New Delhi: The recovery path from the global pandemic is an opportune time to develop global biodiversity commitments and India is looking to work together with other countries to usher new deals for people and the planet. Union Minister for Environment, Forest, and Climate change Bhupender Yadav stated India’s commitment at the Round Table on ‘Putting biodiversity on a path of recovery.’ The virtual event held on October 12 was part of the high-level ministerial segment of the UN Biodiversity Conference.
“India is committed to mainstream biodiversity across all sectors in order to conserve nature, reverse its loss, and secure a healthy planet for our future generations. We need to ensure that the benefit of biodiversity conservation flows to the poor and the downtrodden,” Yadav said.
Yadav pointed out that the rich biological diversity of India is deeply interwoven with, and is a common thread to the country’s diverse cultural history. India is one of the seventeen mega-biodiverse countries in the world.
“We in India have respected and revered nature for thousands of years. With just 2.4 percent of the world’s landmass, we house 8 percent of all recorded species and are recognized as one of the 8 centers of origin of cultivated plants. Several hundred species of wild crop relatives are also distributed all over the country,” Yadav said.
Yadav also restated India’s commitment to reduce carbon emission under the Paris accord. “India has committed to restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030, more than its earlier target of 21 million hectares. I am happy to inform you that one of India’s intended National Determined Contributions as part of the Paris Agreement is to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5-3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover, which will also enhance biodiversity in India,” Yadav told delegates at the round table.