On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated and spoke at the 13th edition of Conference of Parties on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP 13) at Gandhinagar, Gujarat via a video conference.
While addressing the occasion, PM Modi stated that India is one of the world’s most diverse nations. He added that India contributes to about 8% of the known global biodiversity, having 2.4% of the Earth’s land area. The PM emphasized that wildlife and habitat conservation is a part of the cultural ethos of India for ages, which promotes compassion and co-existence.
“Inspired by Gandhi ji, the ethos of non violence and protection of animals and nature have been suitably enshrined in the Constitution of India and is reflected in several laws & legislations.”
Moreover, PM Modi mentioned the increased Indian forest cover, which is presently at 21.67% of India’s total geographical area. He added how India is supporting the cause of “climate action” through conservation, sustainable lifestyle, and green development model. Also, he talked about the encouragement towards Electric Vehicles, Smart Cities, and Conservation of Water. The PM further added that India is one of the few nations whose actions comply with the Paris Agreement’s goal of maintaining the temperature rise under 2-degrees Celsius.
PM Modi described how focussed species conservation programs showed positive results. He said-
“India has achieved its target of doubling the number of tigers from 1411 in 2010 to 2967, two years before the committed date of 2022.”
Further, he called upon the Tiger Range Countries at the Conference and others to come together for promoting tiger conservation by sharing benchmarking practices. He even talked about the initiatives India has taken for conserving Asian elephants. Also, he mentioned the efforts taken to preserve the Snow Leopard, the Asiatic Lion, the one-horned rhinoceros, and the Great Indian Bustard. He also regarded the mascot ‘GIBI – The Great’ a tribute to the Great Indian Bustard.
Also, he noted that the CMS COP 13 Logo derives inspiration from the traditional ‘KOLAM’ from southern India, which holds great importance when it comes to living in harmony with nature. He said “Athithi Devo Bhava” reflects in the CMS COP 13 theme:
“Migratory species connect the planet and together we welcome them home.”
The PM explained some of India’s priority areas as he held the Presidency of this convention for the next three years. He mentioned that India is a part of the Central Asian Flyway for migratory birds and said that to preserve birds along the Central Asian Flyway and their habitats, India has prepared a ‘National Action Plan for conserving Migratory Birds along the Central Asian Flyway.’
“India would be happy to facilitate preparation of Action Plans for other countries in this regard. We are keen to take the conservation of migratory birds to a new paradigm with active cooperation of all the Central Asian Flyway Range Countries.”
Besides, the PM said that India aims to further its association with the ASEAN and East Asia Summit nations. He added that it would be synced with the Indo Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI), in which India would play a leadership role.
The PM asserted that by 2020, Indian would launch its Marine Turtle Policy and Marine Stranding Management Policy. He said that this would also address the pollution caused due to microplastics. He added that single-use plastics are a major challenge for environmental protection, and India is on a mission to decrease its use.
Citing various Protected Areas in India that share boundaries with the Protected Areas of neighboring nations, the PM said that cooperation in wildlife conservation by establishing ‘Transboundary Protected Areas’ would result in very positive outcomes.
Furthermore, he restated the Center’s commitment toward sustainable development and mentioned the Linear Infrastructure Policy Guidelines’ release for tailoring development in ecologically weak areas.
At last, the PM described how, in “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas, Sabka Vishwaas” spirit, the millions of people living in the vicinity of forest area in India are now integrated into the form of Joint Forestry Management Committees and Eco-Development Committees and associated with the forest and wildlife protection.
Watch the Full Address Here:
Addressing a convention on Conservation of Migratory Species. https://t.co/gAKRKIcxro
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 17, 2020