Focus on biodiversity to achieve sustainable growth: Montek

Last Updated: Monday, August 26, 2013 - 20:25

Thiruvananthapuram: Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia Monday said biodiversity should be included as a significant topic in the policy formation to achieve sustainable growth.

Biodiversity should be included among the monitoring indicators, introduced in the 12th Five Year Plan, to achieve sustainable growth and development, he said.

He was delivering the birth centenary lecture on Prof A Abraham, the founder director of Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, at Palode near here.

"It is unfair to focus only on growth. In the 12th plan, we have included 25 monitoring indicators to identify multi-dimensional aspects like growth rate, manufacturing growth, poverty, gender differences and so on. Biodiversity should be included among them as sustainable indicator," he said.

He said the use of natural resources must be in a sustainable manner and the effective use of water, land and energy are essential for the overall of benefit of the country.

"A reduction in the demand of water use is necessary. Eighty per cent of the water available is being used for agriculture in the country in a highly ineffective way, while only 40 per cent needs to be used," he said.

Explaining the necessity of the effective use of land, he said land acquisition was a controversial issue today and policies regarding it were needed to be rebuilt.

"With 31 per cent of urbanisation, India is less urbanised compared to other countries. If the growth happens, the urban population will increase to 600 million, from the present 380 million, in the next 20 years. The challenge is how to bring the transition in a sustainable way," he said.

Cautioning that the demand of energy should be limited, Ahluwalia said, "All forms of energy are under priced, be it coal, kerosene, petrol or gas. Our approach to promote sustainability is defensive at present. But wee need to be more pro active."

PTI



First Published: Monday, August 26, 2013 - 20:25

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