Why in news? India currently hosts 17% of the planet’s human population and 17% of the global area in biodiversity hotspots, placing it at the helm to guide the planet in becoming biodiversity champions.
- The importance of our planet’s biodiversity was strongly articulated at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, Canada.
- 188 country representatives adopted an agreement to “halt and reverse” biodiversity loss by conserving 30% of the world’s land and 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030, known as the 30×30 pledge.
What are the Potential programmes from Government of India ?
- Union Budget 2023 mentioned “Green Growth” as one of the seven priorities or Saptarishis.
- The National Mission for a Green India aims to increase forest cover on degraded lands and protect existing forested lands.
- The Green Credit Programme has the objective to “incentivize environmentally sustainable and responsive actions by companies, individuals and local bodies”.
- The Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes (MISHTI) is particularly significant because of the extraordinary importance of mangroves and coastal ecosystems in mitigating climate change.
- The Prime Minister Programme for Restoration, Awareness, Nourishment, and Amelioration of Mother Earth (PM-PRANAM) for reducing inputs of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides is critical for sustaining our agriculture.
- Amrit Dharohar scheme to “encourage optimal use of wetlands, and enhance biodiversity, carbon stock, eco-tourism opportunities and income generation for local communities”.
- Ex: The recent intervention by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to stop the draining of Haiderpur, a Ramsar wetland in Uttar Pradesh, to safeguard migratory waterfowl is encouraging.
How can it be science based ?
- New missions and programmes should effectively use modern concepts of sustainability and valuation of ecosystems that consider ecological, cultural, and sociological aspects of our biological wealth.
- Prioritisation of the benefits to ‘resource people’, and fund-services as the economic foundation for generating value has enormous potential for multiple sustainable bio-economies.
- The future of our wetland ecosystems will depend on sustainable ecological flows through encouraging changes to less-water intensive crops such as millets
- It also aims at investments in water recycling in urban areas using a combination of grey and blue-green infrastructure.
- Under Green India Mission, implementation should focus on ecological restoration rather than tree plantation and choose sites to contribute for ecological connectivity in landscapes.
- Choice of species and density should be informed by available knowledge and evidence on resilience under emerging climate change with respect to hydrologic services.
- Site selection for the mangrove initiative with a greater emphasis on diversity of mangrove species with retention of the integrity of coastal mud-flats and salt pans themselves.
- Traditional knowledge and practices of these communities should be integrated into the implementation plans.
- Efforts must be inclusive of local and nomadic communities where these initiatives will be implemented.
- The programmes has the potential to greatly improve the state of our nation’s biodiversity if their implementation is based on the latest scientific and ecological knowledge.
- Each programme should include significant educational and research funding to critically appraise and bring awareness to India’s biological wealth.
Explain, How the Budget’s emphasis on green growth can improve the state of the country’s biodiversity?
- Mission seeks to harness the power of interdisciplinary knowledge for greening India and its economy, to restore and enrich our natural capital for the well-being of our people, and to position India as a global leader in applied biodiversity science.