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For ages, conservation of wildlife and habitats has been a part of the cultural ethos of India, which encourages compassion and co-existence: PM Modi
India is one of the few countries whose actions are compliant with the Paris Agreement goal of keeping rise in temperature to below 2 degree Celsius: PM

My dear friends!

I am happy to welcome you all to the 13th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Migratory species, at Gandhinagar, the land of the Mahatma Gandhi.

India is one of the most diverse countries of the world. With 2.4% of world’s land area, it contributes about 8% of the known global biodiversity. India is blessed with diverse ecological habitats and also has four biodiversity hot spots. They are - the Eastern Himalayas, Western Ghats, Indo-Myanmar landscape and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. In addition, India is also home to around 500 species of migratory birds from across the globe.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For ages, conservation of wildlife and habitats has been a part of the cultural ethos of India, which encourages compassion and co-existence. Our Vedas spoke of protection of animals. Emperor Ashoka put great emphasis on prohibiting the destruction of forests and the killing of animals. Inspired by Gandhi Ji, the ethos of non violence and protection of animals and nature has been suitably enshrined in the Constitution of India. It also finds reflection in several laws and legislations.

Sustained efforts over the years have led to encouraging results. The number of Protected Areas have increased from 745 in 2014 to 870 in the year 2019 with an area coverage of nearly 1 lakh seventy thousand sq.kms.

India's forest cover has increased significantly. The present assessment also indicates that the total forest cover is 21.67% of the total geographical area of the country.

India has been championing Climate action based on the values of conservation, sustainable lifestyle and green development model. The range of our initiatives include ambitious target of 450 MW in renewable energy, push towards Electric Vehicles, Smart Cities, Conservation of Water, etc.

The International Solar Alliance, the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, and Industries Transition Leadership with Sweden, have seen encouraging participation from wide array of countries. India is one of the few countries whose actions are compliant with the Paris Agreement goal of keeping rise in temperature to below 2 degree Celsius.

Friends,

India has initiated focussed species conservation projects/ programmes. These have shown great results. The number of Tiger Reserves has increased from 9 since its formative years, to 50 at present. At present India has the distinction of having a population of almost 2970 tigers. India has achieved its target of doubling the number of tigers two years before the committed date of 2022. I call upon Tiger Range Countries present here and also others to come together to strengthen tiger conservation through sharing of benchmarking practices.

India is supporting more than 60% of global Asian elephant population. 30 Elephant Reserves have been identified by our States. India has also taken several initiatives and set standards for conservation of Asian elephants.

We have launched Project Snow Leopard to protect the Snow leopard and its habitat in the upper Himalayas. India recently hosted the Steering Committee of the Global Snow Leopard Ecosystem Programme (GSLEP) of 12 Countries, which resulted in New Delhi declaration envisaging development of country specific framework and cooperation between countries for snow leopard conservation. I am happy to share that India would be taking a leadership role in promoting Green Economy including conservation of mountain ecology with people’s participation.

Friends,

The Gir landscape in Gujarat is the only home for the Asiatic Lion and the pride of the country. We have initiated an Asiatic Lion Conservation project since January 2019 to protect the Asiatic Lion. I am happy to share that, today, the population of Asiatic lions stands at 523.

In India, the One-horned Rhinoceros are found in three States of Assam, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The Government of India launched the “National Conservation Strategy for the Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros” in the year 2019.

The Great Indian Bustard, a critically endangered bird has also been at the focus of our conservation efforts. As part of the captive breeding programme, 9 eggs have been successfully hatched from wild. This has been accomplished by Indian Scientists and Forest Department with technical assistance from International Fund for Houbara Conservation, Abu Dhabi.

We have therefore, made the mascot, GIBI- The Great’, as a tribute to the Great Indian Bustard.

Friends,

India is honoured to host the 13th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species at Gandhinagar.

As you might have noticed, the CMS COP 13 Logo is inspired by the traditional ‘KOLAM’ from southern India, which has a profound significance in the context of living in harmony with the nature.

Friends,

We have been traditionally practicing the mantra of “Athithi Devo Bhava”, this has been reflected in the slogan/theme for the CMS COP 13: “Migratory species connect the planet and together we welcome them home”. These species move between countries without any passports or visa, but are messengers of peace and prosperity and it is our responsibility to protect them.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

India would hold the Presidency of this convention for the coming three years. During its Presidency, India would steer in the following areas:

India is a part of the Central Asian Flyway for migratory birds. With a view to conserve the birds along the Central Asian Flyway and their habitats, India has prepared a ‘National Action Plan for conservation of Migratory Birds along the Central Asian Flyway’. India would be happy to facilitate preparation of Action Plans for other countries in this regard. We are keen to take the conservation of migratory birds to a new paradigm with active cooperation of all the Central Asian Flyway Range Countries. I also wish to establish an institutional mechanism for undertaking research, studies, assessments, capacity development and conservation initiatives by creating a common platform.

Friends, India has about 7500 kms coastline and Indian marine waters are rich in biodiversity, with innumerable species. India proposes to strengthen its association with the ASEAN and East Asia Summit countries. This would be in sync with the Indo Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI), wherein India will be playing a leadership role. India by 2020, will be launching its Marine Turtle Policy and Marine Stranding Management Policy. This will also address the pollution caused by micro-plastics. Single use plastics have been a challenge for environment protection and we in India have been on a mission mode to reduce its usage.

