Mr. Vijay Samnotra (Former Diplomat of United Nations) is selected for the “INVC Public Services and Environment Protection International Award 2020”.

New Delhi,

Rigorous review and assessment of the hundreds of nominations by Dr. Virendra Rawat, Convenor of the Award Selection Committee and Advocate Supreme Court, Dr. DP Sharma, Professor and International Advisor and Zakir Hussain, Chairman of the Award Selection Committee and other members of International News and Views Corporation (INVC) unanimously selected Mr Vijay Samnotra for this prestigious award. This award is conferred to Mr. Samnotra for his outstanding contributions and achievements in environment protection and Public services.

Earlier Shri PM Bhardwaj has been selected for Life Time Achievements International Award and two other awards will also be announced soon.

About Vijay Kumar Samnotra ,Why the Award Selection Committee selected for the award?

Mr Vijay Samnotra worked with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for nearly twenty five years at its global headquarters in Nairobi – dealing with issues as diverse as forging interlinkages and synergies between multilateral environmental agreements, conceptualizing the broad contours of international environmental governance, building collaborative projects and programmes with sister UN agencies, following up on the Bali Strategic Plan on Capacity Building and Technology Transfer and ensuring quality assurance of UNEP’s projects and programmes.

He represented the Under- Secretary General of UNEP at the First meeting of the Eminent Persons on Interlinkages and Synergies organized by the United Nations University in Tokyo – a meeting that was attended by the prime-minister of Japan Mr. Hashimoto and Mr Maurice Strong. He also represented the Under-Secretary General and spoke on his behalf at the opening of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention on illegal trade in chemicals in Geneva.

Mr Samnotra also worked as the Speech Writer to two United Nations Under-Secretary Generals. In that capacity, he assisted in conceptualizing the themes and information campaigns around the World Environment Days as well as of the annual “Clean Up the World” campaigns. In 2016, he was given the responsibility of establishing the India Country Office of UNEP in Delhi. He also worked as the Senior Adviser to the United Nations Resident Coordinator on Climate Change and Urbanization and is a consultant to the United Nations on several environmental issues.

As a Senior Adviser to the United Nations Resident Coordinator in India on Climate Change and Urbanization, he coordinated the project on Circular Economy in India leading to the publication of “Ahead of the Curve”. He drafted the plan to make the United Nations in India carbon-neutral while advising the UN Resident Coordinator on all issues relating to Climate Change and Urbanization issues in his interactions with the United Nations Secretary-General’s Office in New York. He was an important member of the UN group that wrote the proposal on establishing a UN-India partnership Centre on Climate change, Innovation and Urban management in India.

Mr Samnotra joined the Central Secretariat Service after qualifying through the Civil Services Examination. He served as Under Secretary to the Government of India and later served as Private Secretary to the Minister of State Maneka Gandhi. He later resigned from civil service and joined the United Nations.

According to Mr Samnotra, environmental management is strongly related to human behaviour at all levels of natural and human interactions. It promotes greater connectivity between ecosystems and societal performance. On a practical level, the inter-linkages initiative is based on the assumption that improving the implementation of existing environmental mechanisms does not necessarily require new instruments but, rather, a greater level of coherence among the tools already available. In this regard, Samnotra’s contributions to provide Interlinkages that represents a time- and cost-effective approach to strengthening the existing systems of managing sustainable development is well noted.

Mr Samnotra has led outreach on issues and concerns for supporting the agriculture sector. He revealed that the negative impacts of unsustainable and environmental unfriendly practices in agriculture on various ecosystem services have often led to large societal costs that are increasingly being felt on human well-being, including, for example, declines in water quality for downstream residents affecting their health, and declines in wetlands and coastal ecosystems.

In the multisector workshop of WHO held in Delhi, he advised developing policy frameworks for eradicating air pollution so as to minimize the environmental health risks in developing countries. He highlighted the fact that household indoor air pollution is the second, and ambient air pollution is the seventh leading risk factor for diseases in India. Over 620 000 deaths and about 18 million Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) are attributable to Ambient Air Pollution in India, while over one million deaths and 31 million DALYs are attributable to Household Air Pollution in India.

International News and Views Corporation (INVC) is proud to announce to you the INVC International Award for distinguished work done at the international level. 


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