World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought: India will lead by example, says Union Minister Prakash Javadekar

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Updated: Jun 18, 2019 1:54 PM

The main objective of the 14th session of Conference of Parties (COP -14) would be to combat desertification, land degradation and mitigate the effects of drought.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar unveiled the logo of COP-14 on the occasion (Twitter image)Union Minister Prakash Javadekar unveiled the logo of COP-14 on the occasion (Twitter image)

On the occasion of World Day to Combat Desertification, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that India will host the 14th session of Conference of Parties (COP -14) from 29th August to 14th September 2019. The main objective of the 14th session of Conference of Parties (COP -14) would be to combat desertification, land degradation and mitigate the effects of drought.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar unveiled the logo of COP-14 on the occasion, stating, “We make targets for our own country’s real and sustainable development, not under any global pressure. Further, as in the past, India is poised to play a pivotal leadership role to lead by example in tackling desertification.”

Addressing an event in New Delhi on World Day to combat Desertification and Drought, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar highlighted that with about 30% of country’s total geographical area being affected by land degradation, India has high stakes and stands committed to the Convention.

Highlighting the various schemes launched by the government of India to help reduce land degradation, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar listed out schemes like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Soil Health Card Scheme, Soil Health Management Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (PKSY), Per Drop More Crop, etc.

Addressing the gathering, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant also spoke about the significance of the World Day to combat desertification as a unique occasion to remind the global community that desertification can be tackled effectively, solutions are possible and some of the key tools to this include strengthened community participation and cooperation at all levels.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar also launched a flagship project on forest landscape restoration (FLR) and Bonn Challenge in India, which is set to be implemented through a pilot phase of 3.5 years across Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland and Karnataka.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change aims to develop as well as best practices and monitoring protocols for these states so as to build its capacity within the five pilot states on the basis of the FLR and Bonn challenge. For this, the Ministry will be in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature through this flagship project. Further, this is expected to be scaled up across the country through subsequent phases of the flagship project.

At the UNFCC Conference of the Parties (COP) 2015 in Paris, India had joined the Bonn Challenge pledge to bring into restoration 13 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2020 and 8 million hectares by 2030. Note that India’s pledge is one of the largest in Asia.

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