SME Times News Bureau | 22 May, 2019
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday
called for achieving sustainable development that is equitable and
people-centred and stressed the need for efficient and frugal use of natural
Inaugurating the International Day for Biological
Diversity (IDB) celebrations, in Chennai today, the Vice President said
Biodiversity is fundamental to the survival of the human race and said that man
must re-establish the link with nature, as did the ancients in India centuries
ago, and take from earth and the environment only so much “as we can
Observing that sustainable development mandates
the efficient and frugal use of available natural resources including
biodiversity, the Vice President said “a grave challenge we face today is the
destruction of forests and the loss of species”.
concern over the loss of trees at an unbelievable pace due to deforestation,
urbanization, industrialization, and pollution, Naidu said India’s forest cover
stands at 21% against global standard of 33.3%.
India has lost over
1.6 million hectare of tree cover between 2001 and 2018, according to a new
study released by the World Resources Institute (WRI), Shri Naidu added.
Lamenting that the symbiotic relationship of man
with nature was being threatened as societies develop, the Vice President
warned that any damage to environment would put the well-being of future
generations in peril.
He also pointed out that the current consumption
patterns especially in the industrialized world are unsustainable as they put
enormous pressure on natural resources.
The Vice President also spoke of the need to
secure international cooperation in fields ranging from sustainable agriculture
and food security to health and sustainable development to urban resilience and
adaptation, to climate change and disaster risk reduction.
Stating that India is one of the oldest
civilizations in the world, Naidu said that the concern for environment was an
innate aspect of the Indian psyche and faith, reflected in religious practices,
folklore, art and culture permeating every aspect of the daily lives of the
The Vice President also pointed out that India
had a long cultural tradition of frugality and simple living in harmony with
nature and that all great religions which have traversed in our country have
preached the unity of humankind with nature.
He also stressed the need for inclusive growth
and achieving home-grown food security, while ensuring sustainable development.
Naidu commended the convention for rightly
acknowledging that poverty eradication is the first and over-riding priority
for developing countries and said that while giving practical shape and content
to any internationally agreed architecture, care must be taken to allow each
country to develop according to its own national needs, priorities and
circumstances, while ensuring the harmonization of development with
Earlier in the day,
the Vice President flagged off the ‘Tree Ambulance’ initiative, a campaign to
Naidu said that out
of the box solutions such as the Tree Ambulance, coupled with community
participation, can go a long way in conserving and increasing our green cover
and applauded K. Abdul Ghani and Suresh for their efforts in setting up the