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Has Rio mattered for India? Agreements and Achievements in Sustainable Development


Has Rio mattered for India? Agreements and Achievements in Sustainable Development Ligia Noronha TERI Workshop on Institutional Framework on Sustainable Development – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Has Rio mattered for India? Agreements and Achievements in Sustainable Development

Has Rio mattered for India?Agreements and
Achievements in Sustainable Development
Ligia NoronhaTERI Workshop on Institutional
Framework on Sustainable Development
International Centre for Environment Audit and
Sustainable Development, (iCED) Jaipur 28
September 2011
A development path is sustainable if it meets
needs of the present without compromising the
ability to do the same in future. Sustainable
development is a process of change in which the
exploitation of resources, the direction of
investments, the orientation of technological and
institutional change enhance not merely the
current but the future potential to meet basic
needs. Needs are socially and culturally
determined and the only definition that is
sustainable is one which is accepted by the
people themselves.
Sustainable development
  • Requires that
  • the basic needs of all persons should be met.
  • The affluent everywhere aim at consumption
    standards which, in time if not immediately, can
    be reached by everyone and which are within the
    bounds of the ecological possible.
  • A societys ability to meet basic needs be
    maximized both by building up its sustainable
    productive potential and by institutional
    arrangements which offer a more equitable access
    to resources and livelihood opportunities.
  • Long before these limits are reached the
    concerned community should (a) ensure equitable
    access to the constrained resource and (b)
    reorient its technological efforts to relieve the
    pressure on the constraint.
  • The elements in natural systems critical for the
    maintenance of life be identified and all human
    activities be oriented so as to avoid endangering
    these elements locally, regionally or globally.

Nitin Desai, W0152c/ND/es/23.06.86
Sustainable development
  • Wide acceptability of concept
  • But inadequate political commitment
  • As a goal and mission of countless organizations
  • Fuzziness of the concept which interestingly
    allows consensus building
  • Provides a common language
  • Unifying core - built around needs, ecological
    limits, and social acceptability
  • Long term, beyond electoral cycles
  • Requires cross sectoral thinking
  • But silos mentality protection of turf
  • Needs recognition of trade offs
  • Everything is a not a win win
  • Requires burden sharing

What do we mean when we speak of SD?
  • The paradigm
  • The interfaces

Involves not just economic efficiency but also social justice, environmental stewardship
Empowerment of social groups in decision-making
People and expert directed policies
Integrated planning
Decentralization in policy-making and implementation
People as actors
Ex ante preventive action
Reliance also on incentive based systems
Incomparable values need to be observed
Longer horizons scenarios uncertainty built in
Internalization of external costs
Knowledge supplements science
Socio-ecological multi attribute assessments used
Participatory and process oriented procedures to environmental management
IEG and Sustainable Development
TERI, 2011
About key international institutions working on
SD issues
  • UN system does not lack institutions to deliver
    on sustainable development. What it does lack is
    coordination and coherence within the system.
  • CSD has become a negotiating forum, not
    dialogic enough to bring various stakeholders
    together on contested issues
  • UNEP should not hanker for political space and
    power. Instead, it should focus on strengthening
    its current functions, as an implementing
    agency and as a coordinating agency that
    helps in clustering of MEAs and REAs.
  • ECOSOC is incomplete without an environmental arm
  • MEAs lack coherence and need more national

State of the world
  • The MDG report 2011 suggests that reaching all
    the MDGs by 2015 will be a challenge as the most
    vulnerable are still beyond reach. This is
    especially so in Sub Saharan Africa and South
  • There are still 1.2 billion very poor people
    (those living on less than 1 a day) and 40 of
    the worlds population still lives on less than
  • The worlds richest 500 individuals have a
    combined income greater than that of the poorest
    416 million, the average income in the richest
    20 countries is 37 times that in the poorest 20
    a ratio that has doubled in the past 40 years
  • More than 1 billion people in low- and
    middle-income countries lack access to safe
    water, 1.4 billion have no access to electricity
    , and 2 billion lack adequate sanitation
  • Two-thirds of all fisheries are exploited at or
    beyond their sustainable limits, and half or more
    of the worlds coral reefs may perish in this
  • Three of nine interlinked planetary boundaries
    (rate of biodiversity loss, climate change and
    human interference with the nitrogen cycle), have
    already been overstepped as per recent estimates.

