India’s engagement with United Nations Environment Programme

India has had a close engagement with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) since its inception and there are certain ongoing and implemented UNEP projects in India.
Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change is the nodal Ministry dealing with India’s engagement with UNEP. India’s High Commissioner to Kenya is accredited as the Permanent Representative of India to UNEP.
Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Information & Broadcasting and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Prakash Javadekar, visited Nairobi from June 25-28, 2014 to lead Indian delegation at the Ministerial segment of the inaugural session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).  Hon’ble Minister addressed the UNEA sessions on “Sustainable Development Goals and post-2015 Development Agenda including Sustainable Consumption and Production” and “Illegal Trade in Wildlife”.  On the sidelines of the UNEA, Hon’ble Minister had bilateral meetings with over a dozen Environment Ministers including Kenya, Mongolia USA, Iran, Germany, UK, Bangladesh, Egypt, Sri Lanka etc. 

The Global South-South Development Expo 2013 was held in Nairobi from 28 October to 1 November, 2013.  During the Expo, an IBSA Fund exhibition was launched jointly by India, Brazil and South Africa
Mr. Achim Steiner, Executive Director (ED), visited India during June 2011 on the occasion of the global launch of World Environment Day in India.
The UNEP Executive Director also visited India in October 2012 to attend the 6th meeting of Conference of Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Bio-Safety (MoP-6) and eleventh meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CoP-11 to CBD) held in Hyderabad. UNEP serves as the Secretariat to the CBD.
India makes an annual financial contribution (US$ 100,000) to the General Purpose Funds of UNEP and to several Multilateral Environment Agreements.
Pavan Sukhdev, an environmental economist, was named as a goodwill ambassador for UNEP by UNEP ED on October 16 2012 in Hyderabad. Mr. Sukhdev was the Study Leader of the UNEP study on ‘The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity’ (TEEB) and also worked on the UNEP report on The Green Economy.
UNEP activities in India
Recent India-UNEP collaboration include the following major areas :

Solar Loan Project : Collaboration with Indian banks to finance solar lighting projects in rural areas.
Male Declaration on Control, Prevention of Air Pollution and its Trans-boundary Effects in South Asia
Montreal Protocol: Implementation of the Technical Assistance component of the CFC production sector phase out project (with the World Bank) and the policy and customs training and awareness components of the national refrigeration and air-conditioning servicing sector strategy; Transition strategy to stop use of CFCs in the MDI manufacturing sector; Development of the HCFC phaseout Management Plan (HPMP) in cooperation with UNDP, and in developing the Technical Assistance component of the HCFC production sector phase out in collaboration with the World Bank; horizontal capacity-building activities (South-South cooperation - custom and technician training; preparation of guidelines)
Atmospheric Brown Cloud: The Government of India nominated two scientists to participate in the Science Team and steering committee meeting.
Project Surya: To provide sustainable, pro-environment, pro-poverty, pro-health, pro-women action plan, infrastructure and technologies to switch to cleaner technologies such as efficient cooking stoves in rural areas.  A pilot phase of Project Surya is being implemented.
Assessment Activities : Preparation of regular ‘State of the Environment’ Reports. A number of scientists from India are authors for Global Environment Outlook-5, and involved in other assessments.
CSO network : Specialized agencies, namely The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI), Development Alternatives (DA), and Centre for Environment Education (CEE) have been assisting UNEP with implementation of projects and programmes in India and South Asia. CEE has been hosting the Secretariat for the South Asia Youth Environment Network (SAYEN). TERI and Development Alternative (DA) has been the Collaborating Centre for the Global Environment Outlook.
Awareness: UNEP launched the environmental awareness campaign ‘Batting for the Environment’ in partnership with Indian Premier League (IPL) and named Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar as a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador; the 19th Commonwealth Games 2010 Organizing Committee signed a MoU with UNEP to host a green game; Plant for the Planet : Billion Tree Campaign.
GEF 5 Process: Wetland management, invasive alien species, transboundary mountain ecosystems, Persistent Organic Pollutants (Mercury, National PoPs Monitoring) and hybrid energy systems for low carbon development for possible funding under the System for a Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR) allocation. Additionally UNEP to participate in the UNIDO-led GEF V project on phasing out production and use of DDT. UNEP has secured GEFSEC approval for 2 new GEF IV project concepts (PIF) on Biosafety Protocol and Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) in India.
Biodiversity: South Asia level sub-regional meeting in India to prepare for the CBD COP 10 meeting; preparation of ABS proposal for the GEF submission; working with National Biodiversity Authority to prepare the benefit sharing guidelines; international consultation on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Protocol in Feb 2011. The 6th meeting of Conference of Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Bio-Safety (MoP-6) and eleventh meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CoP-11 to CBD) was held in Hyderabad in October 2012.
Ecosystem Services Economics: Collaboration with Indian Institute of Forests Management, Indian Society for Ecological Economics, Green Indian States Trust (GIST), state of Himachal Pradesh, Indian Statistical Institute, and Institute of Economic Growth.
Marine and Coastal Ecosystem: UNEP supported South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP) in the preparation of the Marine Biodiversity Assessment and Outlook Report that includes India. An international workshop on ‘Deltas: coastal vulnerability and management’ was held in Dec 2009 in Chennai. UNEP supported Indian Nitrogen Group and Society for Conservation of Nature to organize a regional workshop on ‘Reactive Nitrogen Flows and Budgeting in Agriculture and Environment’ held in April 2010 in New Delhi. The Asia Platform of the Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM) was launched in the meeting. The 5th International Nitrogen Conference was held in New Delhi in Dec 2011 in partnership with International Nitrogen Initiatives (INI).
Sustainable Consumption and Production: Round Tables to raise awareness; Promotion of sustainable tourism at national, state and local levels.
Paryavaran Mitra Programme 2010-13 targeted at students in classes 6-9 to encourage, guide, build capacity and facilitate 20 million school children to become ‘Paryavaran Mitra’.
India was the global host for the World Environment Day for 2011. The weeklong events to mark the occasion were inaugurated in New Delhi by Hon’ble Minister for Environment & Forests Shri Jairam Ramesh along with Mr. Achim Steiner, Executive Director of UNEP on June 5. The theme was “Forests: Nature at your Service”. The series of events included a workshop on Journalism & the Environment, a green bazaar of non-timber forest products at the Dilli Haat, a special session on Building a Green Economy hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in New Delhi, Green Marathons and walkathons and a conference on ‘Nature and Livelihoods: Women’s Perspective’ in New Delhi. UNEP’s report on “Green Economy and Forests” was also launched on June 5 in New Delhi. 
Asia-Pacific Tunza Conference : UNEP and Centre for Environment Education (CEE) will organize the Asia Pacific TUNZA conference for Children and Youth in India in February 2012 in Ahmedabad.
Collaboration with National Productivity Council
Environmental Information System alongwith INFOTERRA, IRPTC and GEMS of UNEP.
Low carbon transport (IIMA, IITD, CEPT University, Ahmedabad) alongwith German government

January  2015

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