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Your Excellency President Dilma Rousseff,

Your Excellency President Vladimir Putin,

Your Excellency President Xi Jinping,

Your Excellency President Jacob Zuma,

•I wish to join my other colleagues and congratulate President Dilma Rousseff on her re-election as the President of Brazil.

•From Brazil to Brisbane, it has been most successful journey under your leadership.

•Our group will continue to benefit from your visionary leadership.

•I would also like to thank President Rousseff for hosting today`s meeting.

•The historic 6th BRICS Summit in Fortaleza delivered - the New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement.

•These signal our collective capacities to create and manage global institutions.

•These can be effective in promoting sustainable development and bridge infrastructure gaps. We can be more aligned to local conditions and requirements. We should focus on next generation infrastructure.

•We can promote new models of governance and financing, while maintaining the highest banking standards. We should also make it more participatory.

•We need to work towards their early implementation.

•We propose that we should set the target of 2016 for inauguration of this Bank.

•We hope to ratify the agreement by the end of the year. We would soon nominate our candidate for the post of the Presidency.

•The Contingent Reserve Arrangement is also a very timely initiative.

•The work on the Reinsurance pool among BRICS is also a welcome one. We hope that our officials will be able to come up with a concrete proposal by the next year.

•These measures send a strong message to the rest of the world about the efficacy of BRICS.

•Besides these, we have started work on many other proposals that would deepen our relations and enhance our cooperation in all spheres.

Thank You.

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It is our sacred duty to leave a healthy planet for our future generations: PM Modi
June 14, 2021
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In last 10 years, around 3 million hectares of forest cover added in India, enhancing the combined forest cover to almost one-fourth of the country's total area: PM
India is on track to achieve its national commitment of Land degradation neutrality: PM
Restoration of 26 million hectares of degraded land aimed by 2030 to achieve an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent
Centre of Excellence is being set up in India to promote a scientific approach towards land degradation issues
It is our sacred duty to leave a healthy planet for our future generations: PM

Excellency, President of the General Assembly,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Namaste

I thank the President of the General Assembly for organising this High-Level Dialogue.

Land is the fundamental building block for supporting all lives and livelihoods. And, all of us understand that the web of life functions as an inter-connected system. Sadly, land degradation affects over two-thirds of the world today. If left unchecked, it will erode the very foundations of our societies, economies, food security, health, safety and quality of life. Therefore, we have to reduce the tremendous pressure on land and its resources. Clearly, a lot of work lies ahead of us. But we can do it. We can do it together.

Mr. President,

In India, we have always given importance to land and considered the sacred Earth as our mother. India has taken the lead to highlight land degradation issues at international forums. The Delhi Declaration of 2019 called for better access and stewardship over land, and emphasised gender-sensitive transformative projects. In India, over the last 10 years, around 3 million hectares of forest cover has been added. This has enhanced the combined forest cover to almost one-fourth of the country's total area.

We are on track to achieve our national commitment of Land degradation neutrality. We are also working towards restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030. This would contribute to India's commitment to achieve an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

We believe that restoration of land can start a virtuous cycle of good soil health, increased land productivity, food security and improved livelihoods. In many parts of India, we have taken up some novel approaches. To give just one example, the Banni region in Rann of Kutch in Gujarat suffers from highly degraded land and receives very little rainfall. In that region, land restoration is done by developing grasslands, which helps in achieving land degradation neutrality.  It also supports pastoral activities and livelihood by promoting animal husbandry. In the same spirit, we need to devise effective strategies for land restoration while promoting indigenous techniques.

Mr. President,

Land degradation poses a special challenge to the developing world. In the spirit of South-South cooperation, India is assisting fellow developing countries to develop land restoration strategies. A Centre of Excellence is being set up in India to promote a scientific approach towards land degradation issues.

Mr. President,

It is mankind's collective responsibility to reverse the damage to land caused by human activity. It is our sacred duty to leave a healthy planet for our future generations. For their sake and ours, I extend my best wishes for productive deliberations at this High-Level Dialogue.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.