For several international organisations, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Nairobi, South Asia Cooperative Environment Program (SACEP), Colombo, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural resources (IUCN), the Ministry of Environment and Forest is the nodal agency in the country. Annual financial contributions are made to these organisations. The Ministry also functions as the nodal agency for the participation in international agreements relating to environment such as the Ramsar Convention on Wetland of International importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Bonn Convention), Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD), Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the Convention on Biological Diversity(CBD), the Basel Convention on the control on Trans- boundary Movement of Hazardous Substances, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) etc.

India has been pursuing its commitments under various conventions vigorously by initiating various measures nationally and by taking several important initiatives in the region.


Major activities undertaken during the year are as follows:

Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)


United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)


South Asian Environment Cooperation Programme (SACEP)

The VII th. Governing Council meeting of South Asian Environment Cooperation Programme (SACEP) was held in Maldives on 22 April, 1998. The Indian delegation was led by the Minister (E&F). All the member countries participated in the Council Meeting.



The Ministry participated in the First Session of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Development held in Bangkok from 21-23 October, 1998 under the aegis of ESCAP. The meeting discussed various environmental issues like transfer and adoption of environmentally sound technologies, sub-programmes on Environment and Sustainable Development, Integrated Development and Management of Water Resources and Economical use of water, promoting the Development of Remote-sensing and Spatial Information system for evaluating, monitoring, forecasting and managing natural resources, natural disasters and the environment.


India : Environment Management Capacity Building Technical Assistance Project (Externally Aided)

The India : Environment Management Capacity Building Technical Assistance Project aims at building capacity in critical areas which need to be addressed with great vigor than before. Some of the major areas to be covered under the project are Environmental Economics, Environmental Indicators, Environmental Law, Environmental Research, Environmental Awareness, Mining, Zoning Atlas (Siting of Industries), Air Quality Monitoring, Environmental Standards, Education, Coastal Zone Management, NGO Environmental Action Fund, Preparation of State Environmental Action Plan for Gujarat and strengthening the environmental protection functionaries in the state of Gujarat. Duration of the project is 5 years (1997-2002) with a total budget outlay of US$61.48 million, IDA loan component is US$ 50 million.

This is a multi-dimensional project. Other than Ministry of Environment and Forests it concerns the Department of Ocean Development (DOD), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the state of Gujarat. The project is being implemented not only through various divisions in the Ministry but in collaboration with institutions such as Madras School of Economics, Chennai, National Law School of India University, Bangalore, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad etc.

All the necessary groundwork has been completed for the establishment of the Project Implementation Cell and the engaging of RITES as the Procurement Agent. The MOUs with the Implementing Agencies have been put into place. The Expert Committees for all the areas have met and carried out the preliminary short listing of the Consultants. Action on the Project Implementation Plans has begun. In a recent appraisal of the project by the World Bank, it has been observed that the components being handled by Gujarat Government and the DOD have made satisfactory progress. The components on Environmental Law and Environmental Economics have also progressed well. The components such as strengthening of Regional Offices of this Ministry and the Paryavaran Vahini wherein several initiatives already exist have been reviewed with the World Bank and they are being suitably replaced by other priority areas.

A National Steering Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary (E&F) has been set up to review the progress of this project. The first meeting of the Committee was held in August, 1998. The Committee consists of officers of the Central Ministries, Gujarat Government and Chairman of the Expert Committee/Advisory Panel constituted for some of sub-component viz. Economics, Law, Mining, Research and Indicators.


United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The Ministry has signed the Programme Support Document under the Country Cooperation Framework- I with the UNDP on 5-9-1997 which provides a comprehensive focus on UNDP support to environment programme. The programme which would be valid upto 2001 focuses 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 of the environment programmes are :

To recommend, implement and manage the projects under this programme, a Programme Management Board (PMB) 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.

So far, 15 projects have been approved of which 5 have reached implementation stage. Others are under various stages of processing. Out of the US $9 million, nearly $7.0 million have been committed towards these projects.

Project proposals for seeking assistance under this programme should be sent to Director (International Co-operation), Ministry of Environment and Forests, Paryavaran Bhavan, CGO Complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi - 11 00 03.


