World Environment Day 2024 Lead the change for land restoration.

World Environment Day 2024 Lead the change for land restoration.

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
World Environment Day 2024.

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
World Environment Day 2024
Leading the change for land restoration.

Posted on: 04 JUN 2024 16:31, PIB, Delhi.

World Environment Day is the United Nations initiative to encourage global awareness and action for the environment. Held annually since 1973, the Day has also become an essential platform for promoting progress on the environmental dimensions of the Sustainable Development Goals. Major corporations, non-governmental organizations, communities, governments and celebrities around the world are adopting the World Environment Day brand to champion environmental causes.

Focus of World Environment Day 2024

World Environment Day 2024 focuses on land restoration, desertification and drought resilience, under the slogan ‘Our country. Our future. We are Generation Restoration.” The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will host the global celebrations in 2024, with a focus on finding solutions to these pressing problems.

Land restoration can combat land degradation, drought and desertification, with every dollar invested in restoration delivering up to $30 in ecosystem services. Recovery raises living standards, reduces poverty, increases resilience to extreme weather, increases carbon storage and slows climate change. Restoring just 15% of degraded land could prevent up to 60% of expected species extinctions.

Tackling the root causes of land degradation, such as climate change, is essential. Last year’s record temperatures resulted in widespread heat waves, storms, floods and droughts. Effective land restoration must go hand in hand with tackling climate change; otherwise the efforts will be undermined.

India’s contribution to environmental sustainability

Mission LiFE

India is leading the way in sustainability and environmental conservation with Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment). This Indian-led global mass movement aims to inspire individual and community action to protect and preserve the environment. Launched at COP26 in Glasgow, Mission LiFE focuses on promoting environmentally friendly practices and sustainable lifestyles.

India is the first country to include LiFE in its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), reflecting its commitment to combating climate change through behavioral change rooted in traditional, sustainable living.

Mission LiFE channels the efforts of individuals and communities into a global movement for positive change. It emphasizes the importance of conserving natural resources and living in harmony with nature, as advocated in ancient Indian scriptures.

Each phase of Mission LiFE encourages a fundamental shift towards sustainability, with the aim of inspiring global action on environmental conservation and climate resilience.

Encouraging the planting of trees on barren land

The Government of India is encouraging plantation in the country through various programmes/schemes such as National Mission for Green India (GIM), National Beforestation Program (NAP), Nagar Van Yojana, School Nursery Yojana, Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) funds, etc., which promotes tree planting on waste, waste and barren lands by involving local communities, NGOs, educational institutions, etc.

Wetland conservation

India’s commitment to wetland conservation has seen significant milestones. In January 2024, India expanded the number of Ramsar sites to 80 by identifying new sites in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. This achievement follows the addition of 11 wetlands in August 2022, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence. The Wetlands of India Portal serves as a knowledge center for wetland managers and stakeholders, providing valuable information and resources.

Forest and nature conservation

India has made remarkable progress in forest conservation and sustainable forest management. At the 19th session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), India highlighted the consistent increase in forest cover over the past fifteen years, placing India third in terms of net gain in forest cover.

Further, as per the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021, the forest cover of the country is 7,13,789 sq km, which is 21.71% of the total geographical area of ​​the country.

India has expanded its network of protected areas, including wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and tiger reserves. The celebration of 50 years of Project Tiger and 30 years of Project Elephant underline India’s commitment to species conservation.

The introduction of the ‘Green Credit Program’ encourages tree planting and the restoration of degraded forest areas, further strengthening climate action initiatives.

Mangrove restoration

Mangrove forests have greater capacity to store carbon, provide breeding grounds for marine biodiversity and support global fish populations. The Government of India has taken a number of steps to protect and enhance mangrove forests in coastal states/Union Territories through both promotional and regulatory measures. The promotional measures are being implemented through a central sector program ‘Conservation and Management of Mangroves and Coral Reefs’ under the National Coastal Mission Programme. Furthermore, the Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats and Tangible Incomes (MISHTI) was announced in the Union Budget 2023-2024 to promote and conserve mangroves.

Ban on single-use plastics.

The Government of India on August 12, 2021, notified the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, which prohibits the manufacture, import, storage, distribution, sale and use of the identified Single Use Plastic (SUP) items, which have low utility and have a high littering potential. with effect from July 1, 2022. The notification also bans the manufacture, import, storage, distribution, sale and use of plastic carry bags with a thickness of less than one hundred and twenty microns with effect from December 31, 2022.

Renewable energy

Launched on January 4, 2023 with an outlay of ₹19,744 crore, the National Green Hydrogen Mission aims to contribute to India’s goal of becoming Aatma Nirbhar (self-reliant) through clean energy and serve as inspiration for the global transition to clean energy. The mission will lead to significant decarbonization of the economy, reduced dependence on fossil fuel imports and will enable India to adopt technology and market leadership in green hydrogen.

India already ranks fourth globally in installed renewable energy capacity, fourth in wind energy capacity and fifth in solar energy capacity.

Global initiatives

India is a member of the Global Alliance for Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency (GACERE) and the Steering Committee of the International Resource Panel (IRP). These platforms advocate a global and just transition to the circular economy and sustainable management of natural resources.

India has also taken steps to protect and enhance mangrove forests through the ‘Conservation and Management of Mangroves and Coral Reefs’ program under the National Coastal Mission Programme.

Additionally. The Sixth Meeting of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was organized on October 31, 2023 at Bharat Mandapam, New Delhi. Ministers from 20 countries and delegates from 116 Member States and signatory countries participated in the Assembly.

India’s comprehensive approach to environmental conservation, from Mission LiFE to global initiatives, demonstrates its leadership and commitment to building a sustainable future.