Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Bhupender Yadav addresses the Inaugural session of Sustainable Mountain Development Summit-XI
Ease of living is as important as Ease of doing business: Shri Yadav
Union Minister highlights PM’s vision that the world shall go towards Mission Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE)
Involvement of local communities is most important for environment-friendly and responsible tourism
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to extend all support to the Ladakh administration for awareness and training of local stakeholders
Shri Yadav highlights PM’s concept of “One sun, One world, One grid” to promote solar energy
By PIB Delhi
Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Bhupender Yadav attended the inaugural session of Sustainable Mountain Development Summit-XI, (SMDS-XI) being held at Leh, Ladakh UT from 10 to 12 October 2022.
The theme for SMDS-XI is ‘Harnessing tourism for sustainable mountain development’. The main focus of the summit is to reduce the negative impacts of tourism while harnessing its positive contributions to building climate and socio-ecological resilience and sustainability.
In his address, he expressed that visiting Ladakh is always refreshing due to its beautiful landscape and magnificent mountains. Integration of science and policy is to be the core activity of IMI, in light of this, he suggested integration of the uniqueness of cultures and environments become an essential part of such summits. He also highlighted the establishment of the G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment (GBPNIHE) and its one Regional Centre at Leh, under MOEFCC, which is particularly mandated on research and development activities for the sustainability of the Himalayan environment. He emphasized that various unique landscapes of the country like the Himalayas, Western Ghats, and Thar desert need special attention from the scientific community. During the event, capacity building of youth was another important aspect that was mentioned so that it does not focus only on literacy for employment but also on the preservation of local culture, environment protection, and developing scientific integrity among youth.
R&D organisations under MOEF&CC like GBPNIHE, ZSI, BSI, and WII have been conducting research on various pertinent issues like plant genetics for rapid breeding, digitization of Indian flora and fauna, and reintroduction of Cheetahs in India for correcting ecological wrongs to ecological right. Government has schemes like Skill India and various portals like the National Career Service Portal, e-Shram Portal, Udyami and ASEEM portals, etc., which are promoting financial literacy and integrated capacity building even for remote areas of the country. National Career Service Portal already has 1 crore applicants with 10 lakh employers, which provided 4.28 lakh employment opportunities, the largest so far. This portal is being further upgraded.
Shri Yadav stressed that Ease of living is as important as Ease of doing business and MoEF&CC is working on this. During COP-26 in Glasgow, Prime Minister highlighted that the world should go towards Mission Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE). The Government is promoting mindful use of resources rather than mindless use of the same. Ideas for such practices are already available in our culture and traditions. People living in harsh Himalayan conditions have all these values and the region is not only popular for tourism but also for cultural harmony. We have many strengths, like Buddhist monasteries, which are a symbol of peace in this world full of stress, depression, and anxiety.
He emphasized that tourism should be expanded for various aspects keeping in mind environmental fragility, sports, mountaineering, cycling, peace, etc. The recent World Forest Conference in the US passed a declaration that forests are not only for enjoyment but are an important source of peace. Himalayan forests are promoting peace for centuries. Tourism in the Himalayas should be promoted for nature seekers, pilgrims, and spiritual seekers. Like Ladakh, other states of the Himalayas, such as Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya, etc. have unique aspects which should be integrated into tourism. Not only environmentally friendly but responsible tourism is also the need of the hour. The involvement of local communities in tourism is the most important for integrating such initiatives. All our activities should be around the year and our educational institutions should have formats aligned with it. He suggested that for conserving the cultural and local heritage and for protecting Ladakh’s resources; it is very important to identify and resolve all pending issues. The responsibility of local tourist guides, if deliberated in the summits, shall have a long-lasting impact. He announced that MoEF&CC has disposed of all wildlife-related proposals and applications submitted on the Parivesh portal to expedite the development journey of Ladakh. The Parivesh portal is further being redesigned to integrate all environmental clearances in a centralized manner. He assured that MoEF&CC will extend all support to the Ladakh administration for awareness and training of local stakeholders on Forest Rights and other related issues.
He stressed that Solar power is a big source of energy, and our Prime Minister has deliberated across the globe to promote solar energy. India has started the International Solar Alliance, which now has 106 members globally. In Glasgow, the Prime Minister highlighted the concept of “One sun, One world, One grid” which was praised by the international community. India with the United Kingdom had formed the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) on climate change to address the issue of loss and damages due to climate change.
The Minister also informed that the work on connecting remote landscapes by building tunnels like Atal Tunnel and the ongoing Zoji La Tunnel will reduce carbon emissions in the mountain environment. He suggested that the youth should follow the formula of LiFE in true spirit to ensure a sustainable future for our country. He expressed confidence about achieving the Prime Minister’s vision for “Carbon Neutral Ladakh”. “When every individual thinks of national good, when every nation thinks of global good, that is when sustainable development will become a reality”, the Union Minister quoted the PM in his concluding remarks.
The Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS) is a flagship annual event of IMI, a civil society-led forum working across the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) that comprises 10 mountain states, two union territories, and four hill districts. In addition to the central event, two integral components of the SMDS include the Mountain Legislators’ Meet (MLM) and the Indian Himalayan Youth Summit.