Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday (July 27) launched several green initiatives in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The initiatives by the State Environment, Climate Change and Forests department were launched by Inger Anderson, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at a function held in Kalaivanar Arangam here in the presence of State Environment and Climate Change Minister Siva V Meyyanathan, Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy of Denmark, Dan Jannik Jorgensen, and TN Additional Chief Secretary Supriya Sahu.
In March this year, the UNEP and Tamil Nadu government signed a three-year agreement to help Tamil Nadu deliver clean, efficient, and equitable cooling and adapt to rising extreme heat. As per the pact, UNEP and the Government of Tamil Nadu will cooperate on a range of issues, including sustainable cooling, plastic waste management, and environmental education.
About 25 schools have been selected to take up various green measures like energy efficiency by using solar lighting and use of solar pumps, setting up solar borewells, adapting rainwater harvesting, composting, creating vegetable gardens, medicinal plant gardens and also raising fruit-bearing trees, reducing water use, recycling of wastewater, creating a plastic-free environment, etc.
These schools will inspire other education institutions, and they will be ranked on a green index to create a repository of information on green initiatives, an official release here said. An amount of Rs 5 crore has been allocated for this scheme.
Tamil Nadu’s plastic waste management movement the “Meendum Majappai” and UNEP’s Tide Turner’s Plastic Challenge, together are two initiatives that can create a ripple in reaching out to the community and creating a change in society’s behaviour on single-use plastic, the release 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 – 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.