60 Years of Indo-German Development Cooperation (2018 | Issue 2)

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Environment Watch - Indo-German Environment Partnership

Environmental degradation and nuclear disasters were a wake-up call for the world. People sat up and realised the environment needed to be actively protected. Cut to the 21st century: Germany has become a world leader in environmental technology. As one of India’s most important development partners, it offers technical expertise and soft loans for environmental protection and climate action. What’s Up, Germany? gives you an overview of what’s being done to mitigate environmental degradation and battle climate change with Germany’s help.

The scale and rate of India’s urban and industrial development goes a long way in improving its citizens’ living standards. But this development comes at a cost: increased pollution and a greater strain on natural resources like raw materials, land and water. This calls for strong measures to protect our soil, water and air, and to conserve our biodiversity. The Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) was formed for this purpose. Its mandate is to prevent and control pollution; conserve flora and fauna; and reduce deforestation and land degradation.

A fragile Himalayan ecosystem

Image: © GIZ

A fragile Himalayan ecosystem

The waste-to-energy plant, Nashik

Image: © GIZ

The waste-to-energy plant, Nashik

Waste Solutions

Between 2012 and 2015, MoEFCC and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) launched the Indo-German Environment Partnership (IGEP) programme to develop environmental solutions in densely populated urban areas and industrial zones. The goal was to support decision-makers at the national, state and local levels to ensure inclusive economic growth that didn’t deplete resources. Much work has been done. Sewage projects in industrial parks in Andhra Pradesh resulted in purified water being produced and used for irrigation. Nashik Municipal Corporation implemented a highly innovative waste-to-energy project that produced clean energy from wastewater and organic waste. Environmentally friendly processes were introduced in the textile and paper industries of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka.

WTE_Chamber

Image: © GIZ

The waste-to-energy plant, Nashik

Flow of Funds

Since 2016, the priority areas are climate change adaptation in villages; conservation of natural resources and biodiversity; and promoting rural livelihoods. Through GIZ, seven states in India are using the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) to carry out projects worth €19.6 million. Financial assistance and knowledge sharing have enabled farmers to increase their production and have a more secure livelihood in spite of climatic changes. Around 330,000 rural entrepreneurs have already been provided with better earning opportunities.

Better yields for small-scale potato farmers

Image: © GIZ

Better yields for small-scale potato farmers

Conservation Efforts

As regards the conservation of natural resources, the focus is on safeguarding India’s forests, wetlands, coastal and marine ecosystems, and their biodiversity. Germany is supporting the Indian government’s efforts to set up incentive schemes that will offer people financial rewards for using their ecosystems in a sustainable manner. GIZ has also equipped over 10,000 gram panchayats (village councils) with remote sensing technology to plan rainwater harvesting systems. In addition, Germany supported the launch of the India Business and Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI), which has 27 Indian companies with a combined annual turnover of €320 billion participating. IBBI’s goal is to sensitise and guide Indian businesses in biodiversity conservation.

Low-carbon Future

Both India and Germany are committed to battling climate change and realise that low-carbon development is the only way to go. Germany has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by a whopping 80–95 percent by 2050, while India has a 33–35 percent target by 2030. With Germany’s help, India can take a giant leap towards a cleaner economy.