Increase in mangrove plantation needed for better coastline climate and Indian economy, says Bhupendra Yadav | Kolkata News

By Ayan Dawn
KOLKATA: During the “Vision East” interactive session on Tuesday, Bhupendra Yadav, Union minister for labour & employment, environment, forest & climate change, emphasized the exceptional biodiversity of the Sundarbans, which is not only significant to West Bengal but also to the world.
He also highlighted the importance of a circular economy, improving the coastal climate, and India’s efforts to become a climate-conscious nation.
The Mishti (sweet) project was announced by finance in the Union budget FY 2023-24 for the sustainable development of mangroves and betterment of coastline climate.
Bhunpendra Yadav said, “For an economically strong India, sustainable development of mangrove plantations and their protection is required and there comes the role of the Mishti project”.
However, he didn’t mention clearly the fund allocation, specific steps taken for Sunderbans and the details about which areas are recognised as biodiverse spheres.
“The details about the fund allocation are under process,” he said.
The need of the hour for the environmental development of not only the eastern states but the whole country is achieving the circular economy, managing the skill gap and collecting data on the unorganised sector of employment.
“Circular economy is the need of the hour. We get the primary raw materials from mother earth and we return waste. That has to change. The recycling process should be maximized to attain the ideal circular economy,” Yadav said.
He recognised that India had a huge potential to become one of the best nations in terms of climate but one of the major hindrances is the skill gap.
He said we had a huge human resource pool but a high percentage of it is not skilled enough and that is a problem we are currently dealing with.
“Vision East: Green Initiatives led by Growth and Employment’ was organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce with a primary focus on green development in the eastern states at Taj Bengal, Kolkata.
Yadav was the chief guest and his approach was more interactive rather than giving a speech.
He spoke for exactly five minutes and opened it for the question and answers.
Some of the common questions that were raised were the current use of plastic, the inclusion of vocational courses in schools to make people more aware of the climate and funds for research and development.
Despite the single use of plastic ban, Yadav responded by saying, “To eradicate plastic from the unorganized sector the first step is towards the collection of data so that we get a fair idea of the employment and other stats in the unorganized sector. We have been doing this successfully through MSME, ASEEM and NCS portals”.
He also added, “We formed a committee along with other people, departments and also the Ministry of Petrochemical department and decided that the things that cannot be recycled or reused in some way or the other would be banned”.
Responding to the suggestion of the introduction of vocational courses in school, Yadav said, “There is no need for that. Our native knowledge and wisdom are enough to make us a conscious citizens”.
One of the members from the audience said, “The National Safety award has not been resumend since 2018. It is an award for the people and these awards might motivate people to do things for the social good.” and further added that the fund allocation for research and development is crucial. “The weight of the cement bag is currently 50kgs which is beyond human capacity and maybe funds for research and development might help to tackle these issues.”
Another question that was raised in the session was making policies concise for better understanding. “Policy of safety, health and environment policy is really long so that it can be revised and made concise.”, an audience member suggested to Mr. Yadav.
Mr. Yadav asserted that these are some crucial problems and he will raise these issues to the higher authorities in Delhi.
Mr. Mehul Mohanka, President of ICC said the focus of the budget in energy transition and climate action is indeed an indication of India’s attempts to make a huge impact for a climate conscious world. As of FY 2022, India’s green sector employed close to 164 thousand workers, said Mehul Mohanaka.
Besides this, Mr. Yadav also focused on the Namaste Project that aims to end manual scavenging.

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