New and emerging challenges
  • Transnational risks such as communicable disease,
    climate change, water conflicts, energy
    security, cyber security, and terrorism
  • Since 2008, we have witnessed high financial
    volatility and uneven growth performance which
    has increased social distributive tensions.
  • Increased burden of disease in developing
    countries, estimated between 25-25, attributed
    to environmental causes. Risks are linked to
    poverty, gender and social factors.
  • Many of these security concerns, serious enough
    on their own, also have inter linkages, e.g.,
    food-energy-water, climate-energy-security
  • An increasing international development and
    environmental commitments funding gap estimated
    in the range of 324-336 bn/ year between 2012
    and 2017 ( 156 bn for climate change, 168-180
    bn for ODA).
  • A reduced multilateralism

Global Partnerships will depend on commitment of
nations to development
CDI, 2010
Source http//www.cgdev.org/section/initiatives/
Indias engagement with international sustainable
  • Active engagement with the concept since it first
    came into use
  • Engaged with many of its own challenges but has
    many innovations to offer the international
  • Responses to Climate change are ensconced in
    the common but differentiated responsibility
  • A wide array of laws, policies and programmes
    that address SD issues. Some key ones at the

India and International Agreements
  • India has been in the forefront of international
  • WTO Agreement (1995),
  • RTA with ASEAN (2009),
  • Bilateral Investments Promotion and Protection
    Act (BIPAs),
  • Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Racial
    Discrimination (1968),
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political
    Rights (1979), Committee on the Elimination of
    Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, 1993), C
  • Convention on the Rights of a Child
  • India is one of the founding members of the ILO

Major Environmental agreements India is a party to
  • Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, 1971- designated
    25 wetland sites in India as Ramsar Sites of
    International Importance
  • CITES (Convention on International Trade in
    Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna
  • Montreal Protocol under the Vienna Convention on
    substances that deplete the ozone layer, 1987
  • Three Chemical Conventions
  • Basel Convention on trans-boundary movement of
    hazardous wastes, 1989
  • Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic
    Pollutants (POPs)
  • Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent
    Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and
    Pesticides in International Trade (entered into
    force from 2004)
  • Rio Conventions
  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), 1992
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
    Change, 1992 and Kyoto Protocol
  • United Nations Convention to Combat
    Desertification (UNCCD)

Indian laws at the SD interfaces
Socio-ecological (environment and social) Socio-ecological (environment and social)
Key Acts Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991 National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995 The National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1997 National Green Tribunal Act, 2010
Social equity (economic and social) Social equity (economic and social)
Key Acts Person with Disabilities Act, 1995(right to employment of the disabled) The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Right Act, 2001 The Patents (Amendment) Act, 2005 Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007
Green economy (economic and environment) Green economy (economic and environment)
Key Acts Energy Conservation Act, 2001 The Electricity Act, 2003
Sustainable development (social, environment and economic) Sustainable development (social, environment and economic)
Key Acts The (Wildlife Protection Act), 1972 and its amendments in 1991, 2002 Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act, 1996 Biological Diversity Act, 2002 and the Biological Diversity Rules, 2004 National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 Forests Rights Act, 2006
Indias policies/programmes at the interfaces
Social equity (economic and social) Social equity (economic and social)
Key Policies and Programmes Rural Infrastructure Development Fund, 1995 Annapurna Scheme, 2000-01 Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, 2007 Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme, 2007 Indira Gandhi National Widow Pension Scheme, 2009
Socio-ecological (environment and social) Socio-ecological (environment and social)
Key Policies and Programmes National Agricultural Policy, 2002 National Urban Sanitation Policy, 2008 Integrated Watershed Management Programme, 2009
Green economy (economic and environment) Green economy (economic and environment)
Key Policies and Programmes Technological Upgradation Fund Schemes, 1999 Fodder and Feed Development Scheme, 2005 Integrated Energy Policy of 2008 Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT)
Sustainable development (social, environment and economic) Sustainable development (social, environment and economic)
Key Policies and Programmes Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, 2005 National Urban Transport Policy, 2006 National Environmental Policy, 2006 National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy, 2007 National Action Plan on Climate Change, 2008 National Disaster Management Policy, 2009 National Rural Livelihood Mission, 2009
Economic Achievements
  • 7.2 GDP growth rate in the past decade with an
    8.25 GDP growth rate between 2005-06 to 2009-10.
  • Shifts in economic structure declining share of
    agriculture in the GDP, rise in share of industry
    and services in the last two decades.
  • MSME sector 26 million units and employs about
    60 million people, contributing to about 8 of
    GDP, 45 of manufactured output and 40 export
    (Economic Survey 2010-11)
  • FDI inflows increased from 148 million USD in
    1991-92 to 18,800 million USD in 2009-10.
  • Exports increased from 6.2 in 1990-91 to 12 in
  • Important policies, programmes and legal
    framework put in place Industrial Policy
    Statement (1991), National Rural Livelihood
    Mission, Right to Information Act (2005),
    National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (2005),
    Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Mission (2005),
    Public Liability Insurance Act (1991), etc.

