The Ministry of Environment & Forests is the nodal agency in the country for United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Nairobi, South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP), Colombo, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Annual financial contributions are made to these organisations. The Ministry also functions as the nodal agency for participation in international agreements relating to environment such as the Convention on Wetland of International importance, especially as waterfowl habitat, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, Conventions on Biological Diversity and Climate Change, Basel Convention on Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Substances etc.


Major activities undertaken during the year are as follows:

World Bank Assisted Project

India Environment Management Capacity Building Technical Assistance Project

In pursuance of the Environment Action Programme, 1993 a project entitled, India: Environment Management Capacity Building Technical Assistance Project has been initiated with assistance from the World Bank. The project will be implemented through the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Department of Ocean Development and the State of Gujarat. The main objective of the project is to enhance environmental management capacity in the country, specifically by strengthening environmental policy planning and administration, decentralisation of environmental management, implementation of environmental laws, monitoring and compliance in specific, high priority environmental problem areas. The project also seeks to strengthen the Gujarat Ecology Commission and the State Department of Forests and Environment of Gujarat.

The project involves a total outlay of US $ 61.48 millions comprising of IDA credit of US $ 50.00 million and US$ 11.48 million as counter part funding by the Government of India. Special emphasis is being placed on the State of Gujarat as an area specific programme as the State is not only one of the fastest growing industrial regions of the country, but also since the State is experiencing high levels of pollution. The project has been approved by the CCEA in August 97 and is well under implementation.


Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)

Officials from the Ministry participated in the 5th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development held in New York from 7-25 April, 1997 which discussed the issues relating to follow up of UNCED decisions, the role of CSD in future and the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The forthcoming sixth session of the CSD would focus on issues relating to fresh waters.


UN General Assembly Special Session

Minister for Environment & Forests led the Indian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly s Special Session held in June, 97 in New York. The objective of the Special Session was to review and appraise implementation of the Agenda 21 adopted by the UN Conference on Environment & Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in June, 1992.


United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

India participated in the High Level Committee of Ministers and Officers Meeting of UNEP in New York in June, 1997.


India participated in various meetings related to Environment organised by ESCAP during the year.


SAARC Environment Ministers Meeting

SAARC Environment Ministers Meeting hosted by India was held on 2nd and 3rd April, 1997 in New Delhi during which the following issues were discussed:

These issues were presented in the UN General Assembly Special Session held in June 1997 at New York. India also attended the SAARC Environment Ministers Meeting held at Male in October, 1997.


Global Environment Facility (GEF)

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is a financial mechanism that provides grants and low interest loans to developing countries to help them carry out programmes to relieve pressures on global ecosystems. The billion dollar plus fund supports international environment management and the transfer of environmentally benign technologies. The Facility is a cooperative venture among national governments, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in the areas of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Pollution of International Water. To qualify for funding from the Facility, a project must relate to at least one of its specific areas of concern. A further qualification is that a project would not be economically viable in the particular country without support from the Facility. The Ministry of Environment and Forests is the technical nodal point for this Facility in India.

Seven new projects for GEF funding have been approved for India. Several more projects have been formulated and are under advance consideration for possible GEF assistance. India participated in the 9th and 10th GEF Council Meetings held in Washington during April 30 - May 1 and November, 1997 respectively. Projects for possible GEF assistance should be sent to the Director, International Cooperation, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Paryavaran Bhavan, Lodi Road, New Delhi.


GEF Assembly

The first Global Environment Facility Assembly is being hosted by India during the month of April, 1998. A Working Group has been constituted in the Ministry for the purpose of providing the necessary technical inputs towards preparing for the Assembly meet. This Group consists of representatives of Ministries of Power, Coal, Science & Technology, Department of Economic Affairs, MNES, Tata Energy Research Institute and the United Nations Development Programme. The Assembly Meet will be preceded by the 11th GEF Council Meeting.


India-Canada Environment Facility (ICEF)

The India-Canada Environment Facility (ICEF) is a joint initiative of the Government of India and the Government of Canada created by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two governments for the purpose of undertaking projects related to the environment. The funding is provided by the Canadian International Development Agency. ICEF is a society registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act 1860. It is managed jointly by representatives from the two Governments (India and Canada). The goal of ICEF is to enhance the capacity of Indian Institutes to undertake and to manage environmentally sound development in the land, water and energy sectors in India.

The facility is administered by a Canadian Project Director and an Indian Interim Co-Director who are responsible for all aspects of the project.


Priority Areas of ICEF

The ICEF mandate focuses on:

The ICEF s priority is to develop natural resource and environmental management capacity within government, private sector and NGO/community organizations. The focus is mainly on the following four types of capacity-building activities (within which several cross- cutting objectives such as poverty alleviation, women s participation etc. occur):

Institutional Development: establishing or strengthening institutions for addressing specific resource management issues in the water and energy sectors, particularly where there is a need for community-based management of common property resources and improved management skills in government and non-government organizations, with a focus on self sustained capacity building.

