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Thursday, July 31, 2014
- Of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) -development targets agreed upon by the international community, whose 2015 deadline is approaching fast – MDG 7 has proven a particular challenge, especially for sprawling, populous countries like India.
With the ambitious aim of improving both natural ecosystems and human environments, MDG 7 comprises numerous targets, from halving the percentage of the world’s population without access to safe drinking water and sanitation, to protecting global fish stocks by preventing illegal fishing and overfishing.
Having pledged millions of euros to helping developing countries achieve the MDGs, the European Union has kept a sharp eye on India, whose regulations and efforts regarding MDG 7 have been inadequate, experts say.
China and India combined are still home to 216 million people without access to clean water and sanitation.
Meanwhile unsustainable fishing practices carry on unchecked. The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute’s latest census counted 243,939 trawlers, despite an official EU ban on these fishing vessels in shallow waters off the coast.
The EU has also placed a full ban on fishing in protected areas like the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park, but commercial fishers take advantage of loopholes in the law to invade these reserves.