After a brief pause, I returned to assume my ministerial duties at the Conference of Parties in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt last night.
The day’s activities began with an event on ‘Understanding the Concept of LiFE’ at the India Pavilion in the presence of Ms Inger Andersen, Executive Secretary, UNEP and Mr Ovais Sarmad, Deputy Executive Secretary, UNFCCC.
The India Pavilion created on the theme of Mission LiFE, which is a mantra given to the world by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, makes a pitch for adopting Lifestyle for Environment. On 20th October this year, Mission LiFE was launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister in the presence of UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.
Addressing the event, I stressed that LiFE places individual action at the centre stage to find solution to problems posed by climate change. The world is at a critical juncture in the common fight against climate change, a juncture which requires not just government effort but contribution from all stakeholders and each individual towards ensuring a sustainable and equitable planet.
I highlighted that the most credible findings in the recent past like sixth assessment report of IPCC, UNEP Gap report have concluded unequivocally that human influence has had a catastrophic impact on our shared air, oceans and land.
India under the visionary leadership of our Hon’ble Prime Minister has demonstrated to the world how protecting the environment can become the cornerstone in the policy making process.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme, even if one billion people out of the global population of eight billion adopt environment friendly behaviours lives like not wasting food, the global green house emissions can be reduced by 8-10 per cent.
LiFE calls for individuals to make contributions as per their capacity. Taking stairs, using cycles to commute, reusing resources, turning off power when not needed, eliminating the use of plastics in one’s daily life are just some of the ways of adopting a lifestyle which is favourable for the environment.
I urged the gathering to develop an ‘Environmental sense’ which ensures that our lifestyle doesn’t impede the lives of those around and doesn’t harm nature present in the form of birds, animals, plants, trees, wetlands and forests too.
Many world leaders have appreciated and supported India’s efforts towards promoting environment friendly lifestyle. Many visitors to the India Pavilion too have appreciated the effort and pledged to make a move towards a lifestyle that has environmental consciousness embedded in it.
How can one do it?
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is the mantra incorporated in this mission.
I underlined that the small steps initiated by Mission LiFE can also contribute towards implementing sustainable development goals set up by the United Nations General Assembly which were adopted by all the United Nations member States in 2015.
If one takes a closer look on SDG 12, SDG 13, SDG 14 and SDG 15, these goals guide towards sustainable consumption and production, climate action and promoting conservation of the biodiversity. Mission LiFE can show the path on implementing these.
As stated by the Hon’ble PM, LiFE inspires us to do all that can be done in our everyday life to protect the environment.
At the event, I released the compendium “Prayas se Prabhaav Tak”, which means efforts translating into impact, a philosophy that guides the policy making process under the leadership of PM Shri Modi.
I requested the world leaders from the India Pavilion to embrace the philosophy of LiFE and extend their support to be the change that they wish to see in the world.
On the sidelines of the ‘Understanding the Concept of LiFE’ event, the United Nations Environment Programme presented an innovative gamified learning platform prepared by UNSSC and UNEP geared towards shifting people’s individual behaviours towards more sustainable choices. ‘My Sustainable Living Challenge’ is a new and engaging way to raise awareness on Sustainable Lifestyles proposed under the Youth Empowerment component of the GO4SDGs initiative.
The session on Sustainable Lifestyle Challenge included a detailed presentation on the Sustainable Lifestyle Challenge by Ms Sophie Loran from UNEP and she will also announce the global rollout of 'My Sustainable Living Challenge' which is expected in 2023.
It is great to see the world exchange ideas and innovations with each other to build a sustainable planet. India under PM Shri Narendra Modi has maintained that since the problem of climate change impacts the entire world, the solution will require the coming together of all governments, individuals and organisations.