India is committed to address plastic pollution: India at UNEA

In her address at the assembly being held in Nairobi, she also said that India had piloted a resolution on addressing single-use plastic product pollution in the last UNEA in 2019

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plastic pollution | UN environment chief | environment minister

India is committed to address plastic pollution to reduce its adverse impact on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems as well as human well-being, Environment Secretary Leena Nandan said at the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly on Tuesday.

In her address at the assembly being held in Nairobi, she also said that India had piloted a resolution on addressing single-use plastic product pollution in the last UNEA in 2019.

“India is committed to address plastic pollution including marine plastic pollution to reduce the adverse impacts on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and human well-being. India had piloted a resolution on addressing single-use plastic product pollution in the 4th United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) held in 2019, bringing global focus on the issue,” Nandan said.

“The government has recently notified the guidelines on Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) on plastic packaging under the new Plastic Waste Management Rules banning identified single-use plastic items, which have low utility and high littering potential,” she said.

Making the national statement for India, the secretary also said that sustainable development is core to the country’s development strategy.

“Proactive steps have been taken to mainstream the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into policies, schemes and programmes of the government. Our sustainable development policies cover many sectors such as renewable energy, sustainable mobility, sustainable habitats and many others,” she said.

The progress towards the SDGs can be accelerated through strong global partnerships in accordance with agreements under multilateral environmental conventions, Nandan said.

“India reiterates its commitment to sustainable development, and supports global efforts in this direction,” she said.

Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, who will be also representing India at the UNEA, had on Monday said that India will play a vital role in the UNEA on the issues of sustainable use and recycle economy.

“Our ministry has already brought out the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022, following the directions and vision of the prime minister to ban single-use plastic by 2022,” he had said.

According to the ministry, on Sunday, three resolutions were put forth by member states — Peru, Rwanda, Japan and India — on plastic pollution.

The two draft resolutions of Peru, Rwanda and Japan were based on the principle of a legally binding target, while the Indian draft resolution was based upon the principle immediate collective voluntary action by countries.

In order to allow for global action to take place, India agreed for setting up of an intergovernmental negotiating committee for a new international legally binding treaty, a ministry official said, adding that the Indian delegation is engaged constructively in the negotiations.

In her address, Nandan asserted that making the planet pollution free must be the responsibility of all member states and driven nationally.

“India has been spearheading many initiatives which include National Hydrogen Energy Mission, National Clean Air Program, restoring 26 million hectares of degraded and deforested land, development of urban forests, and conservation of species like lions and dolphins,” she said.

Nandan also reiterated the Lifestyle for Environment-LIFE mantra proposed by India at COP 26, saying, “the call for the mass movement on sustainable lifestyle is a true reflection of India’s ethos towards Mother Earth or nature.”

While thanking the UNEP for organising the assembly, Nandan said it is being held at a time when the global community is still fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder that all countries must work together to ensure vaccine equity, leaving no one behind. Without vaccine equity, another wave of COVID-19 may emerge necessitating the imposition of lockdowns and restrictions,” she said.

The UNEA commenced on Monday and will conclude on March 4 with a special session of the Environment Assembly to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP@50), which will be held on March 3 and 4 under the leadership of the Presidency and the Bureau of the sixth session of the Environment Assembly.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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