India brings nations together in fight against land degradation: Bhupender Yadav


The 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), begins at Abidjan.

New Delhi: Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav said, India during COP14 Presidency had made significant contributions in bringing the nations together towards the global goal of halting and reversing land degradation.
The Minister stated this after he arrived at Abidjan, Cote D Ivoire to attend the Conference of Parties, 15th meet of the United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification (UNCCD COP15).
The 11 days conference kicked off on Monday, with a theme ‘Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity’ bringing together leaders from governments, the private sector, civil society to galvanize sustainable solutions for land restoration and drought resilience, with a strong focus on future-proofing land use.

At COP 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that “India would raise its ambition of the total area that would be restored from its land degradation status, from twenty-one million hectares to twenty-six million hectares between now and 2030”.
The Prime Minister had then stated that, “this will be focused on restoring land productivity and ecosystem services of 26 million hectares of most degraded and vulnerable land, with emphasis on the degraded agricultural, forest and other wastelands by adopting a landscape restoration approach.”

In another significant development during India’s presidency, G-20 leaders recognizing the importance of combating land degradation and creating new carbon sinks, put up an aspirational goal to collectively plant 1 trillion trees, urging other countries to join forces with G20 to reach this global goal by 2030.

According to UNCCD, if the business will continue as usual, by 2050, result in degradation of 16 million square kilometers (almost the size of South America), with 69 gigatonnes of carbon emitted into the atmosphere.

The agency also informed that the land restoration would help reduce the estimated 700 million people at risk of being displaced by drought by 2030.

During the COP15 the restoration of one billion hectares of degraded land by 2030 will be the top on the agenda including, future-proofing people, their homes and lands against the impacts of disaster risks linked to climate change, such as droughts, and sand and dust storms.

COP15 is also expected to agree on policy actions to provide an enabling environment for land restoration through stronger tenure rights, gender equality, land use planning and youth engagement to draw private sector investment to conservation, farming, and land uses and practices to improve the health of the land.

UNCCD COP15 is the first of the three Rio Conventions meetings to be held in 2022, with Biodiversity COP15 and Climate change COP27 convening later on in Kunming, China and Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, respectively.


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