India will be hosting the 14th Conference of
Parties (COP14) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) from
2-13 September 2019 at Greater Noida, NCR. India is the president of the CoP
for next two years under UNCCD
At its Curtain Raiser Press Conference, Union Environment
Minister has announced that India pledges to restore 5mn hectares of degraded land
by 2030. This target will be a part of India’s voluntary commitment to the Bonn
Challenge. Under the challenge, India has pledged to bring into restoration 13
million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2020, and additional 8
million hectares by 2030.
The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring
150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into
restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030. It was launched in 2011
by the Government of Germany and IUCN, and later endorsed and extended by the
New York Declaration on Forests at the 2014 UN Climate Summit.
The Environment Minister further stated that
there would be a ‘New Delhi Declaration’ at the end of CoP14. The declaration
would be a common resolve of 196 countries on how to stop land from being degraded
and how to quickly restore existing degraded land.
India will also set up a centre of excellence at
the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun. It will act as a nodal centre for
research on issues relating to solving problems of land degradation, drought
UNCCD is the sole legally binding international
agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.
It was established in 1994.
The Convention entered into force in December
1996. It is one of the three Rio Conventions along with United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Convention on Biological
UNCCD seeks to work towards combating desertification,
maintaining and restoring land and soil productivity and mitigating the effects