Environment Ministry, Teri Sign MOU to Set up a Resource Efficiency Cell

In the run-up to World Environment Day, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) today launched a number of initiatives to support the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) focus on waste management and resource efficiency.

MoEFCC and TERI entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a resource efficiency cell in the Ministry. The main objectives of the Cell are to provide a platform for mainstream resource efficiency in public policy. It aims to achieve this through coordinated thinking among the various relevant Ministries and agencies for promoting resource efficiency in the use of materials in the country. It also aims to ensure a ‘systems’ thinking based on materials, products, and processes, apart from enabling the preparation of an overarching resource efficiency policy for India and coordinated sectoral policies and regulatory mechanisms.

At the event hosted by TERI, the European Union and MoEFCC also signed a Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) to support the implementation of the EU Resource Efficiency Initiative (EU-REI) Project in India, with a specific objective to foster the efficient and sustainable use of natural resources in India. The JDI seeks to strengthen technological, scientific and management capacities of MoEFCC, the EU, and other relevant partners from private and public sector along with the implementing partners in the field of Resource Efficiency.

Aims and objectives:

The main objectives of the Cell are to provide a platform for mainstream resource efficiency in public policy.

It aims to achieve this through coordinated thinking among the various relevant Ministries and agencies for promoting resource efficiency in the use of materials in the country.

It also aims to ensure a ‘systems’ thinking based on materials, products, and processes, apart from enabling the preparation of an overarching resource efficiency policy for India and coordinated sectoral policies and regulatory mechanisms.

NITI Aayog in collaboration with the European Union delegation to India has released the Strategy on Resource Efficiency. The strategy aims to promote resource efficiency in India.

This strategy is the first policy document to emphasize resource productivity in the country. The Strategy emphasizes on Sustainable Public Procurement (SSP) as an action agenda which will be the market transformation tool to transform to a resource efficient economy.

It is developed with the recommendations from the Indian Resource Efficiency Programme (IREP), launched by the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and Indian Resource Panel (InRP) in April 2017.

What is Resource Efficiency and why do we need it?

Resource efficiency very simply put is making more with fewer materials. In practice, through a life-cycle approach, it leads to minimizing the impact on the environment & the associated societal burdens, transforming ‘waste’ into ‘resources’ fostering circular economy, and strengthening resource security.

Resource Efficiency and Circular Economies are important goals and central principles for achieving sustainable development. Sustainability is a global priority and SDGs commitment and 11th Five-year plan also clearly enunciate importance of Resource efficiency (RE).

India’s large population, rapid urbanization and expanding industrial production have led to exploitation of available limited natural resources with concerns regarding resource depletion and future availability becoming more pronounced. Ensuring resource security requires and integrated, a concerted and collaborative approach in order to fulfill the needs of a vast and growing population. Also, the environmental burdens emanating due to resource extraction, utilization and disposal, including land degradation, biodiversity loss, as well as air and water pollution remain of great concern, Enhancing resource efficiency (RE) and promoting the use of secondary raw materials (SRM) is a pertinent strategy to address these challenges and reduce dependence on primary resource.

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