Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has been made part of high-level U.N. panel on global sustainability set up by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The 21-member panel has been tasked with finding ways to lift people out of poverty while tackling climate change and ensuring that economic development is environmentally friendly.

To be headed by the Presidents of Finland and South Africa, the panel will also recommend steps to promote low-carbon growth and enhance resilience to impacts of climate change, as well as to tackle the intertwined challenges posed by poverty, hunger, water and energy security.

The new body is expected to deliver its final report by next December, ahead of the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development scheduled for 2012, as well as annual conferences of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said a statement here.

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