Berlin (dpa) – Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke is travelling to India with the aim of strengthening cooperation on environmental protection. “With its large population, growing economy and great biodiversity, India is extremely important in terms of achieving global environmental targets,” Lemke told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.
The minister said that plans included cooperation on improved forest conservation. In India, the livelihoods of 300 million people – especially women – depended on forests, said Lemke, but an estimated 43 percent of India’s forests was degraded. For this reason, she said, her ministry would be providing 17.5 million euros in funding under the International Climate Initiative for a forest protection project. The money is to be used for reforestation and forest restoration.
Following her inaugural visit to the Indian government, Lemke will represent the Federal Government at the G20 meeting of environment and climate protection ministers in Chennai, a port and car city in the south-east of the country. Another subject to be discussed at the meeting is negotiations on a global agreement to prevent plastic waste.
India currently holds the G20 presidency. Most recently, Economics Minister Robert Habeck and Labour Minister Hubertus Heil visited what is now the most populous country in the world.