Capacity 21

The Ministry participated in the International Conference on Water Resources held at the University of Columbia, New York during 12th to 13th October 1998. The issues such as legal and economic aspects, dispute resolution, technical aspects were discussed in the Conference. This included the River Basin of Ganga and Brahamputra.

Meetings were also held on 14th and 15th October 1998 with senior officials of UNDP Capacity 21 Project in order to follow up on the ongoing project activities as also to discuss new projects under the programme.


SAARC Meeting


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 to carryout programs to relieve pressures on global ecosystems. The facility supports international environment management and the transfer of environmentally benign technologies. It is a cooperative venture among national governments, the World Bank, the UNDP and the UNEP in the specific areas of concern. The Ministry is the technical nodal point for this facility in India.

The first ever Assembly meet of the GEF was held in New Delhi from April 1-3, 1998. The Indian delegation to the Assembly was led by Minister (E&F). The assembly adopted the New Delhi Statement which echoed India s concern that it should remain a facility at the cutting edge, innovative, flexible and responsive to the needs of its recipient countries, as well as a catalyst for other institutions and efforts. It also agreed that its activities should be country driven and efforts should be strengthened to achieve country ownership of GEF projects. During this Assembly, Secretary (E&F) made a presentation on India s efforts towards sustainable development.

So far, four projects are ongoing, one project has been completed and 13 projects have been approved in principle under GEF. Projects for possible GEF assistance should be sent to the Director (International Co-operation), Ministry of Environment and Forests, Paryavaran Bhavan, Lodi Road, New Delhi - 11 00 03.


GEF Council

The Ministry participated in the 12th Council Meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) held in Washington D.C from 13th to 16th October, 1998.


UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme

The Small Grants Programme (SGP) started in 1992 is managed worldwide by UNDP on behalf of GEF. It provides support for small scale, community based activities which can contribute to the four GEF thematic areas. Institutions eligible for funding include non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community based organisations (CBOs), people associations and others.

The outlay for execution phase of approximately five years duration is US$ 12,00,000 being shared by GEF (US$ 5,00,000) and UNDP (US$ 7,00,000). The objectives of SGP - India are intended to promote innovative local responses in one or more of the four GEF thematic areas, build the capacities of people, particularly women and tribals, and their local institutions to design and implement development projects that are sustainable, demonstrate the effectiveness and potential for wide application of small-scale, decentralized community based initiatives and create public awareness on global environmental issues. On an average the project budget should be around Rs. 5 lakhs.

Projects for possible UNDP-GEF-SGP assistance should be sent to the National Coordinator, UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme- India, Development Alternatives, B-32, Tara Crescent, Qutab Institutional Area, New Delhi - 11 00 16.


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 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 projects.


Priority Areas of ICEF

The ICEF s priority is to develop natural resource and environmental management capacity within government, private sector and NGO/community organisations. 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):


Eligibility Criteria

Project funding under ICEF is open to government, non-government and private sector organisations 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 :

While projects approved by ICEF so far have focused on watershed management, future projects will concentrate on water quality and energy fields. So far, 13 projects have been approved for funding under ICEF with a total outlay of Rs. 120.76 crores. Project proposals for ICEF should be sent to Project Director, India-Canada Environment Facility, D1/56, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi - 11 00 57.


Ozone Layer Protection

Ozone 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 had 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 acceded to the Montreal Protocol along with its London Amendment. Its provisions 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 electronic and other industries.

A number of activities were undertaken during 1998 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.

An international children s painting competition was organized and the best entries were awarded by the Minister of State (E&F) on the occasion of International Ozone Day celebration on 16.9.98. Three best paintings were sent to UNEP-IE Ozone Action Programme for participation in the international competition in Paris. Mr. Mahrishi Bhupender Jesalpura of Ahmedabad bagged the special merit award in the international competition for his painting. The International Day for the protection of Ozone Layer was celebrated at the national levels. A video -cassette on ozone layer protection was telecast on Doordarshan. UNEP-IE Ozone Action Programme, Paris held its first South- Asia ODS officers Network Meeting in Delhi. Swiss Development Corporation organized a strategy workshop on service skill development in ecological refrigeration.

