New Delhi: Stressing that human wellness is more important than GDP, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said that "economic growth and development are important, but not at the cost of nature".

Naidu said there was a need for population control due to limited recources. He also emphasised the need for better waste management. "Human wellness and lives are more important than Gross Domestic Product. Economic growth and development are important, but not at the cost of nature. We live in the age of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation (LPG). "But, the need of hour is that LPG and United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals must go hand in hand," Naidu said at the International Conference on Environment organised by the National Green Tribunal in association with the Environment and Water Recources Ministry.

The United Nations adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. He said: "With political will, efficiency of administration and speedy disposal of environment-related cases, we can deal with the problems we are facing today."

Cautioning about environmental degradation and deforestation, Naidu said that the signs of a catastrophic future were already here. "There are more private vehicles on road nowadays because we have not invested enough on public transport," Naidu added.