India takes strong steps towards achieving Paris Agreement goals

Manama [Bahrain], Oct 20 (ANI): Government of India took an important step toward its goals for low-carbon, climate-resilient development with the approval of a US$ 43 million grant from the Green Climate Fund, supporting climate resilience of millions of people living in the coastal states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha. The new project will be supported through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and is an essential step for India in reaching its goals outlined in the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UNDP said in a press statement. It added that these global compacts call on every nation to end poverty and hunger by 2030, and to take strong action to ensure no one is left behind in protecting vulnerable people from the extreme impacts of climate change. Over 1.7 million people are expected to directly benefit from livelihoods support, with another 10 million indirectly benefitting from improved shoreline protection. In reaching the Sustainable Development Goals for gender equality and reduced inequalities, the project is focused on providing tangible benefits for women, female-headed households, young people and the elderly, and members of Scheduled Castes and Tribes. Over 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 will be sequestered through restored ecosystems over the next 30 years. "India's coastal areas are quite vulnerable to climate change and this project focuses on selected vulnerable areas of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha states. The new project, with GCF assistance, will not only help enhance resilience and adaptability, but also lead to emissions reduction while providing support to local communities for their livelihoods. It aligns well with the priorities of the National Action Plan on climate change, the State Action Plans, as well as the nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement," said Ravi S. Prasad, Joint Secretary, Climate Change, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India. The Indian government will finance an additional US$ 86.8 million toward the new project to mainstream and accelerate the impacts of the Green Climate Fund grant. To be led by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, with support from UNDP, the six-year project will work with communities in restoring ecosystems and promoting climate-resilient livelihood options, such as the sustainable farming of mud crabs. To protect life on land and below water as outlined in the 2030 Agenda, project activities will focus on the restoration and conservation of over 15,000 hectares of mangroves, coral reefs, seagrasses and salt marshes. Communities, including local youth, will be trained to work with scientists in monitoring ecosystem health and coastal ecology. "In addition to helping communities establish more climate-resilient livelihoods, this multi-dimensional project will contribute to global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - over 3.5 million tonnes of CO2 will be absorbed through restored ecosystems. It will also have considerable long-term environmental benefits including healthier ecosystems, better biodiversity conservation and improved buffering against climate change-driven extreme weather," said Francine Pickup, Country Director at UNDP India. (ANI)
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