Custom/excise duty exemption continued to be provided for ODS phaseout projects. Detailed guidelines and procedure were finalized 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 has been notified for public suggestions or comments. Policy to issue licenses for imports of ODS has been implemented. The Reserve Bank of India has issued instructions to all commercial banks prohibiting finance or refinance of new investments with ODS technologies.

Twenty-seven projects worth about US$6 million were approved by the Multilateral Fund for India during 1998. These projects will phaseout 1449 MT of ODS when completed. All known aerosol fillers were advised to use destenched LPG only after following adequate safety norms. Review and updating of the Country Programme is in progress.

India s concern on replenishment of the Multilateral Fund, process agent, production sector and metered dose inhalers were taken up in the Tenth Conference of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Cairo and decisions were favourable. The Minister (E&F), Shri Suresh P. Prabhu represented India in the Xth meeting of Parties at Cairo on 23-24 November, 1998. Due to the initiative taken by India in the meetings of the Sub-Group on the Production Sector constituted by the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund, the deadlock situation of the past three years was resolved and India was able to persuade the Sub-Group, the Fund Secretariat and the developed countries to initiate the process to consider approval of ODS phaseout projects in the Production Sector. Based on India s initiative, the Executive Committee of the Montreal Protocol has set up a technical expert team to conduct a technical audit of the four plants in India. The team has audited the four Chlorofluoro Carbon producing units and has submitted the final report to the Executive Committee.

As an implementing agency to prepare the production sector phaseout strategy for India, the World Bank had sent a mission to India in December 1998 to formulate the project for compensation of the production sector. This project has been prepared and approved by the Empowered Steering Committee of the Ministry for consideration in the Executive Committee meeting being held in third week of March, 1999.

Some pharmaceutical, rubber and pesticide manufacturing industries are using Carbon Tetrachloride, which is an Ozone Depleting Substance, as a process agent. Projects for phasing out could not be submitted to the Executive Committee for financial assistance, because there were no clear-cut guidelines for approval of these projects for the past 3-4 years as there was a deadlock situation. However, due to a strong initiative taken by India during the Tenth Meeting of Parties a decision has been taken which would allow projects for phaseout of Carbon Tetrachloride as process agent to be considered for financial assistance. This decision will facilitate many of our industries to avail of the financial assistance to phaseout approximately 4000 Metric Tonnes of Carbon Tetrachloride and help India in fulfilling its commitment as per the schedule given in the Montreal Protocol.

India was elected as a Member and Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee for the year 1999. UNEP-IE Ozone Action Programme has established another ODS officer s Network in South Asia. India is a member of this Network.


Bilateral Matters


World Bank Aided Projects

World Bank Environment Management Capacity Building Technical Assistance Project

Sub-Component Ambient Air Quality Monitoring

The Ministry has made a provision of US $ 6.5 million for the sub-component Ambient Air Quality Monitoring in the World Bank Environment Management Capacity Building Technical Assistance Project. The duration of the project is five years (1997-98 to 2001-2). The project is being implemented by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The CPCB has established a national network of Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations. This nation wide programme called the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring (NAAQM) was launched in 1984 with a network of 28 monitoring stations covering seven cities. Over the years, the number of stations have been increased and presently the network comprises 290 stations spread over 90 towns/cities distributed over 24 states and 4 Union Territories.

In the present World Bank Project, strengthening of ambient air monitoring stations has been taken up. This is necessitated because of the present conventional techniques used for measurements of air pollutants being labour intensive and are sometimes lacking in specificity and precision in comparison to automatic instrumental methods.

The project envisages installation of techno-economically viable four continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations - two in Delhi and one each at Bangalore and Hyderabad; four mobile vans one each for Bangalore, Vadodara and Calcutta offices of CPCB and one for Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB). In addition, five calibration labs one each at Calcutta, Bangalore, Vadodara, Bhopal and Kanpur Zonal Offices of CPCB are also proposed.

