Bengaluru: The first meeting of the Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG) under the G20 Sherpa Track began here at Bengaluru on Thursday. Setting the tone for the ECSWG meetings, a discussion was held on how the theme of the India Presidency-Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam–One earth, one family, one future, is championing a fundamental mindset shift from a sense of ownership of natural resources towards trusteeship, sustainable lifestyles, inclusion and universal oneness.
Chandra Prakash Goyal, director general, forests and special secretary, Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) set the context to the event and emphasised on how G20 has played a vital role over the years, in dealing with economic, financial, social, and environmental issues. He highlighted that the India’s presidency will propagate the cause through collective leadership to take forward the commendable initiatives from the past G-20 presidencies to create tangible impact.
AS Rawat, director general, Indian Council for Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), discussed the global perspectives on the eco-restoration aspects specifically with respect to mining and forest fire affected areas. During this session, representatives from G20 countries shared their experiences and best practices on restoration of mining and forest fire affected areas.
Ruchi Pant from UNDP shared her experiences on conservation and preservation of ecosystems at mining affected area, specifically highlighting the work done in India. The concluding remarks were delivered by Bivash Ranjan, additional director general, wildlife, MoEFCC, in which he highlighted the key points raised during today’s discussion. The first session of the three-day ECSWG event concluded on a hopeful note to create a rich dialogue among all the delegates to shape a future, where the world lives in harmony with nature.
Over the next two days, G20 members will further deliberate on three key priorities identified by ECSWG. A media briefing was held by Chandra Prakash Goyal, DG, forests, and special secretary, MoEF&CC regarding the issues discussed during the session.
In the second half, the delegates were taken for site visit to the Kalkere Arboretum and Bannerghatta Biological Park at Bengaluru. At Kalkere Arboretum, the delegates got an opportunity to experience the four predominant forest ecosystems of Karnataka state. The delegates were shown forest restoration models adopted in these ecosystems and the successful revival of faunal biodiversity in these areas.
The Bannerghatta Biological Park showcased the state-of-art butterfly park and animal safaris to the delegates. It is an opportunity for Karnataka, to showcase its rich forest ecosystems to the world as well as its successful eco-tourism model.