Chennai: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday called for achieving equitable and people-centred sustainable development and stressed the need for efficient and frugal use of natural resources.
Inaugurating the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) celebrations, in Chennai, the Vice President said that biodiversity is fundamental to the survival of the human race and underlined that man should re-establish the link with nature.
Observing that sustainable development mandates the efficient and frugal use of available natural resources including biodiversity, Naidu said, “a grave challenge we face today is the destruction of forests and the loss of species.”
Expressing his concern over the loss of trees at an unbelievable pace due to deforestation, urbanisation, industrialisation and pollution, Naidu said that India’s forest cover stands at 21 per cent against the global standard of 33.3 per cent.
“India has lost over 1.6 million hectares of tree cover between 2001 and 2018, according to a new study released by the World Resources Institute (WRI),” he added.
Pointing out that the symbiotic relationship of man with nature was being threatened as societies develop, the Vice President warned that any damage to the environment would put the well-being of future generations in peril.
Naidu also pointed out that the current consumption patterns, especially in the industrialised 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.
Earlier in the day, Naidu flagged off the ‘Tree Ambulance’ initiative, a campaign to save trees.
The Tree Ambulance has been conceived, designed, fabricated and equipped to provide first aid treatment to trees, aid tree plantation, assist the shifting of trees, carry out seed ball distribution and so on.
The Vice President 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 the country’s green cover.