New Delhi: The Environment Ministers of BRICS countries on September 18, 2016 agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding and announced setting up of a Joint Working Group, institutionalizing their mutual cooperation on environment-related issues. The Ministerial Declaration highlights key agreements, which were adopted with mutual consensus. The areas agreed for mutual cooperation are – abatement and control of air and water pollution, efficient management of liquid and solid waste, climate change and conservation of biodiversity. This announcement was made by Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Mr Anil Madhav Dave, at a press conference held at the end of the second BRICS Environment Ministers meeting in Goa. This meeting was preceded by one-day of official level discussions between these countries.
Mr Dave said that technology transfer and finance are two issues that need to be addressed to achieve goals. He pointed out that BRICS has a major role to play and is a global idea. The Minister said that there was some agreement on areas such as air quality, water management and solid waste management in the meeting. The Environment Minister particularly emphasised that it is essential to preserve water bodies.
The Ministers of BRICS nations called upon the developed countries to honour their commitments relating to means of implementation and facilitate its operationalization, with a clear roadmap for the successful achievement of various global environmental agreements and Sustainable Development Goals.
The BRICS countries resolved to set up a platform for innovations, knowledge sharing and capacity building including a common website, network of technical institutions and undertake joint projects in areas of mutual interest.
The BRICS nations also reaffirmed their commitment to the Principles of Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, 1992 including Equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR).
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, comprising BRICS block together accounts for 41.6% of global population, 29.31 % of total world’s territory and about 22% of world’s total GDP have rich biodiversity and natural capital. The choices made by the BRICS countries have a global significance.
Brazil was led by Ambassador Mr Fernando Coimbra, Head of the Office for International Affairs at the Ministry of Environment. Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr Sergey Donskoy led the Russian delegation, while the Chinese delegation was led by Mr Zhao Yingmin, Vice-Minister of Environment Protection and the South African delegation was led by Minister of Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa, respectively.