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The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has taken several initiatives in the year 2021.
Initiatives taken by the Environment Ministry
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): The UN General Assembly in its 70th Session adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and associated 169 targets for the next 15 years. The 17 SDGs came into force in 2016. These goals are not legally binding.
SDG 13 (Urgent action to protect against Climate Change and its impact): Under this, 24% reduction in emission intensity of GDP against 2005 levels has been achieved in 2016 itself.
SDG 15 (Sustainable use of terrestrial Ecosystems and prevention of Biodiversity Loss): Land degradation neutrality and intense afforestation are helping the country move towards this goal.
SDG12 (ensuring sustainable production and consumption patterns): Implementation of Extended Producer responsibility in plastics and ratification of Basel Convention to monitor hazardous substances is a remarkable step in moving towards this goal.
PARIVESH (Proactive and Responsive facilitation by Interactive, Virtuous and Environmental Single Window Hub): It is a single window online, expeditious and transparent system for environment, forest, wildlife and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearances in the country.
School Nursery Yojana: It aims to associate students in the process of raising plantations as part of their learning and by providing an environment for the students to understand and appreciate the significance of plants in maintaining and sustaining the natural ecosystem. The scheme is proposed to be implemented for the period of five years.
Protected Areas: The Protected Area coverage in the country has been steadily increasing. The coverage of Protected Areas which was 4.90% of the country’s geographical area in 2014 has now increased to 5.03%.
Wetland: The number of Ramsar sites (Wetlands of International Importance) in India have increased to 47 which include 21 new sites designated during 2019-2021. India has the largest number of Ramsar sites in South Asia.
Combating the Land Degradation, Desertification and Drought: India has committed to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality and restoration of 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 which includes 21 million hectares of Bonn Challenge and additional commitment of 5 million hectares as voluntary commitment. India presently holds the Presidency of UNCCD (UN Convention to Combat Desertification) COP for 2 years till April 2022.
Source: This post is based on the article ‘Year End Review: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change’ published in PIB on 7th Jan 2022.