World Environment Day 2024 | Know about THESE 5 programmes paving the way for a greener India!

World Environment Day 2024 | Know about THESE 5 programmes paving the way for a greener India!

This year's theme focuses on land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience.

Every year on June 5, World Environment Day unites global communities to address pressing environmental issues. Established by the United Nations, this day underscores the imperative of preserving Earth's natural resources. It encourages introspection on individual environmental footprints and catalyses collective action for sustainability.

With the 2024 theme focusing on "Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience," it highlights critical challenges. So, on this day, let's know about India's top 5 green initiatives toward fostering a greener, cleaner nation.

1. Namami Gange Programme

Flagged off in 2014, the Namami Gange Programme is an ambitious initiative, backed by a substantial budget of ₹20,000 crore. This flagship mission aims to combat pollution and rejuvenate the National River Ganga through integrated conservation efforts. Key achievements include the removal of floating waste, biodiversity conservation, increased sewage treatment capacity, construction of toilets in rural areas, and industrial effluent monitoring. So far, 280 projects have been completed out of 457 under this transformative programme.

2. Green Skill Development Programme

The Green Skill Development Programme (GSDP) launched by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change aims to empower India's youth with skills in the environment and forest sectors. Targeting over 5.5 lakh trainees, it was started on May 15, 2018. GSDP supports Nationally Determined Contributions and Sustainable Development Goals, creating opportunities for gainful employment and advancing biodiversity conservation and waste management efforts across India.

3. Nagar Van Scheme

Launched on World Environment Day 2020, Nagar Van Yojana aims to create 1,000 urban forests across Indian cities to promote a healthy living environment and sustainable urban development. Targeting 200 urban forests within five years, the scheme utilises existing or vacant lands offered by local bodies and is funded by CAMPA. Early projects include urban forests in Nagpur, Goa, and Ranchi, inspired by Pune's Warje Urban Forest in Maharashtra.

4. Atal Bhujal Yojana

Atal Bhujal Yojana, a Central Sector Scheme launched on December 25, 2019, aims to enhance groundwater management through community participation, ensuring its long-term sustainability in India. Dedicated to India's former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, this ₹6,000 crore initiative targets seven states, covering 78 districts, 193 blocks, and 8350 gram panchayats, and is jointly funded by the Government of India and the World Bank.

5. National Clean Air Programme

The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is a crucial initiative launched in January 2019 to combat air pollution and enhance air quality nationwide. Targeting a 20-30% reduction in PM10 and PM2.5 levels by 2024, NCAP implements city-specific action plans, Integrated Command and Control Centres in smart cities, and promotes the shift to CNG vehicles. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has recently urged MoEFCC to expedite efforts and set more ambitious targets.

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