Saturday, January 12, 2013

Indian Updates:Release of Report on Greening Rural Development in India (4 Jan 2013)

Hon’ble Minister of State (I/C) for Environment and Forests statement on the occasion of release of Greening Rural Development Report

The Minister of State (I/C) of Environment and Forests welcomed the initiative taken by MoRD with support from UNDP to provide a strong impetus towards Greening Rural Development in India.  This is a unique
and significant convergence of important programmes of Government covered by different Ministries.  On this occasion Ms Jayanthi Natarajan stated that issues relating to sustainable and inclusive development which focused upon growth and conservation of the environment are cross cutting issues, which form the core of our growth and developmental process.  In fact our economic growth, the creation of our infrastructure and the holistic development of the entire country should be, and are based upon the principles of sustainability and inclusion.

Our forests, our water resources, and all our other natural resources are part of the common goods, the heritage and inestimable wealth of the nation, the use of which is a trust and a covenant, which must be
respected, so that our natural resources are used in a manner that preserves their integrity and passes on the ecological security to future generations of Indians.

There is a growing realization that Indian cannot continue along a path which compromises the availability of our natural resources for current or future generations.  The problem of excessive and inequitable utilization of our resources  exist in all societies, including ours, and although the environment and rural India may not be the largest contributors to the GDP, they are still not only the driving force of our economy and growth, while simultaneously being most vulnerable section of  society at other levels.  There is therefore no doubt that we need to sustain an ecologically sustainable pathway.  Our National action plan on Climate Change clearly underscores this principle.  And this applies across the board to all sectors.  Four of our National Missions are focused upon adaptation to climate change, and three geared to energy efficiency.  These will play an important part in shaping our response to climate change.

We are fortunate that we have become conscious of this need at an early stage of our growth, but the challenge can only be successfully managed if we create a society which is not wasteful.  Low carbon growth
is an important and necessary concept, but in my view this alone is not sufficient for sustainable development, for the reason that while we have achieved significant reduction in energy intensity, in the future we need to
ensure that we do not transfer the burden of achieving future reduction upon vulnerable sections of society.

This has to be a global effort, and cannot be done by one country alone.  My own view is that any prescriptive mandates at a global level will be counter productive, as one size cannot fit all.

The Rio+20 summit recognized these major issues and recognized the importance of greening the economy as an important tool in achieving sustainable development and poverty eradication.

I am happy to be a part of this unique initiative.  I congratulate the UNDP, the Dy. Chairman Planning Commission and the Minister of Rural Development Shri Jairam Ramesh for making possible this very significant convergence.  In particular, the convergence of crucial and fundamental schemes of the Ministry of Rural Development with the principle of greening our economy is a seminal step, which will result in immense positive impacts upon our sustainable development pathway, and our ecological integrity.  I thank my colleagues for making this possible.

Link to the Report: Greening Rural Development in India:

Source: and

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