Green pitch finds more resonance in poll time

India ranks at the bottom of 180 countries in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) of 2022.
Green pitch finds more resonance in poll time

CHANDIGARH: As Lok Sabha elections are set to begin on April 19, over 70 environment, climate action and youth groups have urged all parties to ensure protection of ecosystems and community livelihoods in the Himalayas, Aravallis, Western and Eastern Ghats, and coastal regions, among others, and not allow “corporate exploitation” of natural habitats.

India ranks at the bottom of 180 countries in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) of 2022. Out of the 50 most polluted cities in the world, 42 are in India and 70% of groundwater aquifers have dried up, according to reports.

National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), People for Aravallis, Youth for Himalayas, and Climate Front India are saying: “Vote for Nature, Democracy and Future of Our Youth’’. These groups argue for changing the definition of ‘development’ in India.

“Development at the cost of our natural resources is not ‘vikas’ as it leads to destruction of our pollution sinks and water security threatening the future of our youth and wildlife,” they say, demanding that “no diversion of forest and agricultural land must take place without gram sabha nod.”

They further demand that all dilutions in environment and forest acts must be reversed. They seek “full and effective implementation of the Environment Protection Act, Biodiversity Act, Forest Rights Act, PESA Act and similar legislations that uphold the rights of nature and indigenous communities.’’

They say that all wetlands must be notified under the Wetland Rules 2010 and all water bodies that have dried up across the country must be revived. “Water recharge using traditional knowledge must be taken up at a war footing to protect our nation’s water security.”

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