The Eco-Development Society of Meghalaya was established in March 1985 for taking up Socio-Economic developmental works in the surroundings of Balpakram National Park and Nokrek National Park in identified villages.
The organisational frame work: -
- Chairman – Vacant.
- Managing Director - Smti.N.R.D.Marak, MFS, (holding Additional charge)
According to the Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulation of the society, the Government may appoint the Chairman and the Board of Directors and may appoint a Vice-Chairman.
- Land Development :-Individual developed/reclaimed land for wet paddy cultivation and on the basis of area developed/reclaimed, grant is given at Rs. 3,000/- per ha. of surface area developed/reclaimed for cultivation. So, far 129 ha. have been developed benefitting 106 nos. beneficiaries around Nokrek National park at cost 3.89 lakhs during the year 1986.
- Irrigation :- Small irrigation dams and channel are constructed and payment is made on the basis of developed/reclaimed land irrigated at Rs.4,000/- per ha. So far, Rs.0.99 lakhs has been spent in such projects around the villages of Nokrek and Balpakram National Park such as Rongru-A.sim, Alokpang, GulpaniBinra, RewakSongmong, Moradam, Imblioka and Nengsra villages during the year 1986.
- Horticulture :- Under this scheme seedlings of Acrecanut, Oranges etc. are given free to the villages for raising plantation of these species up to one Ha. per family after they have planted these judging from success, they are further given grant for maintenance. Originally, seedlings were purchased from the Agriculture Department but since they could not supply Acrecanut seedlings, the Society took up raising Acrecanut nursery at Sangkinigre village from the year 1986. So far, 270 Ha. Oranges seedlings benefitting 501 families and in 141 Ha. Acrecanut seedlings benefitting 320 families, have been planted around the villages of Balpakram and Nokrek National Parks.
The Society has also taken up raising rubber seedlings for budding and free distribution to the villagers at nursery in Rongara itself with the help of Soil Conservation Department.
Villagers also have been encouraged to plant Tezpat and Cane in their areas by collecting seedlings from the jungle. Rs.1/- seedling planted is given. So far, 25,300 Tezpat and 2,800 cane have been planted.
- School Building Construction :- The Society helped the villagers to construct semi-pucca school buildings in replacing dilapidated bamboo and thatch structures. Schools which have teachers provided by Government/Church Organisations on regular basis are only aided.So far,64 L.P.Schools and 3 three M.E/H.E.Schools have been constructed.
- Drinking Water Supply :- This work is taken up by the Society itself for supply drinking water to the villages. The ring wells, dams are made or where possible piped water to the centre of the villages is brought. In the year 1987 a work camp of school and colleges students from college at Tura/UCC Barapani was held to complete two piped water schemes through self-help with the students and villages combined. So far, five villages have been benefitted under this scheme.
- Afforestation :- Afforestation of water catchment area as well as for future villagers need are taken up around Nokrek and Balpakram National Parks. So far, 560 ha. has been raised, mostly of mixed species.
- Communication :- Footpaths connecting villages to the schools Baazar or from one village to another and jeepable roads connecting PWD roads are undertaken. Foothpaths are constructed by villagers themselves and a lump sum help at amount of Rs. 1, 500-2,000 per km is given to them. But foot bridge where required are constructed by the society. So far 100 km of footpaths and 82 km of Jeepable roads is constructed.
- Environmental Awareness Campaign:- Every year the Society is conducting Environmental Awareness Campaign Programmes at various places or villages of the East West, South Garo Hills depending on the money sanctioned by the State Government. So far the Society has conducted the Environmental Awareness Campaign Programmes in 20 villages at cost of Rs. 7.30 lakhs, sanctioned by the Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests through Assam Science Society and Government of Meghalaya, through Forests Department.
- Bamboo Plantation :- Bamboo Plantation is done in the selected villages under NokmaA.king lands in collaboration with village Community Reserve Committees’ so far, the Society has planted 175 ha. of Bamboo plantation in the 9 (nine) villages of East, West and North Garo Hills at cost of Rs. 26.68lakhs.
- Rehabilitation :- The Society also taken up rehabilitation of the people who are shifted form core area of the Balpakram National Park. Two villages namely Kaweng and Rongkandi have been relocated to the new villages of Maighat and Rongaresonggital during the year 1988 to 1999 (five years) at a cost of Rs. 36.44 lakhs.
As per the memorandum of Association, the main objectives of Eco-Development Society of Meghalaya can be taken up various integrated developmental works not only around the protected areas but also in many ecologically sensitive areas. The Society can be taken up the water shed management in the important catchment areas growing eco friendly commercial crops like Black pepper, coffee, Tezpat etc. The Society can also take up the Cottage industry promoting market facilities to the farmers and many other Eco-Developmental works. The society can also take up distribution of solar lamps and solar home lightning system around protected areas and specially in the relocated villages of Rongkandi and Kaweng.