China has now become part of the rich nations league to be the “biggest polluter” of atmosphere. Seen as a major contributor to green house gas emissions, next to the US, it owes to the world what is being termed as “climate debt”.
Hammering the point was Ms Victoria Tauli Corpuz, Chairperson of UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues, at a seminar on indigenous people, Climate change and rural poverty.
Leading the Indian delegation was Agatha Sangma, Minister of state for rural development. She spoke about India’s effort to focus on “inclusive growth” and the different policies to help the poor, disadvantaged and marginalized segments of the population.
Ironically, India does not recognise indigenous people. They are neither defined or described under the Constitution. The closest any community can come to the concept of indigenous people are the scheduled tribes of which Sangma is a part. She belongs to the Garo tribe in Meghalaya. “Scheduled tribes in India and the indigenous people are not on the same footing. But the issues of rural poverty and climate change are common” Sangma told HT.
Earlier, Sangma highlighted some of the Indian government’s schemes for rural employment, watershed development and skill development of the rural poor. More importantly she pledged that India would, in the next three years, be a country which is what she called “open defecation free”.