Economic Challenges
  • Infrastructure shortages, particularly in the
    rural areas
  • Employment opportunities in urban areas higher
    than rural areas-- leading to high levels of
    rural-urban migration
  • Urban population growing at a faster rate than
    rural population causing a huge divide.
  • High levels of inflation in the country
  • High fiscal deficits need to restructure
    spending patterns based on identified priorities.
  • Strengthening of financial reforms to channel
    savings effectively into investment, meet funding
    requirements for infrastructure and enhance
    financial stability

Social Achievements
  • Process of a demographic transition from high
    fertility, high mortality to low fertility, low
    mortality rates--population growth declined from
    2.2 in 1994 to 1.9 in 2001.
  • Fertility rate reduced from 3.9 in 1990 to 2.8 in
    2010 life expectancy increased from 55.9 in 1991
    to 63.5 in 2002-06.
  • Literacy rate increased from 52.2 in 1991 to
    74.4 in 2011.
  • Sex ratio gone up from 927 in 1991 to 940 in 2011
  • Number of people with water supply facilities
    increased from 78 in 1981 to 91 in 2004.
  • Financial inclusion being encouraged for social
    and economic upliftment of the disadvantaged and
  • Important policies, programmes and legal
    framework put in place National Agricultural
    Policy, National Mission on Sustainable
    Agriculture (2008), Integrated Rural Development
    Programme (1970s), Education for All Campaign
    (Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan), National Rural Health
    Mission (2005), National Rural Livelihood Mission
    (NRLM, 2009) National Policy for Empowerment of
    Women (2001), CEDAW (2003), Public Liability
    Insurance Act (1991)

Social Challenges
  • Not able to achieve most MDGs related to health
    indicators--mostly due to inadequate access to
    public sector health facilities and the quality
    at which it is supplied.
  • Decline in child sex ratio to 914 in 2011- lowest
    since independence.
  • High urban-rural disparities in terms of people
    living below poverty line, infant mortality rate,
    maternal mortality rate, literacy, etc.
  • Need to focus on quality and access to education
    in the country more than running after numbers.
  • The proportion of population that has dietary
    energy consumption below 2100/2400 kcal in India
    seen to rise since 1987-88 with about 64 below
    the norm in 1987- 88 increasing to 76 in 2004-05
    (figure may be higher with rising food prices in
    last 2 years).

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
Goal No. Goal Progress
1 Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger Slow or Off Track
2 Achieve Universal Primary Education On Track or Fast
3 Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women Moderately on Track
4 Reduce Child Mortality Slow or Off Track
5 Improve Maternal Health Slow or Off Track
6 Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Other Diseases Moderate to Slow Track
7 Ensure Environmental Sustainability On track to Off Track Depending on the Indicators
8 Develop a Global Partnership for Development On track
Underweight children
40 of children lt 3 yrs will be underweight by
2015 as compared to target of 26.8
Key reasons inadequate breastfeeding,
micronutrient inadequacies, absence of child and
maternity benefits, poverty, nutrition education,
SourceMOSPI, India Country Report 2009, MDG
civil society report, 2010
Infant (under five) mortality
UN5 mortality can come down to 70/1000 live
births as against target of 42/1000
  • key reasons
  • pneumonia, measles, diarrhoea, malaria and
    neonatal conditions that occur during pregnancy
    and during or immediately after birth.
  • Lack of health care, maternal and child
    malnutrition and poor environmental health

Source GOI, India Country Report 2009, MDG civil
society report, 2010
Maternal health
MMR is expected to come to 135/100,000 as
compared to 109 target
Key reasons main causes of maternal deaths are
as follows Haemorrhage (38), Sepsis (11) and
Abortions (8), Obstructed Labour (5),
Hypertensive Disorder (5) and other conditions
(34) (p 61 of MDG Report) Maternal malnutrition
is another key issue (RGI, 2006)
Source MOSPI, India Country Report 2009, MDG
civil society report, 2010
Access to water, sanitation, clean energy
Rural-urban divide
Gender-poverty energy nexus
Even where infrastructure exists, service
delivery is poor
Source TERI, 2009
Bottlenecks to achieving MDGs
  • Sheer scale of the goals
  • Governance constraints
  • Capacity resources
  • Coordination
  • Other priorities?
  • Extreme events in some states
  • Falling external assistance

