The National Cadet Corps (NCC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) signed an MoU to tackle the issue of plastic pollution and achieve the universal goal of clean water bodies through ‘Puneet Sagar Abhiyan’ and ‘Tide Turners Plastic Challenge Programme’.
The MoU will remain in force for a period of three years and aims at consolidating, developing and detailing their cooperation and effectiveness to achieve the common objectives in the field of environment.
The Tide Turners Plastic Challenge is a global youth movement to fight plastic pollution around the world. It is designed to inspire young individuals to reflect upon their plastic consumption, discover solutions to reduce this consumption, and lead change in their homes, communities, institutions and offices.
Puneet Sagar Abhiyan
• On December 1, 2021, the NCC launched ‘Puneet Sagar Abhiyan’, initially for one month, to clean sea shores of plastic and other waste material and increase awareness about the importance of keeping our seas free from plastic waste.
• It aims to propagate the message of importance of ‘clean sea shores/beaches’ amongst the local population and future generation.
• It was subsequently extended as a pan-India round-the-year campaign to cover rivers and other water bodies as well.
• The NCC mobilised its cadets to collect plastic and other waste material. The campaign gained tremendous momentum, acceptance and participation following its launch.
• Different ministries and organisations have extended their support to the NCC in this noble cause.
• Since the launch of ‘Puneet Sagar Abhiyan’, over 100 tonnes of plastic waste have been collected from nearly 1,900 locations by more than 12 lakh NCC cadets, alumni and volunteers, impacting 1.5 crore people. Of the approximately 100 tonnes of collected plastic waste, more than 60 tonnes have been handed over for recycling.
• Following the growing support and success of the campaign, the UNEP, engaged in this initiative through their ‘Tide Turners Plastic Challenge Programme’, decided to join hands with the NCC, with the aim to leverage the youth organisation’s strengths.
• The UN body has the mandate and knowledge base for addressing various issues relating to the environment, including plastic pollution and has a programme for engaging youth.
• The aim of the MoU between NCC and UNEP is to synergise and collate efforts towards engaging youth for promoting clean water bodies.
The objectives are to:
i) Engage in capacity building and awareness on environmental sustainability through information sharing and training initiatives.
ii) Promote opportunities for NCC cadets to participate in appropriate national and international platforms related to the environment.
iii) Climate change and engage in and develop joint initiatives of mutual intent pertaining to environment and climate change.
Pillar of India’s climate change resolve
The ‘Puneet Sagar Abhiyan’ is among the slew of initiatives taken by the government to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2070. At the UN COP26 in Glasgow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi listed out five commitments of India to combat climate change. These are:
1) India will reach its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030.
2) India will meet 50 percent of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030.
3) India will reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now on till 2030.
4) By 2030, India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by less than 45 per cent.
5) By the year 2070, India will achieve the target of net zero.