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Abstract

India has drawn up plans for it to contribute to the fulfilment of the UN’s Global Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. This chapter focuses on India’s plans for fostering biodiversity conservation in relation to sustainable development goal 15 of this agenda. The aim of SDG15 is to conserve natural ecosystems and life (biodiversity) on land. As noted in this chapter, there is a lack of clarity in Global Agenda 2030 about what ecosystems and components of biodiversity are worthy of preservation. Also the concept of sustainable development is not well defined. Therefore, Global Agenda 2030 gives individual nations considerable leeway in applying these objectives. Furthermore, the targets associated with the UN’s SD goals are ‘fuzzy’ and individual nations are at liberty to decide which targets to pursue. India has selected only three of the twelve UN targets as a part of its contribution to satisfying SDG15, and these are only partly covered by its planning specifications. The reasons for India’s choice and the limitations of its choice are discussed. Also the implications for biodiversity conservation of India’s other SD targets (e.g. those pertaining to water and food supplies) are analyzed and deficiencies are noted. It is contended that India’s SD responses to Global Agenda 2030 reflect the ‘fuzziness’ of the agenda itself. There is a real risk that India will not meet its conservation targets and significantly improve the state of its environment by 2030. It is predicted that India is unlikely to follow a ‘green’ path policy in order to achieve sustainable development by 2030 given that a pro-economic growth climate is likely to prevail politically for some time yet in India.

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