On the occasion of the World Environment Day, The Policy Times in partnership with The Shakti Plastic and RECYCLEAN.in had organized World Sustainability Summit 2021 online in association with GreenScape, ECOEX, GRC India on June 4 and June 5 to set a roadmap for “Ecosystem Restoration through Industry and Innovation. The Event Partners of World Sustainability Summit 2021 were services Export Promotion Council(SEPC), Material Recycling Association of India(MRAI), Indian Plastics Institute, and Indus International Research Foundation (IIRF), and organizing partners of the event were university Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Gaza University and Impact Youth.
World Sustainability Summit 2021 has had Dr. Rajiv Kumar, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman, started by saying, “The event will spread a much-needed awareness about the environment in our country and this is just the beginning where we need to change the narratives, the dialogues the mindset of the people.” He suggested that the people of the country should be much more careful and they should take care of the environment. It is time that we call upon our own Indian tradition of living with nature and living in nature and not concurring nature. We live in a country where we worship trees and nature and that should be re-installed in the people now. We have been worshipping rivers since time immemorial so it is time that we again start worshipping our rivers rather than disrespecting and polluting them. In a democratic country like ours we get what we demand in terms of policies, we get what the dominant narratives become and that narrative today, unfortunately, is not about the circular economy, not about preserving and restoring nature is not about mainstreaming the environment. It is now we should reinforce our good ideas in much bigger and wider ways and help in changing the mindset of the people, where they will keep the water bodies clean rather than transforming those into sewage canals or dumping grounds. The policy cannot go far beyond the people’s needs and requirements.
Moreover, we should all agree to the fact as already stated by our honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it is not the time to blame a portion of the people responsible for this situation. It is we the people and it is in our interest to adopt ambitious policies to make the earth a better place. We are in a pretty serious state in our country and so we have no time to lose and we should start our work right away to build a different model of urbanization and how we bring back our cycle and go back to the circular economy. We need to think differently and in a unique way, rather we should look into what will bring social change and especially the adoption of agroecology for Indian Agriculture, as our agricultural practice leaves tons of carbon into the atmosphere, the soil has been degraded, we lose about 10% of our GDP due to soil degradation, so we should bring in the practice of Zero Budget Natural Farming, and NITI Aayog is pushing this agenda because it can restore the organic carbon content in the soil and thereby segregate the carbon in the atmosphere, and can prove the largest carbon reversal process in the world.
Dr. Kumar suggested The Policy Times can organize similar programs in regional languages across regions. As a policy Think Tank, he also suggested that The Policy Times can further choose some policy initiatives and take them to people and other stakeholders to facilitate wider awareness and implementation.
We need to conserve our resources and bring in ideas that will reverse the degradation. We need to make sure that we do not go down the route that many other countries have gone.