Conservation and Restoration: undertaking specific actions, including necessary training and technical assistance but excluding infrastructure investment, which will redress environmental degradation and which demonstrate desirable resource and environmental management practices with potential for replication in other parts of India and long-term sustainability.

Policy and National Dialogue: providing analysis and discussion which will have an impact on national and state policies and related legislation and regulations, and which will heighten public awareness of the issues and alternatives, contribute to professional development and disseminate good resource and environmental management practices; includes development of linkages and networks between related ICEF projects and policy lessons stemming from field projects.

Technology Adoption: undertaking activities related to adoption and dissemination of pollution abatement, energy conservation and renewable energy technologies, including technical support, training, market development and some limited capital cost contribution, where it will stimulate economically viable, socially accepted and sustained use of these technologies.


Eligibility Criteria

Project funding under ICEF is open to government, non-government and private sector organizations active within the ICEF priority areas. Project selection emphasizes proposals which address specific water and energy issues while contributing to institutional capacity, public awareness, national policy dialogue and adoption of environmental technologies. ICEF will be particularly supportive of applications that can demonstrate:


What ICEF cannot Fund

While projects approved by ICEF so far have focussed on watershed management, future projects will concentrate on water quality and energy fields. The list of projects approved so far for funding under the ICEF is given at Annexure - VI.


UNDP Country Co-operation Framework-I

The Ministry of Environment and Forests has signed the Programme Support Document under the Country Cooperation Framework-I with the UNDP on 5/9/97 which provides a comprehensive focus on UNDP support to environment programme. The Programme which would be valid upto 2001, focusses on growth with equity, poverty alleviation and human development as the central concerns. The CCF-I strategy places emphasis on technology upgradation, poverty eradication and environmental preservation etc. The four thrust areas on which the Environment Programme stands are:-

To recommend , implement and manage the projects under this programme, a Programme Steering Committee has been constituted in the Ministry which comprises of senior officers of the Ministry, representatives of other concerned Ministries, representatives of UNDP and four NGOs, one each for the four identified thrust areas.

Project proposals for seeking assistance under this programme should be sent to Director, (International Cooperation), Ministry of Environment & Forests, Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi-110 003.


Ozone Layer Protection

Ozone (O3) is a form of oxygen in the atmosphere about 20 kms. above the earth s surface that efficiently screens out almost all the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. This radiation has the potential to cause skin cancer, eye damage; suppress body s immune system; decrease crop yield; cause damage to forests and affect ocean life. Global efforts to protect the ozone layer started in early seventies leading to the adoption of the Vienna Convention in 1985 and the Montreal Protocol in 1987. With a view to strengthen the global efforts, India acceeded to the Montreal Protocol alongwith its London Amendment. Its provision became effective for India from 17.9.1992. However, depletion of ozone layer is still a cause for concern as Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) continue to be used in developing countries in refrigeration and air-conditioning, preparation of foam and spray products, fire extinguishing, and as solvents in electronics and other industires.

A number of activities were undertaken during 1997 to disseminate information on ODS phaseout to industry and others. A newsletter on ozone issues is being published once in every two months and is being distributed to about 2000 persons/institutions. State Governments were involved in celebrating the International Ozone Day. A video film on ozone layer protection was telecast on Doordarshan. The Solvent Options Committee of UNEP held its meeting in India and interacted with Indian industry in two cities. The Process Agents Task Force also held its meeting in India and interacted with Indian industry in Mumbai. Three workshops were organised on phasing out halons in India. A number of workshops were organised to create awareness about ozone among small scale industries.

Customs/excise duty exemption continues to be provided for ODS phaseout projects. Detailed guidelines and procedure have been finalised to implement Government Notifications to grant benefit of duty exemption for new investments with non-ODS technologies. Draft Rules on ODS phaseout under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 are under preparation after extensive consultations with industry, NGOs and related Government Departments. A policy to issue licenses for import of ODS has been finalised and implemented. The Reserve Bank of India has issued instructions to all commercial banks prohibiting finance or refinance of new investments with ODS technologies.

Fifty two projects costing about US$ 16 million were approved by the Multilateral Fund for India during 1997. When implemented these projects will phase out 1971 MT of ODS. All known aerosol fillers were advised to use destenched LPG only after following adequate safety norms. Arrangements were made for review and update of the country program. The CII was assigned this task.

India s concerns on metered dose inhalers, process agents, accelerating phase out of ODS were taken up in the IX Conference of Parties to the Protocol and adverse decisions were prevented. A separate baseline for controlling production of ODS has been incorporated in the protocol at the insistence of India. Considerable effort was made to finalise the guidelines for funding projects in the production sector.