During the first phase the following activities are proposed to be taken up :-


Sub-Component Development of Standard

The Ministry has made a provision of US $ 1.5 million for the sub-component Development of Standards under the World Bank Environment Capacity Building Technical Assistance Project. The duration of the project is five years (1997-98 to 2001-2) and the project is being implemented by CPCB. The basic principle for development of standards are impacts on health and environment and techno-economic feasibilities. The technical economic feasibilities and social acceptability are the criteria to develop minimal national standards for non-toxic effluent/emissions. The health and the environment are the main criteria for toxic pollutants combined with technical feasibility. Under the project studies on specific standards development/revision have been taken up, keeping in view the practive in other countries based on the state of art technology. The activities planned under the project can be broadly categorised under following three heads :

During the first Phase of the Project, the following four projects would be taken up :-

    (i) National Emission standards for Petrochemicals Manufacturing Industries.

    (ii) National Emission Standards for Pesticides Manufacturing Industries.

    (iii) Control Technologies for total Dissolved Solids in industrial effluents; and

    (iv) National Emission Standards for Oil refineries (review of indigenously developed standards).

A two stage methodology is proposed to be adopted for the implementation of the project :-

In the first stage, the local consultants engaged by CPCB, with specific terms of reference, will develop baseline information, which will be analysed indigenously and based on the information practical achievable standards will be derived. In the second phase, the standards so developed by local consultants, would be reviewed by experts from abroad in respect of alternative economic treatment technologies, their experience in implementation of such standards, monitoring equipment, modelling, retro-fittings of developed standards.


Industrial Safety and Disaster Prevention Project

The project will be formulated and posed to the World Bank after completion of the ongoing feasibility studies. These feasibility studies are likely to be completed by this financial year. The objectives of the Project would be to assist the implementation of the Government policy on industrial safety and disaster prevention and to promote the adoption of cost effective safety measures by industry and to design and implement in a pilot scale a sustainable hazardous waste disposal system. The emphasis of the project will be in the institutional area to complement the efforts already initiated by the Government of India with assistance from international agencies. The specific goals are - to strengthen the institutions involved with industrial safety policy, assessment and disaster prevention; - to support the training and technical assistance requirements for the implementation of industrial safety and community based programmes; and to support priority investments by high-risk industries to reduce the likelihood for safety incidents. The Ministry would be the main implementation Agency.


Hazardous Waste Management Project

The Hazardous Waste Management Project has been posed to the World Bank for financial assistance to implement a modern and sustainable hazardous waste management system in country. The project will assist in strengthening the institutions in charge of enforcement and monitoring, and providing priority investments in hazardous waste mitigation treatment and disposal. The specific goal are to


Industrial Pollution Control Project (IPCP)

The World Bank aided Industrial Pollution Control Board started from 1991 and is completing its extended tenure on 31st March, 1999. Under the Project, State Pollution Control Boards of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are being strengthened by means of supplying the scientific and analytical equipments and training to the personnel in order to enhance their technical capabilities. Financial assistance for construction of laboratories in these four State Pollution Control Boards has also been extended. Eighty three Common Effluent Treatment Plants for the small scale industrial sectors covering 12 States and 12 Demonstration Projects and some projects to develop/adopt new technologies for Pollution Control and Prevention have been financially assisted. Forty eight training programmes have been conducted for the personnel of State Pollution Control Boards.


Industrial Pollution Prevention Project (IPPP)

The objectives of the project is to promote cost-effective pollution abatement from industrial sources. The specific goals are : i) to strengthen four SPCBs in respect to their facilities, equipments and skills, to enable them to more effectively perform their mandate while continuing the programme of supports to the Boards already assisted, ii) facilitate priority investments dedicated to prevent pollution from industrial sources by encouraging the use of clean technologies, waste minimization and resource recovery by industry or pollution control where cost effective, and where these investments have a significant demonstration and replicability potential, and iii) provide technical assistance for (a) adoption of modern tools of information, management and control of residues. (b) organisation of a clean technology institutional network and (c) the set up of an extension service on environmentally sound practices for small scale industry.

The estimated cost of the project is US$ 330 million equivalent which involves a line of credit of US $168 million and counterpart fund of US $162 million to be provided by the Government of India , State Governments, Financial Institution (IDBI, ICICI) and industrial units availing the loan.

The project will focus on the most polluting industrial sectors as defined by the Government of India (17 Industrial subsections) and will comprise three components (i) institutional (ii) investment and (iii) technical assistance.


International Trainings/Seminars/Workshops

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