12 Sep, Frieburg (Germany) IPR : On reaching Frieburg, the Chief Minister was warmly welcomed and the Lord Mayor of Frieburg Dr. Dieter Salomon hosted an official reception for the Chief Minister here at the City Hall in the afternoon. Lord Mayor was joined by former Minister, Principal of United World College, staff of the Municipality, students and local gentry
At the outset, the Lord Mayor congratulated the Chief Minister for being adjudged as the winner of the OWA Grand Prix award and being decorated with the OWA Laureate honour. Lord Mayor complimented the Chief Minister for his achievement and said, “What you did is incredible .. now the whole world knows you as you have been awarded with this OWA honour”.
The Chief Minister while addressing the august gathering said that it was indeed an honour to be a part of this esteemed gathering and to celebrate the work of advocates and scholars for a cleaner world from across the globe and that it was an added privilege that we gather in the green city of Freiburg from which we have a lot to learn about sustainability
He further said, “I stand before you representing Sikkim which is a state in the great Himalayan belt of India. In Sikkim, we share a special bond with mother nature, for our land, our people and cultural practices are closely linked with the natural environment. It is this closeness with nature that has also inspired us in our green measures to preserve and protect the environment.
The results of our various initiatives in this regard have been very encouraging. The forest cover of Sikkim in 1993 was 43.95 %. This has increased to 47.80 % today. We have taken stringent steps to prohibit activities with potential risk to our environment from the felling of trees, grazing and rearing of cattle in forest areas, use of plastic and killing of wild animals to name a few. After being declared the first Organic State of India in 2016, we have been encouraged to take on more challenges. We are now under the pursuit of making our State carbon-neutral.
We have also pursued programs to make our towns and cities clean and eco-friendly. From the beautification programs in urban areas across the state, to the creation of green areas in public spaces, we have undertaken several steps to ensure a healthier urban life for the people. As a result, Gangtok, our capital city, was also chosen as the cleanest and greenest Hill Station of India and the safest tourist destination in the Country.”
The Chief Minister thanked Lord Mayor for the official reception and said that it was an honor to be in the beautiful city of Freiburg, and that it is our tribute to Lord Mayor for his political commitment to pursue a clean and green economy. The Chief Minister also hoped that he would look forward to learning from the initiatives that has made Freiburg an exemplary “Green City” and also thanked Lord Mayor for his warm reception and for giving the opportunity to engage with him and the city of Freiburg