Friends,

Several Protected Areas in India share common boundaries with the Protected Areas of neighbouring countries. Cooperation in conservation of wildlife through establishment of ‘Trans boundary Protected Areas’, would lead to very positive outcomes.

Friends,

My Government firmly believes in the path of sustainable development. We are ensuring that development happens without harming the environment. We have released the Linear Infrastructure Policy Guidelines to tailor development in ecologically fragile areas.

People are being made important stake-holders in the task of preserving the natural resources for future generations. My Government has been marching ahead with the slogan “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas, Sabka Vishwaas”. Millions of people living in vicinity of forest area in the country have now been integrated in the form of Joint Forestry Management Committees and Eco Development Committees and associated with the protection of forest and wildlife.

Friends,

I am sure this conference will provide an excellent platform for experience sharing and capacity building in the area of species and habitat conservation. I also hope you will get the time to experience India's hospitality and rich diversity.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Modi Govt's #7YearsOfSeva
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COVID taught us that we are stronger and better when we are together: PM Modi
September 25, 2021
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COVID taught us that we are stronger and better when we are together: PM
“Generations will remember the manner in which human resilience prevailed over everything else”
“Poverty cannot be fought by making the poor more dependent on governments. Poverty can be fought when the poor start seeing governments as trusted partners”
“When power is used to empower the poor, they get the strength to fight poverty”
“The simplest and most successful way to mitigate climate change is to lead lifestyles that are in harmony with nature”
“Mahatma Gandhi is among the greatest environmentalists of the world. He led a zero carbon footprints lifestyle. In whatever he did, he put the welfare of our planet above everything else”
“Gandhi ji highlighted the doctrine of trusteeship, where we all are trustees of the planet with the duty of caring for it”
“India is the only G-20 nation that is on track with its Paris commitments”

Namaste!

It is a delight to address this young and energetic gathering. In front of me is a global family, with all the beautiful diversity of our planet.

The Global Citizen Movement uses music and creativity to bring the world together. Music, like sports, has an inherent ability to unite. The great Henry David Thoreau once said, and I quote: "When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am in-vulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest of times, and to the latest."

Music has a calming impact on our life. It calms the mind and the entire body. India is home to many musical traditions. In every state, in every region, there are many different styles of music. I invite you all to come to India and discover our musical vibrancy anddiversity.

Friends,

For almost two years now, humanity is battling a once in a lifetime global pandemic. Our shared experience of fighting the pandemic has taught us we are stronger and better when we are together. We saw glimpses of this collective spirit when our COVID-19 warriors, doctors, nurses, medical staff gave their best in fighting the pandemic. We saw this spirit in our scientists and innovators, who created new vaccines in record time. Generations will remember the manner in which human resilience prevailed over everything else.

Friends,

In addition to COVID, other challenges remain. Among the most persistent of the challenges is poverty. Poverty cannot be fought by making the poor more dependent on governments. Poverty can be fought when the poor start seeing governments as trusted partners. Trusted partners who will give them the enabling infrastructure to forever break the vicious circle of poverty.

Friends,

When power is used to empower the poor, they get the strength to fight poverty. And therefore, our efforts include banking the unbanked, providing social security coverage to millions, giving free and quality healthcare to 500 million Indians. It would make you happy that about 30 million houses have been built for the homeless in our cities and villages. A house is not only about shelter. A roof over the head gives people dignity. Another mass movement taking place in India is to providedrinking water connection to every household.The Government is spending over a trillion dollars for next-generation infrastructure.For several months last year and now, free food grains have been provided to 800 millions of our citizens.These, and several other efforts will give strength to the fight against poverty.

Friends,

The threat of climate change is looming large before us.The world will have to accept that the any change in the global environment first begins with the self. The simplest and most successful way to mitigate climate change is to lead lifestyles that are in harmony with nature.

The great Mahatma Gandhi is widely known for his thoughts on peace and non-violence. But, do you know that he is also among the greatest environmentalists of the world. He led a zero carbon footprints lifestyle. In whatever he did, he put the welfare of our planet above everything else.He highlighted the doctrine of trusteeship, where we all are trustees of the planet with the duty of caring for it.

Today, India is the only G-20 nation that is on track with its Paris commitments. India is also proud to have brought the world together under the banner of the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

Friends,

We believe in the development of India for the development of humankind.I want to conclude by quoting the Rig Veda, which is perhaps one of the world's oldest scriptures.Its verses are still the golden standard in nurturing global citizens.

The Rig Veda says:

संगच्छध्वंसंवदध्वंसंवोमनांसिजानताम्

देवाभागंयथापूर्वेसञ्जानानाउपासते||

समानोमन्त्रःसमितिःसमानीसमानंमनःसहचित्तमेषाम्।

समानंमन्त्रम्अभिमन्त्रयेवःसमानेनवोहविषाजुहोमि।।

समानीवआकूति: समानाहृदयानिव: |

समानमस्तुवोमनोयथाव: सुसहासति||

It means:

Let us move forward together, speaking in one voice;

Let our minds be in agreement and let us share what we have, like the Gods share with each other.

Let us have a shared purpose and shared minds. Let us pray for such unity.

Let us have shared intentions and aspirations that unify us all.

Friends,

what can be a better manifesto for a global citizen than this?May we keep working together

for a kind, just and inclusive planet.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Namaste.