The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the meet on World Environment Day via video message today.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister conveyed his best wishes to every country in the world on World Environment Day. Underlining the theme of this year's Environment Day - the campaign to get rid of single-use plastic, the Prime Minister expressed happiness that India has been working continuously in this direction for the past 4-5 years. Shri Modi informed that India started working on two levels to get rid of single-use plastic in 2018. “On the one hand, we have banned single-use plastic while on the other hand, plastic waste processing has been made mandatory”, he said. Due to this, the Prime Minister said that there has been a compulsory recycling of about 30 lakh tonnes of plastic packaging in India which is 75 percent of the total annual plastic waste produced in India, and around 10 thousand producers, importers and brands have come under its ambit today.
The Prime Minister highlighted that India of the 21st century is moving forward with a very clear roadmap for climate change and environmental protection. Underlining that India has created a balance of Present Requirements and Future Vision, the Prime Minister stated that necessary help has been provided to the poorest of the poor while huge steps have been taken keeping in mind the energy needs of the future. “During the last 9 years, India has made an unprecedented focus on green and clean energy”, the Prime Minister said as he gave examples of solar power and LED bulbs that have helped in saving people’s money as well as contributing towards protecting the environment. Throwing light on India’s leadership during the global pandemic, the Prime Minister informed that India started Mission Green Hydrogen and took major steps towards natural farming to save soil and water from chemical fertilizers.
“In the last 9 years, the number of wetlands and Ramsar sites in India has increased almost 3 times as compared to earlier”, the Prime Minister said, as he informed that two more schemes have been launched today that further the campaign of Green Future, Green Economy. The Prime Minister noted that the ‘Amrit Dharohar Yojana’ has started today which will ensure the conservation of these Ramsar sites through public participation. In future, the Prime Minister elaborated, these Ramsar sites will become the center of eco-tourism and will become a source of green jobs for thousands of people. He further added that the second scheme is the ‘Mishti Yojana’which will help in reviving as well as protecting the mangrove ecosystem of the country. With this, the Prime Minister explained that the mangrove cover will be restored in 9 states of the country and help in mitigating the threat to lives and livelihoods in coastal areas from rising sea levels and disasters like cyclones.
The Prime Minister emphasized that every country in the world should think above the vested interests for the protection of the world climate. Pointing out that the model of development where the thought of developing one’s country and then worrying about the environment has been prevalent for a long time among big and modern countries of the world, the Prime Minister underlined that even though such countries achieved the goals of development, it was the environment of the whole world that paid the price. Even today, the Prime Minister continued, the developing and underdeveloped countries of the world are suffering from the flawed policies of a few developed countries. “For decades, there was no country to stop this attitude of some developed countries”, the Prime Minister said as he expressed delight that India has raised the issue of Climate Justice in front of every such country.
“In the thousands of years old culture of India, there is nature as well as progress”, the Prime Minister remarked as he credited its inspiration to India’s attention to ecology and economy. The Prime Minister said that as India is investing unprecedentedly in its infrastructure, it is focussing equally on the environment. Drawing comparisons of boost in economy and ecology, the Prime Minister gave examples of the expansion of 4G and 5G connectivity on one hand whereas the country’s increased forest cover on the other hand. He further added that while India built 4 crore houses for the poor, there has been a record increase in the number of Wildlife Sanctuaries as well as wildlife in India. Shri Modi also touched upon Jal Jeevan Mission and the construction of 50,000 Amrit Sarovars for water security, India becoming the 5th largest economy in the world and also joining the top 5 countries in renewable energy, increasing agricultural exports and also running a campaign for blending 20 percent ethanol in petrol. He also stated that India has become the base of organizations like Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure - CDRI, and the International Big Cat Alliance.
Speaking about mission LiFE i.e. Lifestyle for Environment becoming a public movement, the Prime Minister highlighted that the mission is spreading a new consciousness about lifestyle changes to combat climate change. He mentioned that there was curiosity among the people when the mission was launched last year in Kevadia-Ekta Nagar, Gujarat but a month ago, a campaign was started regarding Mission LiFE where 2 crore people became a part of it in less than 30 days. He also informed about the organization of rallies and quiz competitions in the spirit of ‘Giving Life to My City’. “Lakhs of colleagues have adopted the mantra of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in their everyday life”, the Prime Minister stated as he underlined that the basic principle of Mission LiFE is changing one’s nature to change the world. “Mission LiFE is equally important for the bright future of the entire humanity, for our future generations”, Shri Modi added.
“This consciousness towards climate change is not limited to India only, the global support for the initiative is increasing all over the world”, the Prime Minister said. He recalled making a request to the world community on Environment Day last year where he had asked to share innovative solutions to bring climate-friendly behavioral change in individuals and communities. The Prime Minister expressed happiness that thousands of colleagues including students, researchers, experts from different domains, professionals, NGOs and common citizens from around 70 countries shared their views and solutions that are measurable and scalable. He also congratulated those who were awarded for their ideas.
Concluding the address, the Prime Minister said that every step taken towards Mission LiFE will become a strong shield for the environment in the times to come. He also mentioned that a collection of Thought Leadership for LiFE has also been released today. Shri Modi expressed confidence that such efforts will further strengthen the resolve for green growth.