New Delhi: Mainstreaming biodiversity consideration in all key sectors of development and promoting human well-being and inclusive growth are “the main mantra” of India’s governance strategy, Union Minister for Environment Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav said on Tuesday.
Addressing virtually the high-level ministerial segment of the UN Biodiversity conference roundtable on ‘putting biodiversity on a path of recovery’, he said the recent digital reporting by India has “significantly” contributed to achieving the global conservation target under Aichi Biodiversity Target-11 and the Sustainable Development Goal-15.
I am very pleased to convey India’s strong commitment to the global 30 by 30 initiative, he said.
The minister noted that a new biodiversity science based on the principles of sustainability and landscape conservation is emerging across the globe, focusing on the many ways in which society is both shaping and responding to changes in biodiversity.
India’s “unique” biodiversity mission would enable it to further develop processes and strategies for the protection, restoration, conservation and sustainable management of its unique biodiversity and natural ecosystems, he said.
It would also contribute towards meeting India’s international commitments for biodiversity conservation, land degradation neutrality and climate change mitigation, he said.
Mainstreaming biodiversity consideration in all key sectors of development and promoting human well-being and inclusive growth is the main mantra’ of our governance strategy, he added.
The minister said India has always relied on a network of formal and informal institutions to fulfil its biodiversity conservation obligations. Mr Yadav said land restoration is “the best solution” for addressing biodiversity loss and therefore there is an urgent need to restore the degraded lands.
India has committed to restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030, more than its earlier target of 21 million hectares at a UN conference to combat desertification would help in enhancing India’s biodiversity, he said.
I am also happy to inform that one of the India’s intended National Determined Contributions as part of the Paris Agreement is to create additional carbon sink of 2.5 -3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover, will also enhance biodiversity in India, he said.
The minister said India is committed to joining hands in shaping the global conservation policy while making its own contribution in enhancing its conservation estate.
I am very pleased to say that India has already set aside over 17.41 per cent of its geographical area for meeting the conservation objectives and more areas are being identified to enhance this coverage, he added.
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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 – the LGBTQ 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 current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) 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, fight malnutrition, 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 like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.