India is one of the world’s ‘mega diversity’ countries teeming with wildlife and plant species richness. The country boasts of significant biodiversity hotspots and is endowed with rich reserves of minerals and natural resources. The country’s physical features and climatic conditions favour a host of ecosystems that not only sustain biodiversity but also harbour rich cultural diversity. This biodiversity however, is threatened by the destruction and degradation of ecosystems by over overexploitation. The changes in climate due to anthropogenic sources has the world reeling under its dire impacts and India is no exception. Extreme weather events are ravaging cities, towns and villages’ alike, obliterating lives, livelihoods, and pushing more and more people on the verge of penury. In the last several decades, India has been on a rapid economic growth trajectory but the pursuit of GDP led development has only intensified inequalities and poverty. This economic development has also come at the cost of environmental impacts, such as massive land degradation, air pollution that is among the world’s highest, polluted water bodies and mounting piles of waste that are increasingly difficult to recycle or recover. Recognizing the many challenges that climate change and ecological degradation has put forth, many actors across civil society, academia and government are putting forward measures to alleviate them. the country has been taking measures to alleviate them. Our work under our ecology component strives especially to support initiative of diverse actors in the fields of energy transition, protection of environment and resources as well as in bringing forth alternative worldviews and paradigms to our interaction with ecology overall.
Vikalp Sangam core group statement on the need for creative, long-term alternatives in view of COVID-19
As India and the world face a completely unprecedented crisis due to the spread of COVID-19 virus, the first and immediate response must be health and treatment facilities, physical distancing, relief and basic needs packages to workers, basic need services, and other such measures that both reduce the risk of spread as also provide economic and survival security to those worst affected not only by infection but by the shutdown of ordinary life.