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“India’s Forest and Tree Cover on the Rise”: Bhupender Yadav at COP15 Convention

At the 15th Conference of Parties in Montreal, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav delivered India’s National statement on Convention on Biological Diversity.

Stuti Das
Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav at 15th Conference of Parties in Montreal
Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav at 15th Conference of Parties in Montreal

Delivering India’s National Statement, Union Minister Bhupender Yadav conveyed that “Biodiversity must be promoted through positive investment.” at COP 15 in Montreal. He mentioned that India is taking progressive actions towards tackling the global challenges with strength and optimism. 

India accounts for 17% of the world population with only 2.4%  land and 4% water respectively. Progressive measures are visible as the forest and the tree cover rises in the country along with wildlife population for instance bringing back iconic Cheetahs to the Indian habitat; forest survey numbers showed a total of 75 cheetahs in Ramsar sites. Apart from this India is also committed to fulfill its Aichi Targets and is taking definitive action towards it. 

As a source of livelihood and culture, agriculture is life support for a whole lot of vulnerable sections in the country hence, they cannot be reduced to just subsidies, as a global target of reduction of pesticide usage kept in the minds of nations. 

Yadav expounded that: “The Global Biodiversity Framework must be framed in the light of science and equity, and the sovereign right of nations over their resources, as provided for in the Convention on Biodiversity. If climate is profoundly linked to biodiversity, then the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities must equally apply to biodiversity.”

The exponential and relentless stress caused to nature through development of nations cannot be rectified through just ‘nature-based solutions to global warming’, only through purposive and firm action by developed nations owing up to correctional responsibilities can lessen the blow of environmental degradation. 

According to him, the sole mission of conserving, preserving and restoring cannot benefit the development goals if sustainability is not kept in the center of it. The UN previously set 8 Millennium Development Goals, 17 Sustainable Development Goals, 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets and 23 23 Global Biodiversity Framework Targets. As ambitious the goals were, implementation is of the essence and the only funding institution remains to be the Global Environment Facility. Digital Sequencing Information will be instrumental in fulfilling the targets.

“India looks forward to fruitful deliberations that will preserve and enhance our natural heritage that our ancestors and traditions have provided us. We are but merely custodian of Planet Earth and our bounden duty is to further enrich the rich biodiversity of Mother Earth, restore its pristine glory and hand it over to the next generation for the benefit of one and all - mankind, nature and all life forms” added Bhupender Yadav.

On 20th October 2022, Modi’s clarion call for a people’s movement centered on LiFE - Lifestyle for Environment launched at Ekta Nagar in Gujarat was launched in the presence of UN Secretary General Mr. Antonio Guterres; as a goal to move towards environmentally conscious lifestyle. 

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