new sustainable development plan are due. If implemented, these measures, along with meeting international biodiversity targets set for 2020, can help achieve the reforms needed in the world's food and energy systems to protect wildlife across the globe.
The Living Planet Report 2016 highlights the fact that we need to rethink how we produce, consume, and value the natural environment. It also illustrates the positive momentum that is building by highlighting recent global agreements on climate change and sustainable development. In particular, the report recognizes the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developmentas an essential guide to decision-making that can ensure that the environment is valued alongside economic and social interests.
Living Planet Report 2016: Risk and resilience in a new era is the eleventh edition of WWF's biennial flagship publication. The report tracks over 14,000 vertebrate populations of over 3,700 species from 1970 to 2012.
Flood waters continue to wreak havoc in Kaziranga, Pobitora and Sibru Saikhowa following the rise in the water levels of the Brahmaputrea. Flood waters in Kaziranga have forced the animals to shift for the high lands. Rhinos, tigers, deers along with others are leaving for the Karbi hills in Kaziranga. The picture is not different from the Dibru Saikhowa. The panic stricken wild horses are sneaking into the human habitats seeking shelter forcing the authorities to ensure tight vigil.