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India singled out for environmental action

India singled out for environmental action
Hindu devotees rest after taking a holy bath in the Ganges River during Kumbha Mela festival in Haridwar, India on April 14, 2010. The pilgrimage takes place every three years, rotating amongst four different locations in India, thus, once every 12 years in each location. It lasts for 42 days attracting millions of people, and this year ends on April 28, 2010. Devotees believe that taking a bath in the river will wash their sins away so they begin life anew. UPI/Maryam Rahmanian | License Photo

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- India was singled out for being proactive when it comes to a green economy as it prepares to host World Environment Day, a U.N. agency said.

India is the host for the June 5 event that will highlight the link between overall quality of life and the health of the world's ecosystem.

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The U.N. Environment Program said that, with 1.2 billion people, India's agricultural sector is putting a huge strain on its forests. New Delhi, however, has one of the more aggressive tree-planting programs in the world to combat the losses.

The country also has plans to develop at least 20,000 megawatts of power from solar energy and another 3,000 MW through wind farms.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said cities in India are among the "most active" when it comes to environmental action.

"From its manufacturing of solar and wind turbines to its Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which underwrites paid work for millions of households via investments in areas ranging from water conservation to sustainable land management, foundations are being laid towards a fundamental and far reaching new development path," he said.

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