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International Cooperation

The Ministry of Environment and Forests functions as a nodal agency for United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), South Asia Cooperation Environment Programme (SACEP), and International Centre for Integrated Mountain and Development (ICIMOD), International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and various international agencies, regional bodies and multilateral institutions.

India is signatory to the following important international treaties/agreements in the field of environment:

(i) International Convention for the regulation of Whaling;

(ii) International Plant Protection Convention;

(iii) The Antarctic Treaty;

(iv) Convention on Wetlands of international importance;

(v) Convention on International trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna;

(vi) Protocol of 1978 relating to the international convention for the prevention of pollution from ships;

(vii) Vienna Convention for the protection of the Ozone Layer;

(viii) Convention on Migratory Species;

(ix) Basel Convention on Trans-boundary movement of hazardous substances;

(x) Framework Convention on Climate Change;

(xi) Convention on conservation of bio-diversity;

(xii) Montreal Protocol on the substances that deplete the ozone layer and;

(xiii) International Convention for Combating Desertification.

The Ministry and its agencies receive assistance from various countries such as Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Australia, U.K., U.S.A., Canada, Japan, FRG, etc., on bilateral basis and from several UN and other multilateral agencies such as UNDP, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, OECF (Japan) and ODA (U.K.) for various environmental and forestry projects.

Global efforts to protect the ozone layer started in the early seventies leading to the adoption of the Vienna Convention on Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) in 1985 and the Montreal Protocol in 1987. 

India acceded to the Montreal Protocol, along with its London Amendment in 1992. To meet the country’s commitment on ODS phase-out under the protocol and to disseminate information on ozone and ODS, the Ministry has established an Ozone Cell.

A newsletter on ozone issues is being published by the Cell every two months and a number of workshops and seminars are also conducted to create awareness about ozone among industries.

UNEP-IE Ozone Action Programme, Paris held its first south-Asia ODS officers Network Meeting in Delhi.

Swiss Development Corporation organised a strategy workshop on service skill development in ecological refrigeration.

The Ministry provides custom/excise duty exemption for ODS phase-out projects and detailed guidelines/procedures have been finalised to grant duty exemption for new investments with non-ODS technologies.

A policy to issue licences for import of ODS has been implemented and the Reserve Bank of India, on the recommendation of the Ministry, has issued instructions to all commercial banks prohibiting finance or refinance of new investment.


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