The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India organized the World Environment Day on 5th June 2023 with a thrust on the Mission LiFE. The concept of LiFE, i.e., Lifestyle for Environment was introduced by The Prime Minister at the World Leaders’ Summit in Glasgow at COP26, when he gave a clarion call to rekindle a global pursuit to adopt environment friendly lifestyles and practices.
As a part of Mission LiFE, a comprehensive and non-exhaustive list of 75 individual LiFE actions have been identified across 7 themes – save water, save energy, reduce waste, reduce e-waste, reduce single-use plastics, adopt sustainable food systems, and adopt healthy lifestyles. The theme for this year’s World Environment Day is “Solutions to Plastic Pollution”, a topic which aligns with one of the 7 themes of Mission LiFE: “Saying No to Single-use Plastics” and is also linked to implementation of a number of LiFE actions.
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the gathering on the World Environment Day through video message today. Addressing the gathering, he underlined that India has already undertaken significant efforts since 2018 for plastic pollution in two phases- ban on single use plastic and compulsory plastic waste processing.
The Prime Minister stated that India has drawn a roadmap for tackling climate change and environment protection by maintaining a balance between present requirements and future vision and in the last 9 years, various initiatives such as Green Hydrogen Mission, Natural Farming efforts, focus on green and clean energy were introduced. Even in the midst of the global pandemic, India continued to make progress while maintaining the balance between ecology and economy. He congratulated the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for the launch of Amrit Dharohar and Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats and Tangible Incomes (MISHTI) initiatives on the occasion of World Environment Day. On Amrit Dharohar and MISHTI, Prime Minister further spoke about India’s achievement on wetlands and Mangrove restoration with ‘jan bhagidari’, which could serve as centres of ecotourism and generate green jobs as well. He stressed on how India has successfully raised the issue of Climate Justice before the International Community. The Prime Minister emphasized the relevance of LiFE and its increasing importance at the global level as a means of combating climate change. He expressed satisfaction that LiFE is transforming into a Global Mass Movement. The Prime Minister referred to the mass mobilization campaign on Mission LiFE in which more than 2 crore persons had joined the mass mobilization campaign on LiFE in less than one month.
Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Labour and Employment Shri Bhupender Yadav graced the occasion and walked through exhibition comprising Paintings and Digital exhibition on LiFE and also addressed the gathering. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Yadav recalled The Prime Minister’s Global Call for Plastic solution on World Environment Day celebrated in 2018. In line with this clarion call, India has banned manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of identified single use plastic items in 2022. The decision along with its implementation has not only been acknowledged at the domestic level, but had been appreciated at the global stage as well. He talked about the ‘Unbottled’ initiative of Indian Oil. Shri Yadav talked about Mission LiFE and its reference in various international documents such as Preamble of Paris Agreement, Cover decision of COP 27, IPCC 3rd Working Group Report and in the recent paper by International Energy Agency. He further added that in addition to the three international initiatives by India; International Solar Alliance, Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and Leadership Group for Industry Transition, International Big Cat Alliance was also launched recently.
A video showcased the activities undertaken during the month-long Mass Mobilization Campaign culminating in the World Environment Day on 5th June, 2023. The Meri LiFE Portal (merilife.org) has been developed for Ministries and Institutions to upload event reports. As captured in the Meri LiFE portal, more than 13 lakh events with participation of around 2 crore persons took place across the country during this one month with pledge being taken by 1.8 crore citizens.
Videos related to two new initiatives of the Ministry namely AMRIT DHAROHAR and MISHTI were also launched on the occasion. As a significant milestone during 75th year of independence, 75 wetlands have been designated as Ramsar sites i.e. Wetlands of International Importance, from only 26 in year 2014, now making it home to the second largest network of Ramsar sites in Asia. Acknowledging the importance of conservation of Ramsar Sites, the Government of India announced ‘Amrit Dharohar’ initiative as part of this year’s Budget announcement to promote the unique conservation values of Ramsar Sites. Highlighting the importance of local communities in conserving the wetland ecosystem, implementation Strategy of “Amrit Dharohar” was launched today, which is another example of Government’s commitment to the philosophy of conservation through community participation, and prosperity through conservation.
MISHTI: “Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats and Tangible Incomes” was announced in the Union Budget 2023-24 to promote and conserve mangroves. Mangroves are unique, natural eco-system having very high biological productivity and carbon sequestration potential, besides working as a bio-shield. MISHTI Programme was launched today with active participation of coastal States and UTs. The Programme will cover approximately 540 sq km area across nine (9) coastal States and four (4) UTs in five years (2023-2028). It will create around 22.8 million man-days with estimated carbon sink of 4.5 million tons of Carbon. It will also create potential areas for nature tourism and livelihood potential for local communities.
Mangrove plantation drive at more than 75 mangrove sites was also organized. This drive witnessed the participations through the plantation activities by public representatives, local people, village communities, Educational institutes and other stakeholders.
The programme witnessed the award ceremony for the winners of Global Call for Ideas and Papers by NITI Aayog. On 5th June 2022, Prime Minister had launched the global movement of Mission LiFE and LiFE Global Call for Ideas and Papers, inviting individuals, universities, think tanks, non-profits and others worldwide are required to submit behaviour-change. The Global Call for Ideas and Papers invited submissions in two phases. A 7 member evaluation committee conducted two rounds of evaluation to shortlist the Top 5 winning ideas. Union Minster Shri Yadav felicitated the 5 winners of NITI Aayog’s Global Call for Ideas and Papers.
In addition, National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) India organized an “Inter-School Painting Competition” for school students of class 8 to 12. A total of 5,980 numbers of paintings from 25 States and 4 UTs were received. The Union Minister also felicitated the 3 winners of this painting competition.
Shri Yadav also released three compendiums prepared by NITI Aayog; namely, Thinking for Our Planet, Mindful Living, and Thought Leadership for LiFE.