INDIA AND UNITED NATIONS
India is among the top 12 mega centres of the world in terms of its genetic diversity. It has a wide range of geoclimatic conditions and a rich and varied flora and fauna, as well as a long standing tradition of environmental sensibility and concern that goes to the very roots of its millennia-old culture. Harmony with nature has been an integral part of the ethos of Indian society.
The then Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, was the sole foreign head of state or government to participate in the United Nations Conference on Human Environment held in Stockholm in June 1972, at a time when international concern over environmental issues was yet to fully crystallise. At that session she emphasised that the environmental concerns cannot be viewed in isolation from developmental imperatives.
India considers environmental and developmental issues to be closely intertwined. It fully supports international cooperation in the field of the environment so as to effectively deal with global environmental problems. It is committed to a global partnership that simultaneously seeks to protect the environment while addressing the development requirements and aspirations of the developing countries.
India has consistently played an important role in the evolution of an international consensus to tackle major global environmental issues. It was an active participant in the process leading up to and culminating in the convening of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in June, 1992. The Rio Conference affirmed the importance of sustainable development, which encompasses both development and environmental protection. Agenda 21, adopted by the Rio meet, provides a blueprint on how to make development socially, economically sustainable. Despite constraints, India has initiated several activities and programmes in the context of Agenda 21, which are consistent with its national goals and objectives. India is a party to numerous multilateral environmental conventions which contribute to the protection of the environment and to sustainable development. These include the Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International importance, the Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes, the Convention on Combating Desertification, and the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and2 Fauna. India is also an active member of the Commission on Sustainable Development that was set up after the Rio Conference to monitor the implementation of Agenda 21.
India is among the leading countries in the vanguard of efforts directed at environmental protection. It has in position an elaborate framework of environmental legislation for the conservation of forests, preservation of wildlife and the control of water, air and soil pollution. It has a network of protected areas converting 84 national parks and 447 wildlife sanctuaries. India has also introduced the Eco-Mark label for environment-friendly products, requires the undertaking of Environment Impact Assessment before commencing major industrial projects, has in 2position functioning Environmental Tribunals as well as an effective system of Environmental Audit.
At the Special Session of the UN General Assembly held in June 1997 to review the progress made five years after the Rio meet, India expressed its disappointment over the lack of fulfillment at the international level of commitments voluntarily undertaken by the industrialised countries at Rio. On its part, India reiterated its commitment to the global partnership established at Rio de Janeiro.
INDIA'S POSITION ON:
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