Hyderabad: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s announcement of USD 50 million grant for strengthening institutional mechanism for biodiversity conservation and his idea of "GDP of the poor" are highly laudable, a top UNEP official said today.
"The announcement by the Prime Minister on investing USD 50 million towards biodiversity conservation in India during its presidency (of CBD), I believe, is a tremendously important signal," United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner told reporters here.
"It is an unmistakable signal to the Indian society as much as international community that this issue (biodiversity conservation) is featuring on political radar of Government."
He lauded Singh`s comments about the concept of "GDP of the poor" during the latter`s speech yesterday at the ongoing convention on biological diversity here.
India has assumed presidency of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) for a period of two years at the convention.
To a query, the UNEP official said contrary to popular perception that environment protection measures slow down economic growth, environment regulations have actually found to have improved efficiency of economies.
Highlighting the cause of a green economy, Steiner said national Governments, whether developed or developing countries, can plan a shift to green economy if the leadership is clear about its long-term development strategies.
Meanwhile, the UNEP today appointed Pavan Sukhdev, a banker and environmental economist, as its new Goodwill Ambassador to raise awareness on value of natural resources.