ANI Photo | India has adopted holistic approach towards conservation, accelerating ecosystem restoration: Union Environment Minister

Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupendra Yadav said that India has adopted a holistic approach towards conservation. He stated that India is not just focused on reducing emissions to tackle the temperature rise but also working towards arresting land degradation, accelerating ecosystem restoration and enriching biodiversity.
While addressing the attendees of the Mangrove Alliance for Climate Ministerial Meeting at the COP28 Summit in Dubai on Saturday, Bhupendra Yadav said, “Working under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India has adopted a holistic approach towards conservation. We are not just focused on reducing emissions to tackle temperature rise, but are also working towards arresting land degradation, accelerating ecosystem restoration and enriching biodiversity.”
He noted that the value of biodiversity to humankind lies in its economic dimension along with the cultural and social aspects, according to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change press release. He said that the Indian government, in budget 2023-24, rolled out the Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats and Tangible Incomes or MISHTI. He said that mangrove plantations along the coastline and salt pans are being taken up under this scheme.
He said, “MISHTI will provide ecological co-benefits in terms of indirect economic growth worth Rs 51.78 billion per year, and additional carbon sink is estimated to be about 4.5 million tons in 10-year horizon. These contributions will help India achieve its NDC target.”
Bhupendra Yadav stressed that the mangrove ecosystem in India offers a unique example of existing in harmony with nature. He said that Sunderban is of critical importance for dolphins, crocodiles and critically endangered turtles, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said in a press release.
Yadav said, “The mangrove ecosystem in India offers a unique example of existing in harmony with nature. The Sunderbans, lying along eastern India, offers the largest contiguous mangrove forest in the world.”
“Interestingly, the Sundarban mangroves are the only mangrove habitat for tigers worldwide. The Sundarban is of critical importance for dolphins, crocodiles and the critically endangered turtles and also the people who live in the region,” he added.
He said that mangroves help with natural coastal protection for the adaptation of local communities against the increasing frequency of cyclones and erosion. He underscored that restoration, conservation and management of forest cover including mangrove forests are one of the elements of India’s Long-Term Low Carbon Development Strategy.
He stated that Gujarat, which has the second-highest mangrove cover in India, has shown an improvement in mangrove cover of over 250 square kilometres from 2001 to 2021, according to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change press release.
He said, “I do humbly believe that the world has much to gain from India’s experience in mangrove conservation because we have shown expertise in the area for nearly five decades. India has restored different types of mangrove ecosystems.”
Yadav said PM Modi believes that global cooperation is the surest way to meet shared challenges like climate change. He recalled that India became a member of the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC) during COP27 at Egypt.
He stated that India has committed to creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030. He further said, “But we cannot only conserve, preserve and restore. We must also promote sustainable use to address the developmental aspirations of our people.”
He recalled that India at COP15 in Montreal stated that sustainable use and access and benefit sharing are key to promoting biodiversity, along with the efforts to conserve, protect and restore.

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