A global initiative to unite nations, industries, and experts to propel the global circularity agenda forward will be launched on Thursday at the 4th Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG) and Environment and Climate Ministers meeting under India’s G20 Pr­esidency to be held in Chennai on July 26-28.

The Resource Efficiency Circular Economy Industry Coalition will be launched by Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) on July 27, said Naresh Pal Gangwar, Additional Secretary, MoEFCC.

“The initiative is to become a momentous achievement during the G20 India Presidency, representing a collective stride towards fostering on-the-ground efforts in resource efficiency and advancing the principles of circular economy,” he told newspersons on the eve of the event.

Environmental sustainability

Under the G20 India Presidency, the ECSWG has demonstrated the commitment towards ensuring environmental sustainability, which resonates with the vision of the Indian government to tackle the interconnected issues of climate and environment in an ambitious and decisive manner, said Richa Sharma, Additional Secretary, MoEFCC.

India’s national policies have enabled the country to be a leader in land restoration and biodiversity conservation, according to Bivash Ranjan, Additional Director General (Forest), Union Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

India has committed to restore 26 million hectares of forest land and create 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of additional carbon sinks, he told newspersons on the eve of the ECSWG.

One of the thematic areas of the G20 meeting under the Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group is the land restorations; accelerating ecosystem-based approach and biodiversity conservation. It also includes water conservation, Ranjan said.

Priority areas for ecological restorations

The drivers of the restoration have been chosen like forest fire affected areas and the mined impacted areas. The rationale behind choosing these two landscapes is the gradual increase of forest fire incidents over the last decades and the loss of forest cover and tree cover from the wildfire has gone up manyfold. Similarly, in the mine-impacted areas, the mined-out area is not being properly reclaimed. These two are the priority areas for ecological restorations, he said.

India has 27 per cent of its area under conservation and 22 per cent of its area under area-based conservation and can easily reach the target of the Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

Due to the success of the Project Tiger, India is now home to 70 per cent of the world’s tiger population. Due to the success of Project Elephant, India is now home to more than 60 per cent of the world’s Asiatic elephant population, he said.

Nearly 38 per cent of the degraded area in India has been reclaimed as on data. Though 23 per cent of the forests in India are highly fire-prone, only 3.5 per cent of the country’s tree cover loss is due to forest due to conservation plans, he said.

The three-day meeting will bring together around 300 delegates from G20 member countries, invitee countries, and several International Organisations, with a focus on finalising the Ministerial Outcome and the Presidency Documents, says a release.