Sustainable Development in Maharashtra

Maharashtra, as one of the most populous and economically significant states in India, plays a pivotal role in India's journey towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Its bustling cities like Mumbai and Pune, coupled with rural agricultural communities, represent a microcosm of India's diverse development challenges and opportunities. For instance, Maharashtra's efforts towards providing quality education (SDG 4) and decent work and economic growth (SDG 8) have potential for national influence. The state's initiatives towards improving clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), such as the Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan for water conservation, and pushing for affordable and clean energy (SDG 7) via increased solar and wind installations, have significant implications for sustainability. Furthermore, Maharashtra's urbanization efforts directly impact sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), while its biodiversity conservation actions contribute towards life on land (SDG 15). Therefore, Maharashtra's progress, given its sheer scale and diversity, can significantly influence India's overall advancement towards the SDGs.

2019 Elsevier Foundation Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge second prize winner, Dr. Ankur Patwardhan
In 2019, Dr. Ankur Patwardhan, Head of the Biodiversity Department at Maharashtra Education Society’s Abasaheb Garware College, Pune, India, was awarded the second prize in the Elsevier Foundation Green and Sustainable Chemistry Challenge. Contributing to SDGs 13 and 15, his project, “Butterfly attractant for pollination and ecosystem health”, focused on the plant-pollinator interactions that play a vital role in maintaining ecosystem balance and aimed at enhancing floral visits by butterflies through the development of natural attractant formulations. One year later, we interviewed Dr. Patwardhan about his experience at the Challenge, as well as the upcoming steps for his project.
This articles highlights one of the winning proposals of the Elsevier Foundation Green & Sustainable Chemistry Challenge, “Butterfly attractant for pollination and ecosystem health.” The project, which combines ecology and chemistry, involved field observations and lab-based experiments to protect biodiversity in the Western Ghats of India by increasing butterfly pollination, contributing to SDGs 13, 15 and 17.
The Business and Sustainable Development Commission’s India Focus Report identifies the major market opportunities India, where sustainable business models could open up an economic prize of at least US$1 trillion in new market value. The report recommends expanded use of blended finance instruments, merging public and private funding which could be the single most important factor in delivering the SDGs. Partnerships forged by business are integral to the success of all SDGs and in particular SDG 17.