India will share its best practices and experiences in conserving biodiversity with the rest of the world: Union Environment Minister
The year 2020 is supposed to be the “SUPER YEAR FOR BIODIVERSITY”, as the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity with 20 global Aichi targets adopted in 2010 ends in 2020. All the countries together are supposed to be in the process of preparation of Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.
To mark the Occasion of “International Day for Biological Diversity 2020” the Union Environment Minister virtually launched the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ‘Biodiversity Samrakshan Internship Programme which proposes to engage 20 students with postgraduate degrees for a period of one year through an open, transparent, online competitive process. The programme wishes to engage dynamic and creative students, who are willing to learn about natural resource management and biodiversity conservation and to support the projects of NBA in various State and Union Territories and to technically assist the State Biodiversity Boards/UTs Biodiversity Council in discharge of their mandates in an open, transparent, online competitive process.
The virtual event also saw the Launch of UNEP Campaign on Illegal Trafficking of Endangered Species: ‘Not all Animals Migrate by Choice’. Illegal trade in wildlife carries the risk of spreading dangerous pandemics. The campaign “Not all Animals Migrate by Choice”, launched by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, with UNEP, seeks to address these environmental challenges, to raise awareness, and to advocate solutions.
A Webinar Series on ‘Biodiversity Conservation and Biological Diversity Act, 2002’ was also launched along with the WWF Model Conference of Parties (MCoP), an initiative which involves the younger generation so they can usher in a new beginning and engage in conversations around impact of humanity’s footprint on biodiversity and also the importance of sustenance of biodiversity for our own survival. An awareness campaign supported by WWF to highlight the crucial role played by nature through its free ecological services provided for humankind was also launched during the course of the event.
Perhaps to emphasise that the online celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity 2020 is as “virtual” as possible, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar in a hilarious message, said that India, a mega biodiverse country, welcomes those countries who are interested in improving their bio diversity scenarios, and we are ready to share our experiences and best practices with them. It would be pertinent to mention that last month the Minister Shri Javadekar despite the Covid-19 induced lockdown, thought it fit to water down India’s Environment Impact Assessment norms for pharmaceutical companies to give blanket permissions as well as divert ecologically fragile areas for various projects. Despite this, the minister says that since this year’s theme is “OUR SOLUTIONS ARE IN NATURE”, therefore, protecting our nature is very important especially in the present context of COVID 19 as it shields us from various catastrophe including zoonotic diseases.
India’s has never seen a worse environment minister than Mr. Javadekar. And his misleading statement will even put Donald Trump to shame. Hopefully, other countries don’t follow India’s biodiversity practices, else the earth will be poorer as many more hundreds of hectares of forests will be decimated, and species pushed to the brink of extinction and climate change will be accelerated.