Clean Ganga initiative Namami Gange gets UN honour

Namami Gange has been recognized by the UN as one of the top 10 World Restoration Flagships to revive the natural world.

The Ganga rejuvenation initiative christened Namami Gange, which was kicked off in 2014 after recognizing the need towards rejuvenating River Ganga, is now among laurels. The project which had seen over $5 billion earmarked initially towards ensuring the cleaning up of the river has been recognized by the United Nations (UN) as one of the top 10 World Restoration Flagships to revive the natural world.

Namami Gange was picked from over 150 such initiatives from 70 countries around the globe. They were selected under the banner of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a global movement coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Designed to prevent and reverse the degradation of natural spaces across the planet, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration found the Namami Gange initiative as eligible for added UN support, funding and technical expertise.

Namami Gange monitored by National Ganga Council

Namami Gange is an initiative that is closely monitored by the National Ganga Council chaired by the Prime Minister and regularly reviewed by the Union Minister for Jal Shakti. The initiative has had wholehearted support from the government. Proceeds of the annual auction of gifts received by the Prime Minister are channelled to the Clean Ganga Fund so as to encourage public contribution in Government’s endeavour to clean the River Ganga.

The recognition of Namami Gange as one of the top-10 ecosystem restoration initiatives in the world may be seen as an endorsement of the efforts being made by the National Mission for Clean Ganga for the restoration of the riverine ecosystem.

The River Ganga has much significance to India. The initiative makes sure that no untreated water or sewage or industrial effluents flow into the river. The efforts of Namami Gange have resulted in significantly enhanced capacity for treatment of sewage and industrial effluents in the Ganga basin, improvement in river water quality and biodiversity, and increase in the population of dolphins, turtles, otters, gharials and fishes like Hilsa.

Strengthening socio economical-river people connect

Arth Ganga, an integral part of the initiative, aims at strengthening the socio economical-river people connect. This has transformed the Mission into a Jan- Andolan. With innovative project management practices having successfully evolved, the Namami Gange initiative is now laying the path for cleaning up of other rivers in the country and world.

The United Nations has said that Namami Gange is an ambitious effort to rejuvenate the Ganga, a lifeline for millions of people in India. At a time when it is critical that we transform our exploitative relationship with nature, the positive impacts of this restoration cannot be underestimated, it added.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »

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