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G20 India’s 3rd ECSWG meeting concludes with consensus-driven commitment

New Delhi: The 3rd Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG) meeting, held under India’s G20 Presidency, concluded in Mumbai with a commitment to facilitating tangible outcomes through a consensus-driven approach.

Over the course of three days, the meeting saw the participation of 141 delegates from G20 countries and 10 invitee countries. Representatives from 14 international and regional organizations also attended the deliberations.

The ECSWG outlined three priorities: arresting land degradation, promoting a circular economy, and giving impetus to the blue economy. Each meeting focused on one specific theme out of these three. The 3rd ECSWG meeting centered around the blue economy and was supported by two side events: the Mega Beach Clean-Up Event and the Ocean 20 Dialogue, held on the first day.

The Mega Beach Clean-Up Event at Juhu in Mumbai was a resounding success, with the participation of 20 countries and 37 Indian beaches from coastal states and Union Territories. 

The event aimed to raise awareness and sensitize people about the importance of a clean environment, aligning with the Prime Minister’s message on ‘Swachhta’ (cleanliness) and ‘Jan Bhagidari’ (public participation).

It highlighted the significance of the ‘Lifestyle for Environment’ (LiFE) concept and the impact of individual actions on tackling marine pollution. Close to 16,000 enthusiastic volunteers took part in the event, pledging to keep the beaches clean and emphasizing sustainable coastal management and the ocean economy.

The Ocean 20 Dialogue brought together international experts, innovators, community representatives, policymakers, and industry leaders to discuss emerging science, technology, innovation-driven solutions, effective and inclusive policy and governance challenges, and finance mechanisms to support blue economy endeavors at the national and regional levels.

On the second day, Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj Kapil M Patil, delivered the inaugural address, congratulating the Working Group on the successful Mega Beach Clean-Up Event. He commended the ECSWG’s efforts in addressing climate change and environmental issues. 

Leena Nandan, G20 India Chair and Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, expressed her gratitude to the delegates for their active engagement in the first two ECSWG meetings. She urged G20 countries to continue participating in the Communique discussion to ensure inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented, and decisive outcomes as the Working Group moves toward the final leg of proceedings under the India Presidency.

The primary agenda of the 3rd ECSWG meeting was detailed discussions on the draft Ministerial Communique, involving constructive discussions and deliberations on priority areas. Building on the Focus Group Discussions conducted by the Indian Presidency over the past three weeks across all three thematic priorities, the discussions aimed to be collaborative and inclusive. Member countries presented their viewpoints as the outcome documents were discussed line-by-line.

The 3rd ECSWG meeting concluded with discussions on the Communique, which will be further deliberated and refined in virtual meetings scheduled over the next few weeks leading up to the 4th and final ECSWG meeting in Chennai from 26-27 July, 2023. The Minister’s meet will take place on 28 July, 2023.

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