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New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu Monday expressed concern over the impact of climate change on developing countries and called upon all nations to collaborate and cooperate in an unparalleled manner to ensure sustainable development.
Speaking at the inauguration of the three-day World Sustainable Development Summit 2019 here, he said, "The immediate impact of climate change was felt more by developing countries because of higher dependence on climatic variables, especially when it comes to agriculture, and their limited capacities to adapt."
"With the realisation that the impacts of climate change are border-less and that our fates are deeply inter-linked, we must explore an equally unprecedented degree of collaboration and cooperation," Naidu said.
"Climate change and global warming threaten lives and livelihoods of billions and upsets the delicate balance of nature. It is in its recognition that India is trying its best to include the paradigm of sustainability and environmental conservation in all its development endeavours," he said.
Sharing the opinion of the vice president, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan said the issue of climate change was among the biggest challenges which needs to be addressed collectively.
"Climate change and environmental problems are amongst the biggest
challenges today. It goes without saying that these issues need to be addressed collectively by all of us before it is too late," Vardhan, the union minister for environment, forests and climate change, said at the summit organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
The Ministry of Environment also collaborated with TERI to set up a resource efficiency cell at the event.
Speaking about the collaboration, the minister said, "Anticipating increased demand for raw materials in the future, it is vital to institute the best in resource efficiency as an effort toward decoupling economic growth and human wellbeing from ever-increasing consumption of natural resources."
"The cell will enable inter-ministerial and inter-departmental synergy in promoting material resource efficiency in India while helping frame the blueprint of the integrated resource efficiency policy for India," he said.
The summit is being held at the India Habitat Centre, Delhi, from February 11 to 13.
The vice-president, in his key address at the event, emphasised on the importance of sustainable agriculture as a part of sustainable development and said more efficient systems of irrigation with "more crop per drop" mantra should be used.
"There is a need to make use of the endless possibilities of biotechnology and nano-technology to develop a range of green products, including nano-fertilisers.
"We should move towards more efficient systems of irrigation with 'more crop per drop' as our mantra. Greater thrust has to be placed on organic farming and on the use of natural means of pest control," he said.
Naidu, while kick-starting the summit, said sustainable development is inclusive development which includes sustainable agriculture, sustainable mobility solutions, urbanisation, energy security and clean energy, waste management and efforts in wildlife conservation.
"Sustainable development is a common goal for all world nations, given the unprecedented scale of environmental degradation and its drastic consequences that we have been witnessing," the vice president said.
Addressing the summit, Naidu said India's traditional practices reflected a sustainable lifestyle and the Vedic philosophy of India always emphasised the undeniable connection that human beings share with nature.
He said every individual must contribute to sustainable development either by turning the ignition off at long traffic stops or by recycling and composting or by cycling to work in congested cities.
"Let our Diwalis be free of smoke and our Holis, of toxic, polluting colours. It is the accumulation of such small actions of ours that will lend the much needed momentum to India's quest for sustainability," he said.
Naidu also lauded the government for initiating the International Solar Alliance with France for promoting clean energy.
He said India was on the course to achieving 175 GW renewable energy target and 40 per cent of the country's electricity generation is set to be from non fossil fuels by 2022.
"India is committed to reducing 33 to 35 percent of emission intensity of its GDP during 2005 to 2030 in tune with its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)," he added.
He said India is among the few countries of the world where forests are growing in spite of exponentially rising population and livestock pressures.
"India has set a target of raising its existing 21.54 per cent forest cover to 33 per cent of the total geographical area through aggressive forestation drives," he said.
The event was attended by former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga, TERI director general Ajay Mathur and several officials from other countries, including Mauritius, Nepal and Norway.
During the event, TERI honoured Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama with the Sustainable Development Leadership Award 2019 in recognition of his contributions towards sustainable development in Fiji.
The three-day summit seeks to bring together over 2,000 delegates including global leaders, policy makers, government top officials and thinkers in the fields of sustainable development, energy and environment sectors. PTI AG SMN