Chennai: India has consistently been at the forefront in taking action on biodiversity conservation, protection, restoration and enrichment, and has set the bar even higher through the updated targets, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday (July 28). Addressing the G20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Ministerial Meeting here via video conferencing, the Prime Minister said he was proud to say that India has led the way through its ambitious “Nationally Determined Contributions.”
India achieved its installed electric capacity from non-fossil fuel sources, nine years ahead of the target of 2030. And, we have set the bar even higher through our updated targets. Today, India is one of the top five countries in the world, in terms of installed renewable energy capacity. We have also set a target of attaining “Net Zero” by 2070. We continue to collaborate with our partners through alliances including International Solar Alliance, CDRI, and the “Leadership Group for Industry Transition, the Prime Minister said.
India is a mega-diverse country and the nation has consistently been at the forefront in taking action on biodiversity conservation, protection, restoration and enrichment.
Through the ‘Gandhinagar Implementation Roadmap and Platform’, you are recognising restoration in priority landscapes impacted by forest fires and mining, he said.
India has recently launched the “International Big Cat Alliance” for conservation of seven big cats of our planet based on our learnings from Project Tiger, a pioneering conservation initiative. As a result of Project Tiger, 70 per cent of the world’s tigers today are found in India, PM Modi said.
India is also working on ‘Project Lion’ and ‘Project Dolphin’, he added.
India’s initiatives are powered by people’s participation, he said and pointed to the “Mission Amrit Sarovar,” a unique water conservation initiative. Under this mission, more than 63,000 water bodies have been developed in just about one year. This mission is implemented entirely through community participation, and aided by technology.
Our “Catch the Rain” campaign has also shown excellent results. To conserve water, more than two hundred and eighty thousand water harvesting structures have been constructed through this campaign, he added.
In addition, nearly two hundred and fifty thousand re-use and recharge structures have also been constructed. All this was achieved through people’s participation and focused on local soil and water conditions, he said.
Also, community participation was effectively used in the “Namami Gange Mission” for cleaning the river Ganga. This has led to a major achievement in the reappearance of the Gangetic Dolphin in many stretches of the river. “Our efforts in wetland conservation have also borne fruit,” the Prime Minister added.
Also Read: Lok Sabha Passes Forest Conservation Bill
Quoting a couplet from the Thirukkural, authored by savant Thiruvalluvar, that “even the oceans will shrink if the cloud that has drawn its water up, does not give it back in the form of rain,” he said nature and its ways have been regular sources of learning in India. These could be found in several scriptures and oral traditions as well. “We have learnt that ‘neither rivers drink their own water nor trees eat their own fruits. Clouds also don’t consume grains produced by their water,” he added.
Nature provides for us. We must also provide for nature. Protecting and caring for Mother Earth is our fundamental responsibility, PM Modi said.
Based on India’s traditional knowledge, he would emphasise that climate action must follow “Antyodaya” to ensure the rise and development of the last person in the society. Countries of the global south were particularly impacted by climate change and environmental issues and there’s a need for enhanced action on commitments under the UN Climate Convention and the Paris Agreement. This will be crucial in helping the Global South fulfill its developmental aspirations in a climate friendly way, the Prime Minister said.
As oceans support the livelihoods of over three billion people across the globe and are a crucial economic resource, besides being home to extensive biodiversity, its responsible use and management is of vital importance, he said and sought for adopting G20 High Level Principles for a Sustainable and Resilient Blue and Ocean-based Economy.
He called upon the G20 to work constructively for an effective international legally-binding instrument to end plastic pollution.
Referring to the Mission LIFE Lifestyle for Environment, a global mass movement, launched last year, Modi said he would nudge individual and collective action to protect and preserve the environment. “Let me reiterate that we should not forget our duties towards mother nature. Mother nature does not favour a fragmented approach. She prefers “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – One Earth, One Family, One Future,” the Prime Minister said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diarrhoea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.