The United Indian
The United Indian

Top 5 Environmental Initiatives in India You Should Support

 environmental awareness campaigns

India's Green Success Stories

Jun 25, 2024

I just read a beautiful quote “Nature Protects If She Is Protected”.

So true! Right?

India being bestowed with bio-diversity and large base of natural resources landscapes the country is besieged with number of environmental problems that are imminent to disturb the ecological harmony. Being the second most populous country in the world, the pressure on natural resources is unprecedented and requires creative and holistic approaches to ensure deliverance from destructive natural endowments. From air and water pollution to deforestation and desertification, the country requires a multi-pronged approach to ensure a sustainable future.


Fortunately, India isn't shying away from the responsibility and has introduced significant changes in these aspects through various environmental measures. Such programs are not only meant to combat environmental deterioration but also to encourage sustainability and community involvement. In this blog, the author lists the five key areas of environmental conservation in India and describes them in terms of goals, outcomes, and how people can participate in the process. Welcome to a closer look at the Top 5 Environmental Initiatives in India linked with these changes and to find out how people’s actions can create opportunities for the improvements in the quality of life and environmental saving.


1. National River Conservation Plan (NRCP)

India's rivers are not just waterways; they are cultural and spiritual lifelines. However, pollution and overuse threaten their very existence. The NRCP, launched in 1995, aims to address this by:

  • Pollution abatement: This involves setting up sewage treatment plants, industrial effluent treatment facilities, and promoting rainwater harvesting to reduce river pollution.
  • Conservation: Activities include riverbank protection, afforestation along riverbanks to prevent soil erosion, and maintaining ecological flows.
  • Community participation: The NRCP encourages public awareness and community involvement in river conservation efforts.

While the NRCP has made strides in reducing pollution and promoting conservation practices, challenges remain. Securing adequate funding, ensuring proper sewage treatment, and addressing industrial pollution in rivers remain hurdles.



National River Conservation Plan (NRCP)


2. Ecomark Scheme of India (ECOMARK) – Ecomark Labelling

Launched in 1991, the Ecomark scheme is a voluntary labelling program by the Government of India. It identifies environmentally friendly products that meet specific criteria throughout their lifecycle – from raw material extraction to production, distribution, and disposal.


  • Consumers: Ecomark labels empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions, favoring products with a lower environmental impact.
  • Manufacturers: Ecomark certification provides manufacturers with a competitive edge in the eco-conscious market.
  • Environment: By promoting sustainable production practices, Ecomark helps reduce pollution, conserve resources, and minimize waste.

Current Achievements: Over 8,000 Ecomark licenses have been granted across various product categories, including electronics, detergents, textiles, and food products.




Ecomark Scheme of India


3. National Afforestation Programme

Forests play a vital role in regulating climate, preventing soil erosion, and maintaining biodiversity. Recognizing their importance, the National Afforestation Programme (NAP) was launched in 2000.

Key Strategies:

  • Joint Forest Management (JFM): This program fosters community participation in forest protection and regeneration. Local communities are involved in decision-making and benefit sharing, creating a sense of ownership.
  • Focus on degraded lands: The NAP prioritizes afforestation efforts on degraded and wastelands to maximize ecological impact.
  • Species selection: Native and site-specific tree species are chosen to promote biodiversity and ensure the long-term viability of the afforestation efforts.

The NAP has contributed significantly to increasing India's forest cover. However, challenges like land-use conflicts and ensuring long-term sustainability remain.


national afforestation programmes


4. National Action Programme to Combat Desertification (NAPCD)

Desertification, the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas, is a serious threat in India. The NAPCD, formulated in 2001, addresses this by:

  • Sustainable land management practices: Promoting techniques like water conservation, soil erosion control, and integrated nutrient management.
  • Afforestation and restoration of degraded lands: Planting drought-resistant trees and shrubs to improve land productivity and prevent further desertification.
  • Institutional strengthening: Building capacity at local and national levels to effectively implement desertification control measures.

While success stories exist, achieving the ambitious goals of the NAPCD requires sustained funding, active community participation, and addressing climate change concerns.


National Action Programme to Combat Desertification (NAPCD)


5. Grants-in-aid Scheme for Voluntary Agencies

The Government of India recognizes the crucial role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in environmental protection. The Grants-in-aid Scheme provides financial assistance to registered NGOs and voluntary agencies working on environmental issues.


Supported Activities:

  • Environmental awareness campaigns: Educating communities about environmental challenges and promoting sustainable practices.
  • Biodiversity conservation: Protecting endangered species and their habitats.
  • Pollution control initiatives: Grassroots efforts to reduce air, water, and soil pollution.
  • Resource management: Promoting sustainable water use, waste management techniques, and renewable energy sources.


This scheme has empowered numerous NGOs to make a significant difference at the local level. However, streamlining application processes and ensuring transparency in funding allocation are ongoing areas of improvement.



environmental initiatives in India


Conclusion: Sowing Seeds of Change

As we've journeyed through top environmental initiatives in India, one thing becomes crystal clear: the seeds of change are being sown across the nation. From the flowing rivers of the National River Conservation Plan to the growing forests of the National Afforestation Programme, from the eco-friendly products bearing the Ecomark to the resilient lands fighting desertification, and the grassroots movements supported by the Grants-in-aid Scheme - each initiative is a thread in the vibrant tapestry of India's environmental renaissance.

But these programs are more than just government policies or NGO projects. They are invitations - invitations for every Indian to become a steward of their environment. Imagine a future where every citizen is a guardian of a river, every consumer an advocate for eco-friendly products, every community a protector of its local forest. This isn't just a dream; it's a possibility within our grasp.

The battle for our planet's future isn't fought solely in policy rooms or scientific laboratories. It's fought in our daily choices, in the products we buy, the resources we conserve, and the awareness we spread. Each of us, in our own way, can be a force for positive change.


environmental initiatives in India


So, what will your role be in this green revolution? Will you be the one who plants trees in your neighborhood? The voice that educates others about river conservation? The consumer who chooses Ecomark products? Or perhaps the volunteer who supports local environmental NGOs?

Remember, in the grand orchestra of nature, every action, no matter how small, creates a ripple effect. Your choices today shape the India of tomorrow. As the ancient Indian text Bhagavad Gita says, "Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshu kada chana" - You have the right to work only, but never to its fruits. Let this wisdom guide us as we work towards a greener India, not for immediate rewards, but for the legacy we leave for future generations.


The journey towards a sustainable India is long, but with each step, we move closer to our goal. Let's roll up our sleeves, join hands, and turn these initiatives into a nationwide movement. Together, we can transform India into a beacon of environmental stewardship for the world to follow.


So, are you ready to be part of India's green story? The time to act is now.


Read more in Environment

The United Indian