India has called for a judicious use of resources amidst concerns over resource depletion and scarcity. Addressing the 4th BRICS Ministerial meeting in Durban, South Africa today, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has said that a decrease in global materials, or at least stabilization at present levels, demand major reductions in metabolic rates in the Asia-Pacific region, especially India. He pointed out that this can become possible only through Resource Efficiency (RE) not only throughout the material life cycle, but also at the post-consumption stage. The Minister added that secondary resources (waste materials) need to be brought back into production, adopting a Circular Economy (CE) approach. Dr. Harsh Vardhan emphasised that Resource Efficiency (RE) and Circular Economy (CE) are key elements of Sustainable Development and impact resource efficiency and that is why there is a global commitment to achieve it. Reiterating India’s commitment to building responsive, inclusive and collective solutions, Dr. Harsh Vardhan underlined that BRICS nations face similar environmental concerns such as air pollution, waste management, resource crunch and climate change. “BRICS countries should together emphasize on the cooperation in air pollution control through technology transfer and requisite capacity building”, Dr. Vardhan said.
He urged BRICS nations to commit to cooperation and collaboration on technology transfer, capacity building and knowledge transfer at the country, regional and global levels.“BRICS countries can complement, facilitate access to and provide adequate information on existing science, technology and innovation platforms, avoiding duplications and enhancing synergies,” he averred. The Minister added that India will be pleased to contribute and provide further recommendations to the BRICS Environment Working Group on the modalities of Partnership for Urban Environmental Sustainability Initiative (PUESI). Dr. Vardhan expressed the confidence that the proposals on BRICS Environmentally Sound Technology (BEST) platform, clean river umbrella, circular economy, ocean economy, biodiversity and integrated water resources management will further strengthen the cooperation for sustainable development.Outlining the contours of the Green Good Deeds movement in India, Dr. Vardhan said, “We are asking people to alter their behaviour to Green Good behaviour to fulfil their Green Social Responsibility”. He urged the BRICS countries to jointly help in the development of a social movement that can be emulated by the rest of the world.Minister of Water and Environment Affairs, South Africa, Ms. Bomo Edith Edna Molewa, Vice-Minister for Environment, Energy, Science and Technology of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brazil, Mr J. Antonio Marcondes, DG, International Cooperation Department of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, Mr. Nuritdin Imanov, Vice-Minister of Ecology and Environment, China, Mr. Huang Runqiu and representative of United Nations Environment (UNEP), Mr. Jorge Laguna-Celis were among the distinguished ones present on the occasion.