What is the way forward in tackling desertification effects and coming up with innovative desertification solutions?
Effects of environmental degradation are visible in abundance now. Desertification has devastated over two-thirds of the countries of the world. “Combine this with water crisis affecting the world. Restoring the health of the land is critical,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized, while addressing the 14th Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). He further laid out specific recommendations to combat the phenomenon that is increasingly being considered as a threat to the climate.
Climate and environment impact both biodiversity and land. It is widely accepted that the world is facing the negative impact of climate change.
The question is, however, what is the way forward in tackling desertification effects and coming up with innovative desertification solutions?
Elaborating India’s commitment on the issue of desertification, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated, “I wish you well as you deliberate further towards proposing a global strategy for Land Degradation Neutrality. I call upon the leadership of UNCCD to conceive a global water action agenda which is central to the Land Degradation Neutrality strategy. I am happy to state that India would be happy to help other friendly countries develop land restoration strategies through cost-effective satellite and space technology.”
He further stated, “My government has announced that India will put an end to single-use plastic in the coming years. I believe the time has come for even the world to say goodbye to single-use plastic.”
“It would make you happy that India has been able to increase its tree cover. Between 2015 to 2017, India’s tree and forest cover has increased by point eight million hectares, ” Prime Minister Narendra Modi added.
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— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 9, 2019
My Government has announced that India will put an end to single use plastic in the coming years.
— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) September 9, 2019
Giving a detailed address with his views on the topic of land degradation, the physical causes of desertification and desertification examples in islands as well, Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadine was all praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even as he took several jibes at ‘short-sighted leaders of other powerful countries.”
In his address, Ralph Gonsalves thanked India’s constant support to his island nation as follows, “It is remarkable that India, one of the largest democracies in the world, works hand-in-hand Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, which is one of the smallest in the world. I want to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this. ”
He further stated, “The voices of the international community must ring out loud. Poverty, pollution, natural disasters, unsustainable agri practices and coastal erosion demand substantial resource allocation.”
Taking a jibe at “leaders of powerful countries,” Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadine said, “We don’t want to hear the pledges because when those make them don’t mean them, then those pledges are in fact just a mirage. Remember, this is one earth we have. What happens in North Africa affects the issue of migration and security in Europe.”
Highlighting the need to act on priority, Ralph Gonsalves stated, “All of us have to work together or else we shall suffer much grief. We must not allow short-sighted leaders of powerful countries not recognize the truth of what I am speaking here today at New Delhi.”
Pushing strongly for historical wrongs to be corrected, Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadine cited the example of Haiti as follows, “Haiti is a part of a Caribbean island, a poster child for much historical land degradation which led to its impoverishment….but historical wrongs must be corrected. International agencies must help countries, especially those that have a historical responsibility.”
Addressing the event, Union Minister Prakash Javdekar said, “Green cover is rising in India. In the last 5 years, the green cover has increased by nearly 15000 sq km. We are inching towards our target of 33 per cent green cover. The UNCCDCOP15 is a huge event where more than 200 countries, 100 ministers and more than 8000 participants came together to show the concern to protect the environment. Combating desertification has to be a national endeavour. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to sustainable development is strong.”
Concluding, Union Minister Prakash Javdekar said, striking a positive note, “If human actions have created the problem, then positive human actions can rectify.”