February 26, 2021: On Thursday, Green Nobel laureate Prafulla Samantara appreciated the efforts of Aryabhatta, a local broad-based organisation and Forum for Ganjam (FFG), for spearheading the movement on awareness about tree plantation.
Green Nobel Laureate praises and discusses the climate change mitigation
Sudhir Rout, founder of Aryabhatta and convener of Forum for Ganjam said, “We discussed climate change mitigation and the role of environmental activists, the transformation of ponds especially in Berhampur to carbon sinks as well as climate resilience agents and other activities with Berhampur-based Samantara.”
Last Monday, Samantara congratulated the two organisations for the 24km padyatra (procession) from Berhampur to Chatrapur on environmental issues.
He also assured his support for the endeavour at the meeting attended by Shyam Sundar Khadanga, Sanjukta Panda, Swetalina, Sukant Gouda, Susant Mohanty and others.
Berhampur getting ‘environmentally woke’
In a significant development, sub-collector, Berhampur has ordered to immediately stop felling of 1,700 roadside trees between Ratnapur and Mundamarai on National Highway-59 for widening the NH from existing 7 to 12 metres.
Even though Forest and Environment department had given green signal for chopping the trees, Aryabhatta opposed the move and suggested for relocation of the trees as undertaken in other parts of the country to maintain the eco-system. The organisation had submitted a memorandum to the sub-collector in this regard earlier.
Who is the Green Nobel Laureate?
Prafulla Samantara, the winner of Goldman Environmental Prize, popularly known as the Green Nobel, in 2017, waged a 12-year-long legal battle to stop a company called Vedanta from mining bauxite from Niyamgiri hills.
He mobilised the indigenous tribes of the hill and got them to rally for the protection of the hills.
Having been trained in law himself, he became one of the most prominent leaders of this movement along with Lok Shakti Abhiyan, the civil rights organisation he started.
It was a fight that was ultimately successful as the Supreme Court of India in 2013 ordered that the decision on how to proceed with the project would be put in the hands of the Dongariya Kondh tribe and that 12 village councils would vote on the Vedanta project they unanimously voted to end the project.