India to take lead role in promoting 'green economy': PM Modi


Gandhinagar, Feb 17: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the country would take a leading role in promoting green economy including conservation of mountain ecology with people's participation.

Addressing COP13 delegates in Gandhinagar via video conferencing from Delhi, Modi said, "The present assessment also indicates that the total forest cover is 21.67 per cent of the total geographical area of the country. The number of protected areas has increased from 745 in 2014 to 870 in 2019 with an area coverage of nearly 1.7 lakh square km."

"The range of our initiatives includes an ambitious target of 450 megawatts in renewable energy, a push towards electric vehicles, smart cities, conservation of water and more," he said.

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Highlighting government conservational efforts to save wildlife, PM Modi said "efforts "India is supporting more than 60 per cent of the global Asian elephant population. 30 elephant reserves have been identified by our states."

"We have launched Project Snow Leopard, to protect the animal and its habitat in the Upper Himalayas. The Gir landscape in Gujarat is the only home for the Asiatic lion and the pride of the country. We have initiated an Asiatic Lion conservation project since Jan 2019 to protect them. Today, the population of Asiatic Lions stands at 523," he said.

"India has the distinction of having a population of almost 2,970 tigers. India has achieved its target of doubling the number of targets two years before the committed date of 2022," he said.

"India would be taking a leading role in promoting green economy including conservation of mountain ecology with people's participation," he added.

The UN conference, which started today in Gandhinagar, will conclude on February 22.

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