Every time the world observes this or that day, we participate enthusiastically with an incontrovertible sincerity of purpose. Observing the World Environment Day on June 5 last, we seemed dead serious about saving our planet from destruction of which we are the main culprits and causes. But things are always easier said than done ~ saving our planet is not going to be as easy as we think by simply planting a few million trees worldwide, going organic, not using plastic, etc. While we do need to do all that, our primary target ought to be a change in the way we perceive our world, our planet, our home. And this change in our perception(s) of our planet can come about only when we know the dynamics of our planet’s existence and sustenance. Our planet is a living organism and produces its own sustenance mechanisms so when we obstruct the planet’s inbuilt sustenance mechanisms we destroy it ~ in the process we destroy our own inbuilt sustenance mechanisms and imperil our own existence. Things are very simple actually ~ our planet thrives we thrive, our planet dies we die. Unfortunately, much of our earth has already been destroyed and its sustenance capacity drastically reduced ~ therefore likewise the human race’s sustenance capacity in exact proportion. So, how do we salvage what’s left of our planet’s inbuilt sustenance mechanisms, which is critical for our own survival and sustenance? We will have to do much more than observe Environment Days year in and year out making sincere pledges and speeches. Major efforts and endeavours are being made, especially in the past decade or so to save our planet both at the local, regional national and international levels ~ so it is actually past time for our state Government to institute a high-power and dedicated committee, consisting of environment-friendly policy makers, legal and environmental experts, scientists, including local expertise on traditional methods of nurturing the environment, etc. from within and without the state of Nagaland. If necessary, and it is necessary, get international expertise too ~ and let the state Government not demur about funds because the cost would be higher if it doesn’t act now. Get this suggested committee to help us formulate a state environment policy and strategies, which our policy-makers failed to do, to counteract our hills crumbling down, our rivers, streams, waterfalls drying up and our soil turning sterile and infertile, our animals and birds migrating to greener pastures or dying. Get this committee to educate us about our roles and responsibilities, in our individual and collective capacities, to save our environment, underscoring specific dos and don’ts. Our state Government must then necessarily constitute a ‘Green Brigade’ with the sincerest of environment warriors, young and old, from our rural and urban areas, from both the Government and private sectors, who will keep vigil over the various aspects of our environmental status. Laws to address the issue of environment-related crimes already exist ~ punish the violators under these laws without fear or favour. These are, of course, very broad suggestions and the list is by no means exhausted because to replicate the efforts and endeavours of other places across the globe to save our planet, as also to revive and revamp our own traditional methods would indubitably meet humongous roadblocks, especially seeing that over the past few decades we have stopped being children of the soil ~ we are now more concretized children. Moreover, in all our electoral discussions and campaigns, the environment has never been a central issue ~ although you will find the word “environment’ here and there in election manifestos. Neither has the public ever questioned our political elite about environment issues. Our stand on the environment is what the environment will be and seeing as we don’t really seem to have a stand on the environment, the environment is increasingly becoming indifferent to us ~ and that should greatly concern us. Now everything not only depends on “political will” but also on the quality of leadership that is crucial to save our planet, our only home ~ without the requisite quality leadership, mere political will is never enough to tackle situations head-on. Past track records on environment issues of the same people who are in the state Government now ~ albeit in difference party avatars ~ aren’t very encouraging. But being an incurable optimist, let us hope that perhaps this time they have changed to bring about their promised change.