India has been elected as a Member of the Executive Committee and Chairman of the Project Review Sub-Committee for 1998. One Indian expert each has been nominated for the Aerosols and Economic Options Committees of UNEP on the Montreal Protocol.


Multilateral and Bilateral Programmes

The Ministry and its agencies receive assistance from various countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Australia, U.K. 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 environmental and forestry projects. Details of multilateral and bilateral programmes in the environment sector are given below:-


Bilateral Matters

Minister for Environment and Forests led a delegation to Austria in July, 1997 to discuss bilateral matters in the field of environment. The first working group meeting on Environment was also held during this period and a MOU has been signed between India and Austria in the field of environment.

Bilateral cooperation programmes and follow up of MoUs/Joint Statements of Intent have been signed with Brazil, China, Iran, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, USA and Vietnam.

Discussions have been initiated in the Indo GTZ programmes for joint environmental advisory services. The details are being worked out.

The project viz., Integrated Waste Management for Shimla and Manali under Norwegian assistance has been forwarded to Ministry of Finance for co-ordination.


World Bank aided Industrial Pollution Control Project (Phase-I)

Phase-I of the World Bank aided Industrial Pollution Control Project intiated in 1991 has shown satisfactory progress, particularly in the components of Common Effluent Treatment Plants, Demonstration Projects, Technical Assistance and training of the personnel of the Pollution Control Boards. Guidelines for providing assistance to CETPs and demonstration projects, both of which are being supported by the Ministry are given below:


Guidelines for assistance to set up CETPs


A company or society constituted specifically to own, operate and maintain common facilities for treatment and disposal of solid, liquid and gaseous wastes generated by estates/clusters, will be eligible for assistance under the Scheme. State infrastructural/industrial development agencies promoting CETPs will not be eligible.


Financial Pattern

Under the World Bank aided Industrial Pollution Control Project, technical and financial assistance is given for setting up Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) in clusters of small scale industrial units. The financing pattern for the CETPs consists of 20 per cent promoters contribution and a grant from the Central Government of 25 per cent of the project cost subject to a matching contribution from the State Government. The remaining amount is available as a loan from financial institutions such as Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) which channelises the World Bank assistance for this component of the Project.


Guidelines for Assistance to Demonstration Projects

Any company willing to demonstrate a new/clean technology in the field of production and treatment of effluent/emission will be given financial assistance up to Rs. 1.5 crores. The pattern of funding shall be as per the norm set for the CETPs.


Phase II of the World Bank Aided Industrial Pollution Control Project

The total cost of Phase II of the project is US$ 330 million out of which US$ 168 million is from the World Bank with counterpart funds of US$ 162 million being contributed by different financial institutions (such as IDBI and ICICI), project sponsors and by the Central and State Governments. The three major components of the project are (I) institutional component (ii) investment component and (iii) technical assistance component. While the broad objective of the project is to provide cost-effective abatement of pollution emanating from industries, it s specific goals are to:


Status of the Project

The Ministry has signed an agreement with the World Bank to strengthen the State Pollution Control Boards of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan besides extending assistance for Pollution Prevention Activities in small, medium and large scale industries, under this phase. Specifications for procurement of equipments have been made and a tender evaluation committee has been constituted by RITES comprising representatives from the Central and State Pollution Control Boards. Bids have been invited through International Competitive Bidding for supply of a part of equipments/instruments to be provided to the State Pollution Control Boards of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan under this project.

In the technical assistance component of the Industrial Pollution Prevention Project for GIS Programme, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board has initiated action for procurement of information systems equipment, software and support services for setting up GIS based Hazardous Waste Tracking Systems. The first stage technical bid was opened on Feb 2, 1998 and an amount of Rs. 40.56 lakhs has been released for this purpose.

In the technical assistance component of the Industrial Pollution Prevention project for Waste Minimisation Circle, seventeen workshops have been held at various parts of the Country. So far 15 waste minimisation circles have been established in different parts of the country in the sectors of electroplating, pulp and paper, tannery, textile-dyeing and printing, hosiery, etc. About 300 waste minimisation measures have been identified by the circle members, and a majority of them have already been implemented. These measures have resulted in the reduction of pollution load to the extent of 15 to 30 percent. Efforts were made during the year to extend the number of waste minimisation circles to 100 and to develop a communication strategy for launching an awareness campaign on the concept of waste minimisation.


International Trainings/Seminars/Workshops

Several officials from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, State Environment and Forests Departments, Central and State Pollution Control Boards, NGOs and autonomous bodies/institutions of Central and State Government were nominated for various international Trainings/ Seminars/Workshops etc. during the year.