While India has achieved high economic growth over the past few decades, it has come at some cost in terms of air and water pollution. A World Bank report suggests that “environmental degradation costs India $80 billion per year or 5.7% of its economy.” To promote sustainable development and to reduce environmental degradation and adapt to climate change, new strategies will be needed and society will need to be more aware of the costs of damage to the environment.AIPC Position
- The AIPC is committed to sustainable development in its true spirit. We will accord the highest priority to environmental protection and to ensure that all people in India have the right to a clean environment, which secures their health, livelihood and nutritional well-being.
- The AIPC will support the creation of a professional agency to conduct rigorous and time bound environmental appraisals and recommend environmental clearances, where appropriate, in a time-bound and transparent manner.
- We will put water conservation at the heart of our advocacy programmes for agriculture, rural and urban development. We will promote water conservation through all means and promoting recycling and reuse of water in all sectors.
- Water is a public right, but also a public responsibility. We believe that while pricing of water must ensure that users internalise ethics of conservation, it is also imperative that it be sustainable and affordable.
- The AIPC will highlight the continued pollution activity in our rivers. We will support efforts to clean up rivers on a large scale.
- The AIPC will advocate that India launch “Green National Accounts” by 2016-17, to ensure that the costs of environmental degradation are clearly reflected in India’s national accounts. We will also push for developing indicators that will provide data to the public on the state of our natural resources.
- We will raise our voice in support of tribal and forest-dwelling communities, and ensure they get benefits from forest produce, including bamboo and other non-timber forest produce.
- We will support the idea that revenues from forest-based activities, including from wildlife tourism, are shared with local communities. This will serve as a bedrock for making forest conservation more durable and effective.
- We will continue to support the implementation of the various missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change.
- India is one of the world’s mega biodiverse countries. We will give the highest priority to protecting this biodiversity.