Mr. Tambor Lyngdoh of Mawphlang, Meghalaya has over two and a half decades of experience in conservation efforts. From 1996-2011, acting as the Secretary for his local governing agency (Hima), he initiated the revival of the nearby sacred grove, introduced eco-tourism to the area, and participated in forest preservation while actively drawing others in to form his current organization, Ka Synjuk ki Hima Arliang Wah Umiam-Mawphlang Welfare Society (Synjuk). He has headed the Biodiversity Conservation Project as the President of the Village Forest Council since 2001. He is also the recent recipient of the 2020 NatWest Green Warrior Award. His pursuits are in sustainable tourism, sacred grove preservation, wildlife conservation, and community development.
Mr. Lyngdoh works directly with communities throughout the Umiam watershed in the state of Meghalaya to protect community forests covering 9250 hectares of dense forests and aid in the regeneration of 5000 hectares of open forests. The example he has provided on ground up conservation has inspired many and his efforts are now being extended to other districts in the state as well as throughout the Northeast through awareness programs and word of mouth from communities involved in the project.
Mr. Lyngdoh implemented the first UN REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) project in India, effectively uniting ten indigenous governments to protect and conserve community forests. This REDD+ project is one of the few in Asia that is managed by indigenous communities. In tandem, he has mobilized awareness through women’s micro-finance groups, farmer groups, and youth in 84 villages to promote the conservation measures. By providing alternatives to forest timber products, the 7400 households in the project area earn income while protecting forest habitat.
The project is successful due to the heritage of the people of this region who are the native custodians of the forests and natural resources. Mr. Lyngdoh has been exemplary in reminding his fellow community members of that lineage and responsibility. There is a mutual relationship here of the people with the forests where the forest depends on people for protection and the people depend on the forest for life and environmental services.
As the Synjuk celebrates its 10th year as an organization, it looks forward to continuing the work of planting native tree species, providing alternative methods of income to the project participants (70% of whom are below the poverty line), educating and training communities on traditional and scientific agricultural methods, and reviving the age-old tradition of protecting the forests as the lifeblood of our ecosystems. Thanks to Mr. Lyngdoh, the ancient forests of Meghalaya have stood the test of time and continue to act as a storehouse for biodiversity to many endemic and endangered species.
IFSC CODE : KKBK0000203
MICR No.: 110485046
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