NEW DELHI: Environment ministers of the BRICS nations will meet in Goa on September 16 to strengthen mutual cooperation in critical areas like air and water pollution, liquid and solid waste management, climate change and conservation of biodiversity.

The BRICS is a group of nations, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The block together accounts for 41.6% of global population, 29.31 % of total world’s territory and about 22% of world’s total GDP.

Since the BRICS nations have rich bio-diversity, the choices made by these countries have a global significance.

India will be represented in the meeting by the country’s environment, forests and climate change minister Anil Madhav Dave who assumed charge in July.

The meeting, bring organised by the Union environment ministry, assumes significance after the adoption and signing of the landmark global climate deal (Paris Agreement), Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development and the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals last year.

“It is one in a series of meetings being organized by various central government ministries in the run-up to the BRICS Heads of States Summit in October at Goa, after India assumed BRICS Presidency this year from Russia”, said the environment ministry’s statement while announcing the Goa meet.

It said, “The meeting is expected to discuss Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and the Joint Working Group on environment. The BRICS ministers are also expected to discuss thematic areas of mutual interest and prioritise actions for cooperation in critical areas”.

The meeting will be preceded by discussions at official level on various environment related issues.