Indias external assistance as a percentage to
total GDP Source Economic survey, 2009, IMF
Economic database, 2010
Environment Achievements
  • Increase in forest and tree cover by 728 km2 and
    1106 km2 respectively in 2009 as compared to
    2005 21 percent of geographical area under
    forest cover.
  • According to the State Forest Report 2009, in the
    last 10 years, forest cover in the country has
    increased by 3.31 million hectares, showing an
    average 0.46 increase every year.
  • Energy intensity (total primary energy supply
    with respect to GDP) declined over time. For
    1980-90, it was estimated at 1.08 while the same
    for 1990-91 to 2003-04 was estimated to be 0.82.
  • Last ten years has seen close to 180,000 rural
    habitations being connected to all weather roads
    in the country.
  • India has also become one of the Clean
    Development Mechanism project host countries in
    the world with projects being undertaken at
    various levels.
  • Important policies, programmes and legal
    framework put in place National Action Plan on
    Climate Change (NAPCC, 2008), State Action Plan
    on Climate Change, Joint Forest Management Act
    (1990), Biological Diversity Act (2002),
    Environment (Protection) Act (1986), National
    Environmental Tribunal Act (1998), eight NAPCC
    missions, etc.
  • XIII th Finance Commission recognizes that
    environment is a shared legacy with future
    generations, and makes a beginning in introducing
    an environmental dimension into intergovernmental
    fiscal arrangements.

Environmental Challenges
  • Poor urban air quality in all Indian cities due
    to increasing vehicular fleet, industrial
    expansion, etc.
  • Water availability, land and food security a
    rising concern in the country.
  • Energy security (electricity and fuel) is still a
    huge problem. Energy poverty is a growing
    problem, specially in rural areas and it has
    major health implications.
  • Unsustainable patterns of consumption and
  • Increase in solid waste and e-waste
  • Climate change, natural disasters and hazards
  • Slow diffusion of climate and environmental
    friendly technologies
  • Conservative estimates suggest that environmental
    degradation takes a toll of about 4 of Indias
    GDP (morbidity due to unclean air and water,
    productivity loss due to degraded land and
    forests) and over 800,000 premature deaths (due
    to air and water pollution).

Example SD issues around the Western Ghats - a
biodiversity hotspot
Some Questions that we have been confronted with
from stakeholders, 2010-2011, WGEEP and Goa
  • Why should mining not be banned to arrest the
    further loss of cultural and biological diversity
    and destruction of the ecology of the Western
    Ghats? (WGEEP)
  • Why should mining be privileged over other land,
    waterways, forests and groundwater uses/users?
  • How have/are the intergenerational questions
    around mineral depletion been addressed?
  • Why is there so much illegal mining? Who is doing
    anything about it?
  • What about the corruption at all levels of

Regulatory coordination deficits
  • Strong set of environmental rules and
    regulations in place, but
  • EIAs are fraudulent Conditions of Environmental
    clearance are not observed
  • Discrete, stand alone EIAs when cumulative
    impact studies of development are needed
  • Not enough capacity at SPCB level
  • Absence of local monitoring institutions
  • Poor redressal of peoples concerns
  • Government machinery is perceived skewed in
    favour of corporates.
  • Lack of knowledge of ground realities in villages
    where several developments are taking place
  • Illegal activities logging, hunting, mining

Strengthening sustainable development
governance- what can ICED do
  • Provide improved environmental accounting to
    support informed policy making and policy
  • Draw attention to niche areas (co-benefits)
  • Analyse regulatory deficits
  • Help improve benefit sharing of development
  • Work towards environment and resource adjusted
    income accounting
  • Creation of Incentives for conservation and
  • Payments for ecosystem services
  • Reward good corporate/state performance
  • Encourage green innovations
  • Data bases need to be developed which can support
    regulation and good development planning, for
    example spatial data bases.

Thank you
Dr. Ligia Noronha,Director, Resources and Global
Security Division, TERIemail ligian_at_teri.res.in
phone 011-24682100, 41504900
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