On World Environment Day, Javadekar asks all to opt for 'less'

On World Environment Day, Javadekar asks all to opt for 'less'

 Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar exhorted industries and society to adopt the '3Rs' of 'Reduce, Reuse and Recycle' on World Environment Day today and urged all to opt for "less" in order to check the rate of depletion of natural resources.

"Business as usual is no longer an option. Every individual has a responsibility to contribute to protect the environment and reduce the rate of depletion of natural resources," the minister said.

In his message for World Environment Day with the theme of 'Seven Billion Dreams, One Planet, Consume with Care', he called for a change in consumption patterns as he urged that the approach now should be to opt for 'less'.

"We should opt for less of water, less of energy and less of all other resources. By becoming more conscious of the ecological impact of our actions and environmental consequences of the personal choices we make, we can become agents of change," he said.

While less than 3 per cent of the water in the world is potable, one out of seven persons does not have access to drinkable water, the minister said.

Also, talking about dietary choices and habits impacting on the environment, he said that 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year even as almost 1 billion people worldwide are undernourished and another 1 billion go hungry.

"The food sector accounts for around 30 per cent of the world's total energy consumption and approximately 22 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions," he said.

He said that by the year 2050, with an expected population of 9.6 billion, it is estimated that three planets would be needed to sustain the ways of living and consumption on earth.

He said that changes in natural resource base due to human activities have taken place more rapidly in the past 50 years than at any time in human history, leading to continued deterioration of the environment.

"Many of the earth's ecosystems are nearing critical tipping points of depletion, or irreversible change.

"By 2050, with the current consumption and production patterns and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, it is estimated that we would need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption," Javadekar said.

Javadekar expressed hope that Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) which has been tabled in Lok Sabha will be passed by the Parliament and it will provide additional funds to states for various forest and wildlife related activities.

"The CAF bill has been tabled in the Parliament. I am hopeful that it will be passed in Parliament. If it is done, states will get Rs 35,000 crore in the coming days. This will be additional funds for them," he said.

The Minister said this fund will help states in addressing issues related to more greening, wildlife management, quality of forest, degraded forest and others.

The Bill seeks to pave the way for expeditious utilisation of funds realised for forest land but diverted to non-forest purposes. It will also ensure utilisation of accumulated unspent funds already available with Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).

Replying to another question, Javadekar said that forests coming under Mangar hills and Aravalli range will not be compromised upon. He said that the much awaited Noida bird sanctuary notification on eco-sensitive zone was in "advanced stage".

Asked about new laws or amendments which the Ministry was contemplating to bring for environment protection, Javadekar said the TSR Subramaniam committee has submitted its report now reactions from states were being sought.

"We will hold a meeting in the coming days to discuss about other laws which will be brought in," he said, adding that the Ministry was not changing the definition of forests at all.

On the increasing air pollution in Delhi and nearby states, Javadekar said a three month's action plan has already been given which will be reviewed in July after which a fresh plan for a longer time period will be made.

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