Biodiversity loss will be factored into GDP from 2015, says Jairam

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Mr Jairam Ramesh
The Hindu Mr Jairam Ramesh

Loss of biodiversity due to developmental pressures would be taken into consideration while calculating the country's economic growth starting 2015, said the Environment Minister, Mr Jairam Ramesh.

Addressing the “Stakeholder consultation on the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity of India,” Mr Ramesh said people should be more sensitive to the ecological impact of the economic growth.

“By 2015... I have an agreement with the Planning Commission.... India will report not just GDP as a conventional measure but will also report GDP incorporating the loss of biodiversity,” Mr Ramesh said. “If you are reporting a 9 per cent GDP growth...the real GDP growth in terms of accounting for ecological degradation, loss of natural resources, loss of bio-diversity would probably be somewhere closer to five and half to six per cent,” Mr Ramesh added.

The Environment Ministry is holding stakeholder consultation meets to develop a framework for strengthening the biodiversity conservation programmes and initiating action for assessing the economic value of India's natural capital.

Stating that his Ministry would soon launch the Green India Mission programme to enhance the forest cover and quality, Mr Ramesh said local communities and self-help groups would be roped in to implement the scheme.

Further, Mr Ramesh said that the World Bank has expressed its willingness to fund the proposed market- based system to control industrial air pollution in states such as Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Maharashtra.

(This article was published on February 10, 2011)
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