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Covid pandemic result of degradation of natural areas, species’ loss, exploitation: UNEP India

The COVID-19 pandemic is a result of degradation of natural areas, species’ loss and exploitation, UNEP nation head Atul Bagai stated, underlining that international locations, together with India, should intensify their efforts to forestall and reverse ecosystem degradation.

He additionally highlighted that climate change, pollution and loss of biodiversity are three crises dealing with your entire planet and India, and are interconnected.

India has taken the trail of short-term economic interest over many years and this has diminished the power of ecosystems to supply and help each people and different life types, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) official stated whereas chatting with PTI.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a result of the degradation of natural areas, species’ loss and exploitation. This needs to change. India is already making a concerted effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and be part of the global effort to reach net-zero emissions by 2050,” he stated.

“India must intensify these efforts and participate actively in the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration that was launched on the World Environment Day, 2021, to prevent, halt, and reverse the degradation of ecosystems,” Bagai stated.

Several actions on this entrance are related for India, which embody taking coverage and legislative motion, elevating consciousness and making good selections, he stated.

“For a better future, India must work towards creating food systems that work with nature, reduce waste, and are adaptive to change and resilient to shocks. This could also take the form of halting purchases of products that are not certified as sustainable or pledging and donating for restoration initiatives,” the UNEP official stated.

Bagai stated {that a} barrier to restoration is restricted consciousness of unfavorable results of ecosystem degradation.

This could be rectified in lots of ways in which embody discussions on the worth of ecosystems, campaigns that draw consideration to local weather change, biodiversity loss and air pollution, empowering small-scale farmers and girls farmers, altering patterns of consumption, difficult social norms and enterprise practices, and capability constructing and training, he stated.

“We need to inculcate in India a culture that respects nature and cares for it. A healthier respect for nature will give us a healthier country and healthier people,” Bagai stated.

On the function of the youth on the local weather change concern, he stated they’re half of the bigger worldwide youth actions demanding drastic and visual motion within the face of international warming and local weather justice, biodiversity loss, and improvement on the price of the surroundings.

“My best advice to young people who are concerned about environmental issues is two-fold — get informed and get involved. There is a wealth of opportunities to make a difference. Often the best place to get started is in your local community. There is much to be done, and we need everyone involved,” he added.

In latest years, he stated there was a surge in international consideration on marine litter and plastic air pollution.

“However, scientific knowledge on marine plastic litter and effective countermeasures remains insufficient. Keeping this in mind, the UNEP is implementing two major projects in India that focus on plastic waste management and reduction of marine plastic pollution,” Bagai stated.

UNEP, with the help of the governments of Japan and Norway, is endeavor a multiyear evaluation of how plastic finds its means into riverways, and finally the ocean by way of the ‘CounterMEASURE’ challenge and the India Norway Marine Pollution initiative.

Both initiatives intention to scale back marine litter and different pollution from land-based sources and monitor plastic waste leakage from land into rivers.

‘CounterMEASURE’ has been working in Agra, Haridwar, Allahabad, Patna and Mumbai to handle the issue of plastic waste. Technical research have been carried out, together with evaluation of microplastics, macroplastics and mapping of plastic air pollution hotspots in these cities and within the river Ganga, Bagai stated.

The new part of the challenge will take a look at the influence of plastic air pollution on migratory species as properly.

“We’ve also trained relevant stakeholders and conducted outreach for raising awareness and behaviour change. The UNEP is further supporting India by developing a national roadmap on marine plastic litter and hosting policy dialogues,” he stated.

Talking in regards to the idea of inclusive wealth, Bagai stated it’s a measure of the social worth, not greenback value, of all its capital belongings, together with natural capital, human capital and produced capital.

“It can provide insights into whether current growth is sustainable or is based on over exploiting natural capital. This information can help develop policy better suited to sustaining growth while better managing human and natural capital,” he stated.

On the opposite hand, he stated the shortcomings of gross home product (GDP) as a measure of social well-being at the moment are well-known. GDP was launched as an index of the scale of a rustic’s economic system — an accounting measure of all items and companies produced in a rustic over a given interval of time, Bagai stated.

“Over time, however, it began to be used not just as a measure of market activity but a measure of a country’s overall well-being. In doing so, GDP ignores the value of human capital, the non-market values of natural capital, and the economic value of environmental externalities, such as pollution,” he stated.

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