Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually delivered his keynote and highlighted India’s commitment to restore the Degraded land at the UN ‘High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land degradation and Drought (DDLD)’. He is the president of the 14th Session of the Conference of Parties of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
- The meeting aims to maintain momentum on addressing DLDD-related challenges and accelerate Sustainable Development Goals implementation, ecosystem restoration, climate change adaptation and others.
- The meeting was attended by Executive Secretary of UNCCD Ibrahim Thiaw and leaders of various global organizations.
Key Points from the Address
i.In the last decade alone around 3 million hectares of forest cover were added in India. This has increased the combined forest cover to almost one-fourth of India’s total area.
- India is on track to achieve its national commitment of Land Degradation neutrality.
- Restoration of 26 million hectares of degraded land aimed by 2030 to achieve an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
ii.Centre of Excellence to be set up in India to promote a scientific approach towards land degradation issues.
iii.PM highlighted the initiatives taken by India to deal with the land degradation issue.
- Delhi Declaration of 2019 which called for better access & stewardship over land, and emphasised gender- sensitive transformative projects in India.
- He highlighted the example of the Banni region in Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, where land was restored. This resulted in good soil health, increased land productivity, food security and improved livelihoods.
iv.In the spirit of South-South cooperation, India is assisting fellow developing countries to develop land restoration strategies.
Globally, one fifth of Earth’s land area – more than 2 billion hectares is degraded, including more than half of all agricultural land. Land degradation affects 3.2 billion people across the world.
- Each year, more than 12 million hectares of land are lost to Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DDLD).
- The world loses 24 billion tons of fertile soil annually due to dryland degradation.
About United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
Executive General – Ibrahim Thiaw
Headquarters – Bonn, Germany