The Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav, today launched a report titled ‘Greenprint for Chennai – Integrating Natural Infrastructure in City Planning’, at the COP27 international climate conference currently underway here.

The report has been prepared by The Nature Conservancy (TNC), an environmental advocacy body based in the US. TNC has been present in India since 2017.

The report seeks to “proactively help” Chennai city planning process and understand how interventions may improve its ability to manage water resources,”

The report comes on the heels of another work done by TNC in Chennai—restoration of the Sembakkam lake. A report on the lake restoration by TNC was also launched by Minister Yadav today.

The Greenprint report ends in a bunch of recommendations, including creation of new wetlands and restoration of existing wetlands in watersheds where urbanization is projected to increase and the creation of a ‘water fund’ for watersheds. “A water fund is a governance and finance mechanism that improves water security by allowing downstream water users to invest collectively in upstream water and land conservation,” the report explains.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister Yadav observed that India has 2.4 per cent of the world’s land but is home to 8 per cent of all species, “which makes India a very biodiverse country.”

India has committed itself to restoring 26 million hectares of degraded lands by 2030, he said. Further, in March 2022, the government of India announced a decision to rejuvenate 13 major rivers “through forestry intervention”. This, Yadav said, would increase India’s forest cover by 7,400 sq k.