Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a COP 14 Summit in Noida, Uttar Pradesh on Monday, pushed for a ban on the use of single-use plastic.
"My government has announced that India will put an end to single-use plastic in the coming years. I believe the time has come for even the world to say good-bye to single-use plastic," the prime minister said.
Speaking at the 14th Conference of Parties to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), PM Modi called upon the leadership of UNCCD to conceive global water action agenda which is central to Land Degradation Neutrality strategy.
"Augmenting water supply, enhancing water recharge, retaining moisture in soil are part of holistic land, water strategy," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced that India would raise its target for restoring degraded land from 21 million hectares to 26 million hectares by 2030.
Modi said between 2015 and 2017, India's tree and forest cover increased by 0.8 million hectares.
Promising India's cooperation in tackling the increasing menace of climate change and land degradation, the Prime Minister assured that India will be "happy" to propose steps for "greater South-South cooperation" in handling climate change, biodiversity and land degradation.
India has taken over COP presidency from China for two years, following which India will host the COP of all three Rio conventions, on climate change, biodiversity and land.
"India looks forward to making an effective contribution as we take over the COP Presidency for a two-year term," Prime Minister Modi added.
Last month, during his monthly radio address to the nation, 'Mann Ki Baat', the Prime Minister had pitched for launching a "new mass movement" against single-use plastic from October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. He also spoke about the initiative during the Independence Day address, urging people to join the movement.
(With inputs from agencies)
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