1995 was declared as “Harit Kranti Varsa” (Green Revolution Year) and as a part of this programme, distribution of free seedlings for plantation and massive afforestation drives were carried out.
In 1995 Ban on pan masala /gutka was enforced. In 1997, we passed an Act on prohibition of throwing of non-degradable garbage in public drains and sewerage. In the same year, we passed a law for prohibition of smoking in places of public work or in public service vehicles in the State.
On 14th August, 1998 a ban on plastics and non-degradable materials was imposed. Sikkim became the first state to do so.
In 1999, the concept of Smriti Vans was started. This became a kind of a mass green movement, involving NGOs, general public from the level of villagers to State level functionaries for conservation of nature. People plant saplings to celebrate or observe important days in the lives of their near and dear ones. There are 39 Smriti Vans across Sikkim.
The following new programmes were started in the year 2000
The period 2000-2010 was declared as ‘Harit Kranti Dashak’ (Green Revolution Decade).
Ban on cutting, lopping & collection of leaves of dhupi nagbeli & mosses used for decoration purposes in public or private functions.
Ban on grazing in forest land.
Some important decisions taken in the year 2001:
Ban on collection of medicinal plants & non-timber forest produce for commercial purposes.
Statutory Rules for mandatory planting of ten saplings in lieu of one tree felled in private holdings implemented.
Declaration of sacred peaks, caves, rocks, lakes, places of worship hot springs etc was made for documentation of all sacred places of worship and institutions in Sikkim which are 100 years old and above.
Ban on litter of plastic bags and containers in National Parks & Sanctuaries. Tourists were also prohibited from carrying plastic bags and containers to these places.
Ban on Killing of Wild Animals.
Distribution of free LPG connection in rural houses to protect trees and greenery by preventing cutting of wood for fuel.
Formation of Eco-clubs in Schools across Sikkim and constitution of Eco-Development Committee, State Wildlife Advisory Board and State Medicinal Plant Board in 2002.
Environmental Education have been introduced in Schools. Regulations to trekkers passing through forests also enforced. As a measure for protection and conservation of wild animals, penalties for offenders have been spelt out.
The initiatives taken in the year 2006
State Green Mission with State Level Green Mission Committee and Constituency Level Green Task Force launched.
Sikkim State Biodiversity Board established.
Guidelines laid down for conservation of lakes .
Bio-diversity Agency and District Environment Committee constituted to co-ordinate and implement activities relating to environment awareness, education and information in the State .
In 2007, the State Board for Wildlife Glacier and Climate Change Commission were constituted.
The State Pollution Control Board was constituted in 2009.
A unique programme called “10 Minutes’ to Earth” was started in 2009. This programme is the first of its kind in the world and ever since it is observed on 25th June annually. All the Sikkimese citizens plant one sapling each during a pre-announced 10 minutes.
In 2011, “Chief Minister’s Forestry and Environment Mission” was launched, with the aim to achieve the target of having 100 percent Environment Conscious Citizen by 2020. Chief Minister’s Green School Rolling Trophy was instituted to encourage pro – environmental conservation behaviour of students aged 6-16.
Various target groups including taxi drivers, government employees, school teachers have been identified as the predominant ‘agents of change’.
Paryavaran Mahatsav” an environmental festival announced from 15th June to 30th June on 21st June,2013.
In 2014 Ban on sale and bursting of fire crackers was implemented. Sikkim is the first state to do so.
In 2015, ban on use of diclofenac sodium and burning of agricultural wastes were implemented.
In 2016, all the old trees in government forests were identified as “Sikkim State Heritage Trees”.
Ban on use of Styrofoam products and Ban on use of Plastic Bottled drinking water in State Government functions from 2016.
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