New Delhi: India on Tuesday (June 28) assured the world community that it is committed to an international pact to protect at least 30 per cent of the world’s land and ocean by 2030. Delivering the India statement at the UN Ocean Conference at Lisbon in Portugal, Earth Sciences Minister Jitendra Singh said efforts were on to achieve the 30×30 target in a mission mode as per the resolutions of the Conference of Parties. Mr Singh said he is here at the UN forum to present before the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for conservation and sustenance of ocean and ocean resources.
He said the government headed by PM Modi has taken several initiatives, programmes and policy interventions to protect the marine and coastal ecosystems, mangroves and coral reefs.
India had joined the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, which was initiated at the ‘One Planet Summit’ in Paris in January last year, which aims to promote an international agreement to protect at least 30 per cent of the world’s land and ocean by 2030.
Mr Singh said India was committed to the ‘Coastal Clean Seas Campaign’ and has declared that it will soon achieve a complete ban on single-use plastic.
“One of the best examples is in phasing out of plastic /polyethylene bags and promoting the alternatives such as usage of cotton/jute cloth bags,” he said.
The research to gather scientific data and information on Marine Litter in different matrices, coastal waters, sediments, biota and beaches as a part of formulating a National Policy has already begun, the minister said.
Mr Singh said India has partnered with many countries in the areas of Integrated Ocean Management and framework for marine spatial plans for sustainable development and conservation of ecosystems.
India has proposed to establish Sustainable Coastal and Ocean Research Institute (SCORI) to meet the needs and aspirations of the Pacific Island Countries (PIC), Singh said.
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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.