India’s G20 philosophy is a guiding light in the realm of conservation - Hindustan Times
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India’s G20 philosophy is a guiding light in the realm of conservation

ByLeena Nandan
Feb 10, 2023 09:13 AM IST

The conservation of ecosystems to preserve biodiversity, along with sustainable growth of the economy through a multidimensional approach to environmental protection and mindful utilisation of resources, is at the heart of an ecologically balanced development strategy

The theme of India’s G20 presidency — Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (One Earth, One Family, One Future) — resonates with the philosophy of cooperation, collaboration and consensus. It is relevant in the present context when the world is grappling with the cascading impacts of environmental degradation and unsustainable consumption. The conservation of ecosystems to preserve biodiversity, along with sustainable growth of the economy through a multidimensional approach to environmental protection and mindful utilisation of resources, is at the heart of an ecologically balanced development strategy. As part of its Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG) under G20, India aims to initiate and continue discussions for solutions and develop an overarching collaborative framework to address the challenges due to the climate crisis effectively. With this intent, ECSWG has identified three priorities: Arresting land degradation, accelerating ecosystem, restoration, and enriching biodiversity; promoting a sustainable and climate-resilient blue economy, encouraging resource efficiency and circular economy.

The theme of India’s G20 presidency — Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (One Earth, One Family, One Future) (PTI) PREMIUM
The theme of India’s G20 presidency — Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (One Earth, One Family, One Future) (PTI)

With respect to land degradation, a G20 online knowledge and solutions exchange platform — with a global architecture to identify and showcase successful land restoration projects and provide recommendations to countries — is on the agenda. In addition, areas such as the reclamation of abandoned mining sites and restoration of forest fire-impacted regions are slated to be covered in depth.

On the blue economy priority, the presidency intends to create G20 principles for a sustainable and resilient blue economy to promote international cooperation on conservation and the responsible use of ocean resources while building their resilience to climate impacts. The Ocean 20 Dialogue is also proposed to facilitate discussions on the best practices of blue asset management.

Waste to Wealth as a concept has been taken up for implementation across sectors in India. With a view to mainstream resource efficiency and the circular economy in G20 discussions, India is pitching for a resource efficiency and circular economy industry coalition, along with developing knowledge exchanges on extended producer responsibility, circular steel economy and circular bio-economy. A vital output of the Indian presidency would be incorporating principles of sustainable lifestyles in the larger framework, as encapsulated in the Lifestyle for Environment Mission.

The presidency plans to deliver these outcomes through a consultative process, operationalised through three working meetings and one ministerial meeting of ECSWG. The first ECSWG meeting will be held between February 9 and 11 in Bengaluru. The first day comprises a side event, followed by a site visit to the Bannerghatta National Park and Kalkere Arboretum that showcase India’s biodiversity. The following two days will see intensive deliberations on all three themes. Subsequent ECSWG meetings along the journey of the G20 presidency will witness the involvement of delegates in participation-driven activities, such as beach cleaning and site visits, to observe best practices on water conservation.

India’s G20 presidency allows countries to collaborate to share their learnings and forge consensus on appropriate solutions. India’s target during its presidency is to deliver tangible results with particular focus on sustainability initiatives that can be taken forward in a concrete and quantifiable manner. Maximising output for the best outcomes is the aim of our G20 presidency.

Leena Nandan is secretary, ministry of environment, forest and climate change

The views expressed are personal

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