INDIA AND China signed an ecology pact on September 7, during Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao's visit to Beijing. "The two countries have several common environmental problems, which can be solved only by formulating joint programmes and regularly exchanging information," explains Sandeep Kumar of the ministry of external affairs.
The countries have agreed to closer ties in the areas of waste management, pollution control, environmental impact assessment, and environmental education and legislation. An important area of cooperation will be wildlife conservation. Sino-Indian cooperation on international issues such as biodiversity, global climate and protection of the ozone layer has also been formalised.
Besides, an Indian proposal for a pact on the development of indigenous medicine is also being studied by China. The proposal envisages bilateral exchange of knowledge about herbal drugs, identification of traditional remedies and conservation measures for traditionally used medicinal plants. According to Ashok Kantha, director of the China division of the ministry of external affairs, "We can learn a lot about preserving and promoting medicinal plants and indigenous medicine from China, which has a rich tradition in this field."
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