Stockholm+50: A renewed commitment to achieve environmental oneness

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After a three-day stay in Stockholm to attend the Stockhol+50 conference, I left for India today.

The 1972 Conference started modern climate diplomacy, led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and yielded the Stockholm Declaration, a set of principles that encourage “global cooperation to reconcile economic development and environmental management”.

The world has come a long way since the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, widely seen as the first international meeting on environment. In 1972, environmental protection ranked so low on the priority of the global community that barely any country had an environment ministry. Fifty years on, the world has not just environment ministries but has also made environment the centre of policy formulations and interventions.

We now not only see humans as the centre of the environment protection efforts but are conscious of the need to chalk out policies that have all life forms included. This is the idea of Environmental Oneness that India has always espoused and lived by.

India’s statement at the UN Conference on the Human Environment in 1972 in Stockholm noted that: "We do not wish to impoverish the environment any further and yet we cannot for a moment forget the grim poverty of large numbers of people.”

Fifty years later, India has made sustainable development the hallmark of its policy interventions and policy formulations. We are raising the demand for climate justice on available platforms and India is also engaged in large-scale projects with a number of developing country partners to help them achieve more sustainable, inclusive and environmentally sensitive development solutions. We have a made a national and global commitment to neither compromise on development nor cause any further environmental degradation.We are instead working towards reversing the damage done.

Emerging as a responsible global partner, India has succeeded in putting forth its ideas and concerns effectively on international platforms and so was the case at Stockholm+50.

As the world leaders return to their countries after attending the conference at Stockholm, the community looks ahead to the 56th session of the subsidiary bodies from 6 to 16 June 2022, at the World Convention Center Bonn, Germany. World’s scientists and environmental experts will use the occasion to prepare the ground for COP 27 to be held later this year in November.

Even as we engage with the world on global and bilateral platforms, at home, India is taking steady steps to move towards a sustainable lifestyle, adhering to the principles of LIFE.       

For we believe and practise:

'Om Sahana Vavatu, Sahanau Bhunaktau, Saha Veeryam Karava Vahe, Tejaswina Vadheet Mastu, Maa Vidvishaavahei Om Shanti Shanti Shanti'

"May we all be protected. May we all be nourished. May we work together with great energy. May our intellect be sharpened. Let there be no animosity amongst us."