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Clean up the World
Tree Plantation for Gandhi@150

Clean up the World

Tree Plantation for Gandhi@150

21 September 2019


High Commissioner Tanmaya Lal

Hon. Acting President Mr. Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory,

Hon. Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development, Social Security & National Solidarity, Mr. Sinatambou,

Hon’ble Members of Parliament,

Colleagues from the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development,

My colleagues High Commissioner of Australia and Ambassador of Japan,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to thank the Government of Mauritius and my Australian colleague for this collaboration on an important initiative. We are happy to join hands with you all here today.

The significance of this remarkable initiative of ‘Clean up the World’, is clear and its message is of utmost relevance for all our countries. It is directly linked to promoting healthy lives and sustainable economies.

My colleague the High Commissioner of Australia has just spoken about the very serious problems faced by the pollution of plastics and micro-plastics, especially in our oceans.

India represents one sixth of the world’s population. India has a coastline of over 7,500 km, alongwith a large number of islands. The scale of the challenge faced by us in terms of pressures on our environment, especially from solid waste, is huge but we are taking ambitious actions to meet this challenge.

The Indian Government is placing a lot of emphasis on tackling this pollution problem and also making large scale efforts on concrete climate action and achieving the sustainable development goals.

We are also working with partners on climate action for instance through the International Solar Alliance and in development projects through south south cooperation.

Clean India Mission or the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is one of the flagship initiatives of our Government.

A series of measures are being undertaken to raise awareness about the benefits of reusable and recyclable materials, especially among the young.

Transformational changes are underway in India in this regard, led by the personal leadership and commitment of Prime Minister Modi.

Extensive campaigns are on in India to improve access to clean water and sanitation; reducing air pollution through a series of measures such as promoting renewable energy, improved energy efficiency of appliances such as bulbs and industrial equipment; improving the water quality of major rivers including the Ganga river; restoring water bodies; cleaning of beaches, for instance in Mumbai mainly by thousands of private citizens helping the government authorities; banning the use of single-use plastics etc.

India will also actively participate at the Climate Action Summit being organized by the UN Secretary General on Monday in New York and highlight some of the actions being undertaken by our government within India as also in collaboration with partners worldwide.

Excellencies, friends,

This year marks the 150th Birth Anniversary year of Mahatma Gandhi. He is widely known for his leadership of the remarkable non-violent struggle of our peoples to freedom. His birthday is celebrated as the UN’s International Day of Non Violence.

But besides his fight against injustice, his whole life was also an inspiration for so many other aspects that touch our lives and society.

For instance, during his visit to Mauritius in 1901, he stressed the importance of education as the road to empowerment.

He led by example and laid great stress on cleanliness, sanitation and clean environment and encouraged everyone to make personal efforts in this regard.

He always advocated sustainable economic activities that minimised impact on our environment. He stressed the value of the ancient wisdom of maintaining harmony with nature.

Many of these ideas and messages continue to hold relevance today, as we can see from initiatives such as the one we are focusing today.

We are, therefore, grateful to our friends for this initiative to plant trees also as a tribute to Gandhiji’s life and his abiding message.

We commend the Government of Mauritius and all other partners in their excellent work to support each other in these endeavours.

We look forward to working with you.

Thank you.


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