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Environment Ministry Celebrates World Environment Day 2023 with Emphasis on Mission LiFE

The World Environment Day celebrations in India highlighted the nation's commitment to environmental preservation and the importance of adopting sustainable practices through Mission LiFE.

Shivam Dwivedi
Environment Ministry Celebrates World Environment Day 2023 with Emphasis on Mission LiFE (Photo Source: Bhupender Yadav Twitter)
Environment Ministry Celebrates World Environment Day 2023 with Emphasis on Mission LiFE (Photo Source: Bhupender Yadav Twitter)

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of the Government of India celebrated the World Environment Day on June 5th, 2023, highlighting the importance of Mission LiFE. The concept of LiFE, which stands for Lifestyle for Environment, was introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the World Leaders' Summit during the COP26 in Glasgow. The Prime Minister called for a global effort to embrace eco-friendly lifestyles and practices.

As part of Mission LiFE, a comprehensive list of 75 individual LiFE actions has been identified across seven themes, including saving water, saving energy, reducing waste, reducing e-waste, saying no to single-use plastics, adopting sustainable food systems, and adopting healthy lifestyles. The theme for this year's World Environment Day is "Solutions to Plastic Pollution," aligning with the "Saying No to Single-use Plastics" theme of Mission LiFE and promoting several LiFE actions.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the gathering through a video message, emphasizing India's significant efforts in combating plastic pollution. Since 2018, India has implemented two phases to tackle plastic pollution, including the ban on single-use plastics and the compulsory processing of plastic waste. The Prime Minister highlighted India's roadmap for climate change and environmental protection, balancing present requirements with future vision.

Over the past nine years, India has introduced various initiatives such as the Green Hydrogen Mission, Natural Farming efforts, and a focus on green and clean energy. Despite the global pandemic, India has continued to make progress while maintaining a balance between ecology and economy.

The Prime Minister commended the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for launching the Amrit Dharohar and Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats and Tangible Incomes (MISHTI) on World Environment Day. He highlighted India's achievements in wetland and mangrove restoration, emphasizing their potential for ecotourism and generating green jobs. The Prime Minister also stressed India's successful advocacy for climate justice at the international level. He expressed satisfaction that LiFE is evolving into a global mass movement and mentioned that over 20 million people have joined the mass mobilization campaign on LiFE in less than a month.

Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Labour and Employment, attended the event and visited an exhibition showcasing paintings and digital displays on LiFE. Yadav recalled the Prime Minister's global call for plastic solutions on World Environment Day in 2018 and highlighted India's ban on identified single-use plastic items in 2022. The decision and its implementation have received recognition domestically and globally. Yadav also mentioned initiatives like the 'Unbottled' campaign by Indian Oil and the references to Mission LiFE in various international documents and organizations.

A video presentation showcased the activities carried out during the month-long Mass Mobilization Campaign leading up to World Environment Day. The Meri LiFE Portal (merilife.org) has been developed for ministries and institutions to upload event reports. According to the portal, more than 13 lakh events with the participation of around 20 million people took place across the country during the campaign, with 18 million citizens taking the LiFE pledge.

The event also marked the launch of two new initiatives: AMRIT DHAROHAR and MISHTI. In celebration of the 75th year of independence, 75 wetlands in India have been designated as Ramsar sites, demonstrating their international importance. To promote the unique conservation values of Ramsar sites, the Government of India announced the "Amrit Dharohar" initiative. The implementation strategy of Amrit Dharohar was launched, highlighting the government's commitment to conservation through community participation and prosperity.

The MISHTI (Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats and Tangible Incomes) program was announced in the Union Budget 2023-24 to promote and conserve mangroves. This program will cover approximately 540 square kilometers across nine coastal states and four union territories over five years, creating employment opportunities and potential areas for nature tourism.

As part of the celebrations, a mangrove plantation drive took place at more than 75 sites, involving public representatives, local communities, educational institutes, and other stakeholders. The event also recognized the winners of the Global Call for Ideas and Papers by NITI Aayog. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the global movement of Mission LiFE and the LiFE Global Call for Ideas and Papers on June 5th, 2022. Five winners were felicitated during the award ceremony, showcasing their outstanding contributions.

Furthermore, the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) collaborated with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) India to organize an Inter-School Painting Competition for students from classes 8 to 12. Nearly 6,000 paintings from 25 states and 4 union territories were received, and three winners were honoured during the event.

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