Policy Makers’ Dialogue & Legislators’ Meet
Two of the major side events of the upcoming Kohima Summit are the Policy Makers’ Dialogue and the Legislators’ Meet. It was during the Gangtok Summit last year that the Legislators’ meet was first conceptualized to bring together legislators from the Indian mountain states and to facilitate a discussion that focuses on collective action and thinking based on a vision for sustainable mountain agenda for the Indian mountain states.
Sikkim in the last Summit also took the lead by starting the first state chapter of GLOBE India.Global Legislators’ Organization for Balanced Environment (GLOBE) is an international body whose mission is to create a critical mass of legislators that can agree and advance common legislative responses to the major global sustainable development challenges. The dialogues and outcomes of the Legislators’ Meet at Sikkim carried forward the GLOBE India agenda, and constituted a significant advancement in the build-up to the first World Summit of Legislators at Rio from 15–17 June 2012.
The Policy Makers’ Dialogue is an additional event in this year’s edition of the Sustainable Mountain Development Summit-III. The Policy Makers’ Dialogue will discuss and deliberate upon the appropriateness and relevance of the Guidelines for Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) and Other Programmes for Indian mountain states to come up with suggestions and recommendations, if any, while also considering that ‘currently no mountain specific policy mechanisms are in place, nor is there a platform for lawmakers to actively engage in nonpartisan manners for mountain development’.
R. S. Tolia, PhD, NTPC Chair, Centre for Public Policy, School of Social Sciences, Doon University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, in his background paper for “Appropriateness of Centrally Sponsored Schemes and Other Programmes for Indian Mountain States” had highlighted that“significantly, Chaturvedi Committee throws light on a very constructive and persuasive role played by the mountain states at various meetings of the highest policy making forum of the nation, namely the National Development Council (NDC). The presentations made by almost all mountain states highlighted how resource-deficient mountain States have been suffering from not only the design of a majority of CSSs but also from the weak implementation machinery, which is a historical legacy, at their command as most of the mountain States have emerged from their parent States primarily on account of their regional, geo-geographic economic backwardness. Meetings after meetings the mountain State Chief Ministers pointed out how they have been forced to implement several Centrally Sponsored Schemes, even when these were not useful for them and even when they were not in a position to fully implement them, for several reasons, including matching State share.”
As such, the Policy Makers’ Dialogue will address issues relating the relevance of CSSs and other Programmes in the mountain states. The idea is also for the policy makers to discuss and identify issues of commonality as well as, for them to start thinking about sustainable development from a political platform.
Pertaining to this, Member of Parliament from Sikkim, P.D Rai will be initiating the process of bringing the legislators together, while in line with the GLOBE chapter in each state all over India, the Nagaland chapter of GLOBE India is also being initiated in coordination with the young Nagaland MLA & MARCOFED Chairman, Mhonlumo Kikon. Once formed, Nagaland state will be only next to Sikkim in the northeastern region to have its own GLOBAL Chapter. Initiate
This has been deemed necessary in order to initiate discussion on Climate Change in the Nagaland context, as it is equally essential to further initiate dialogue at the North East and the national level, after which, it would be possible to send across our issues to the global forum.
Member of Nagaland Legislative Assembly, Mhonlumo Kikon, who is spearheading the state GLOBAL Chapter in Nagaland had noted that right now there are bureaucrats in the policy making along with few parliamentarians who are determining policies. However, he felt that, “the level of engagement is not as visible as it should be” as far as issues of climate change is concerned. In this connection, he had also emphasized on showing more concern on the impacts of climate change in our various constituencies.
The concept note of the Legislators’ Meet further indicates that the idea of bringing in political actors into the general discourse of ‘Mountain Issues’ is not new, but that, both practitioners and policy-makers in the field of development understand this need and are favourably positioned to support this view.
While very important themes are being articulated for the IMI Sustainable Mountain Development Summit 2013, it has also scheduled a time to showcase the importance of mountain issues to participating legislators and other political actors to deliberate, create awareness and make an action plan. It has suitably been titled as ‘Legislators Meet on Mountain Development and Collective Action.’
The outcome of this session is expected to be manifold starting from a heightened awareness of the policies of the Government of India to highlighting issues related to State Action Plans and charting out what more needs to be done, especially in the mountain states which are very important from the standpoint of water, melting glaciers and erratic monsoons affecting livelihoods and development. Finally, recognising the need for collaborative action and taking forth the outcomes of the meet.
Sustainable Development Forum Nagaland.