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Global leaders discuss sustainable development amid COVID-19 crisis


Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.

By Joymala Bagchi
New Delhi [India], June 5 (ANI): India has voluntarily set out ambitious targets through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) about reducing emissions intensities as well as to have 2.5 to 3 billion metric tonnes of carbon sequestration, said Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar through a video message on the eve of World Environment Day.
In the webinar hosted by TERI, the minister also mentioned that “India’s ethos is to be one with nature and lead sustainable lifestyles to live with nature”.
The theme of the World Environment Day this year is ”Biodiversity’. Biodiversity played an utmost important role of whose imbalance can lead to negative consequences to nature and lives.
Minister, in addition, said, “India in its Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has decided to accept the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing and we are implementing it through the Biological Diversity Act, 2002. We are among the few countries walking the talk on the issue of NDCs.”
India with 2.5 per cent of the land, 16 per cent of the human population and 16 per cent world’s cattle population and four per cent of rainwater resources is home to eight per cent of world biodiversity.
“As we step into the circles of new normal, it is absolutely important that climate change and biodiversity stay at the top of our sustainable development agenda. The COVID-19 crisis has forced governments and businesses to plan for ‘green recoveries’. The road to economic recovery can no longer ignore climate priorities,” Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI said while addressing the webinar.
Speakers from partner countries such as EU, UK, Norway, as well as Asian Development Bank (ADB) deliberated on the current pandemic and the global efforts being made to recover in a sustainable manner.
Ugo Astuto, Ambassador of the European Union to India said, “The COVID-19 crisis makes it even more important to take action and to invest in a better and healthier world for our youth. We need to give them hope. The word requires a collective cohesive response for a greener, resilient, and just future. The cost of action is much smaller than the cost of inaction.”
Hans Jacob Frydenlund, Ambassador of Norway to India said, “The world is currently facing a giant lockdown which has impacted the global economy severely. The reopening of the world is an important test for our ability and our commitment to sustainability. The opening must be green, clean, circular and inclusive.”
Ambassador further stated, “We value our cooperation with India and there is a wide range of collaborations between Norway and India in the areas of sustainability, biodiversity, environmental and economic growth, waste management, marine litter, among others.”
Norway has been a partner of the World Sustainable Development Summit for over a decade.
Acting British High Commissioner to India, Jan Thompson said that they “are committed to working with the Government of India and partners like TERI as a force for good against climate change as we rebuild our economies and our relationship with nature.”
“COP26, to be held in the UK in November 2021, can be a moment when the world unites for clean, resilient recovery which delivers for people and planet. In a post-COVID world, we must lay the foundation for sustainable and inclusive growth,” Thompson said.
Woochong Um, Director General, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, ADB brought focus on the fact that “to overcome the three global challenges of climate change, biodiversity decline, and COVID-19, we must design recovery packages which are inclusive and leave no one behind to build back better.”

Professor Nicholas Stern, IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government, Co-Director of the India Observatory and Chair – Grantham Research Institute, LSE said, “After the COVID crisis we will need to do things differently. We have to be together with a vision to reduce poverty and achieve SDGs. Recovery will have to be built around the idea of sustainability and give importance to measures that are fast, labour intensive, and are economic multipliers.”
The pre-event was based on Redefining our Common Future: Safe and Secure Environment for All’–WSDS 2021, TERI’s flagship event that will be held next year on 10-12 February 2021 in New Delhi. Today’s pre-event was held by The Energy and Resources Institute.(ANI)

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