The 3rd Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG) meeting under India’s G20 Presidency concluded in Mumbai today.
The three day meeting witnessed a participation of 141 delegates from G20 countries and 10 invitee countries. The representatives of 14 international and regional organisations also attended deliberations conducted over the 3 days.
The 3 priories outlined for the ECSWG were arresting land degradation, promoting circular economy and giving impetus to blue economy. All meetings focused on specific theme out of these three themes. The 3rd ECSWG, focussed on Blue Economy and was supported by two side events – Mega Beach Clean Up Event and the Ocean 20 Dialogue on Day 1 of the meeting.
The Mega Beach Clean Up Event at Juhu in Mumbai was a successful event which saw participation of 20 countries and 37 Indian beaches from the coastal states and Union Territories. The massive drive organized to sensitize people and create awareness is in alignment with the Prime Minister’s message on ‘Swachhta’ and ‘Jan Bhagidari’ and highlights the significance of ‘Lifestyle for Environment’ (LiFE) concept and the the importance of individual actions in tackling the menace of marine pollution. With a pledge to keep the beaches clean, the message sent out was that the beach cleaning event was not only a manifestation of sustainable coastal management and ocean economy but is very closely connected to the larger issue of marine pollution and the fact that our own behaviour has an impact on the environment. The event in India saw an participation of close to 16,000 enthusiastic volunteers.
The Ocean 20 Dialogue brought together international experts, innovators, community representatives, policymakers, and industry leaders, to facilitate discussions on aspects related to emerging science-technology-innovation driven solutions, challenges associated with effective and inclusive policy and governance, and avenues for establishing finance mechanisms to support national and regional Blue Economy endeavors.
The second day started with inaugural address by Shri Kapil M Patil, Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj, who congratulated the Working Group on the resounding success of the Mega Beach Clean Up Event and appreciated the hard work done by the ECSWG in the area of climate change and environment issues. This was followed by opening remarks for the day by Ms. Leena Nandan, G20 India Chair and Secretary, MoEFCC, who expressed her gratitude to the delegates for engaging actively in the first two ECSWG meetings. She appreciated that participation from countries had followed a constructive process and made the discussions so far, fruitful. Further, she urged the G20 countries for their continued participation in the Communique discussion to ensure inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented, and decisive outcomes as the Working Group moves closer towards the last leg of the proceedings under the India Presidency.
The primary agenda of the 3rd ECSWG meeting was the detailed discussions on the draft Ministerial Communique and entailed constructive discussions and deliberations on priority areas. Picking up the thread from the Focus Group Discussions which had been conducted by the Indian Presidency over the past three weeks across all the three thematic priorities, the discussions were conducted with a steadfast resolve of being collaborative and inclusive. The outcome documents were discussed line-by-line and the member countries presented their respective viewpoints.
The 3rd ECSWG meeting ended on a discussion mode on the Communique, to be further deliberated upon and refined in the virtual meetings scheduled over the next few weeks, as a run up to the 4th and final ECSWG meeting to be held in Chennai from 26th to 27th July, with the Minister’s meet on 28th July, 2023.