Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his 62nd edition of the 'Mann Ki Baat' radio program on Sunday, said it is a matter of pride that India will chair COP (Conference Of the Parties) convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) for the next three years.
Speaking of the country's biodiversity, PM Modi said, "It is a matter of pride for us that for the next three years, India will chair the COP convention on migratory species. Do send in your suggestions on lending more substance to this opportunity, making it more useful."
The Prime Minister said India is home to as many as 500 varieties of migratory birds. Gandhinagar recently hosted the COP13 convention where the phenomenon of migratory species was mulled studied, discussed and deliberated, PM Modi said.
While discussing the COP convention, PM Modi also informed that biologists have discovered a new species of fish whose habitat is within the caves of Meghalaya.
"It is a matter of joy that our India, and especially Meghalaya is home to a rare species. It lends a new facet to India's bio-diversity," PM Modi said during his Mann ki Baat address.
India, which hosted the 13th COP to the Convention of Migratory Species and Wild Animals, officially took over its Presidency on Monday for the next three years. Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said India will fully cooperate and ensure the conservation of the environment.
The minister was handed over the Presidency of the COP by the Philippines, which was presiding over the convention from 2017 till now. India will now preside over it till 2023.
"This Presidency will be for three years. We will cooperate with the Secretariat and we want to spread the message effectively to the world to protect environment through migratory species conservation.
"I am very sure India will take all initiatives so that this goes to the next level of protection and conservation," the minister said.
Great Indian Bustard, Asian Elephant and Bengal Florican from India are among the ten wildlife species that were added to the global Wildlife Agreement on the concluding day of the 13th COP to the CMS on Saturday.
Another species included in the agreement is the critically endangered jaguar. Seven species, namely Asian Elephant, Jaguar, Great Indian Bustard, Bengal Florican, Little Bustard, Antipodean Albatross, and the Oceanic White-tip Shark were made part of appendix one, which provides the strictest protection.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first head of the government to inaugurate this conference and pledged to focus on the conservation of migratory birds along the Central Asian Flyway.