Wed, 08 Dec 2021

New Delhi [India], October 12 (ANI): India on Tuesday reiterated its commitment to mainstream biodiversity across all sectors in order to conserve nature, reverse its loss and to secure a healthy planet for the current and future generations, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav said on Tuesday during a High-level ministerial segment of UN Biodiversity Conference 2021.

Virtually addressing the high-level segment of the ongoing UN Biodiversity Conference 2021 during a roundtable on 'Putting Biodiversity on a Path of Recovery' on Tuesday evening He said, "Mainstreaming biodiversity consideration in all key sectors of development and promoting human well-being and inclusive growth is the main 'mantra' of our governance strategy."Stating that the unifying fabric of biodiversity is integral to the traditional knowledge systems of India's 1.35 billion-plus human population, the Union Environment Minister said that the Country's rich biological diversity is deeply interwoven with, and is a common thread to our diverse cultural history. India is one of the seventeen mega-biodiverse countries in the world.

The Minister further said, "We in India have respected and revered nature for thousands of years. With just 2.4 per cent of the world's land area, we harbour 8 per cent of all recorded species and are recognized as one of the 8 centres of origin of cultivated plants. Several hundred species of wild crop relatives are also distributed all over the country."Speaking on the COVID-19 pandemic, Yadav said that the pandemic has shown the entire humanity that respects for nature is not just a moral or ethical consideration, "But that it is an imperative for keeping ourselves, our health and our economies safe, as well as for handing our future generations."Speaking on India's commitment and endeavours, Yadav said that India has always relied on a network of formal and informal institutions to fulfil its biodiversity conservation obligations.

"The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change with the National Biodiversity Authority of India and other statutory agencies ensure implementation of the objectives of conservation, sustainable use and fair and equitable benefit sharing through a tiered and federal network of sub-national formal and non-governmental agencies.", said the Minister.

The Minister highlighted and emphasized the government's constant endeavour to ensure policy coherence across our laws for seamless implementation of conservation and development policies. "We hope to create opportunities for different actors including those from the business side, stakeholders across sectors from agriculture, health, infrastructure among others to actively engage in this mission," said Yadav.

Speaking on land restoration, Yadav said that it is the best solution for biodiversity loss and therefore there is an urgent need to restore the degraded lands.

"India has committed to restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030, more than its earlier target of 21 million hectares and I am also happy to inform that one of India's intended National Determined Contributions as part of Paris Agreement is to create additional carbon sink of 2.5 -3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover, which will also enhance biodiversity in India," he added.

Speaking on Aichi targets, Yadav informed the gathering that India has already set aside over 17.41 per cent of its geographical area for meeting the conservation objectives and more areas are being identified to enhance this coverage.

"I understand that the recent digital reporting by India has significantly contributed to achieving the global conservation target under Aichi Biodiversity Target-11 and the Sustainable Development Goal-15. I am very pleased to convey India's strong commitment to the global 30 by 30 initiative.", stated the Environment Minister. (ANI)

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