UN High- Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land degradation and Drought

What is the News? The Prime Minister of India has delivered a keynote address at the United Nations (UN) High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation, and Drought.

About UN High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought:
  • The dialogue has been organized by the President of the United Nations(UN) General Assembly.
  • Aim: It aims to focus the international community’s attention on land issues. So that it can generate political will for implementing land solutions within COVID-19 adaptation and recovery strategies.
    • The dialogue encourages all Member States to adopt and implement Land Degradation Neutrality targets and National Drought Plans.
  • Indian Prime Minister(PM) presided over the 14th Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Thus, he spoke at the opening segment of the dialogue, which is part of UNCCD.
What are the key takeaways from Indian PM address?
  • Firstly, India is working towards restoring 2.6 crore hectares of degraded land by 2030. India is also assisting fellow developing countries to develop land-restoration strategies.
  • Secondly, India is working towards restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.
    • This would contribute to India’s commitment to achieving an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
  • Thirdly, over the last 10 years, India has added around 3 million hectares of forest cover. This has enhanced the combined forest cover to almost one-fourth of the country’s total area.
  • Lastly, India has also taken up some novel approaches in many parts of India.
    • Example: Banni region in the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat suffers from highly degraded land and receives very little rain.
    • In the Banni region, land restoration was done by developing grasslands. It helped the region in achieving land degradation neutrality.
    • The region also supports pastoral activities and livelihood by promoting animal husbandry.

Read Also :-What is Land Degradation?

About UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification)
  • UNCCD is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. It was established in 1994. It has 197 parties.
  • Purpose: It seeks to work towards maintaining and restoring land and soil productivity and mitigating the effects of drought.
14th Session of COP-14 of UNCCD:
  • India had for the first time hosted the 14th session of the Conference of Parties(COP-14) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification(UNCCD) at Greater Noida in 2019.
  • The theme of the Conference was ‘Restore land, Sustain future’.
  • During the conference, the Delhi Declaration was issued. The declaration called for better access over land and emphasised gender-sensitive transformative projects.

Source: PIB

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