Union Environment and Forest Minister Prakash Javadekar (File photo)
Union Environment and Forest Minister Prakash Javadekar (File photo)

India committed to minimising impact of desertification: Javadekar

ANI | Updated: Sep 04, 2019 11:53 IST

Greater Noida [Uttar Pradesh], Sept 2 (ANI): India is committed to finding a long-term solution to minimise the impact of desertification and land degradation, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar said on Monday.
Javadekar, who inaugurated the 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) to UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) along with Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary, UNCCD, said the event provides a platform to mainstream sustainable land management in India's development policies.
Javadekar was elected COP president for next two years, an official release said.
The minister said that India being the global host for COP 14 will take over the COP presidency from China for the next two years.
"India is privileged to be among the select few countries to have hosted COP of Rio conventions on climate change, biodiversity, and land," he said.
He said the event highlights India's leadership in navigating the land management agenda at the global level.
"It will also provide a stage to mainstream sustainable land management in country's national development policies," he said.
The minister said that the key outcomes of COP 14 will facilitate in bringing convergence and synergies in programmes relating to agriculture, forestry, land, water management, and poverty alleviation.
These will help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as also doubling farmer's Income by 2022, he said.
"Let us be optimistic. We must have faith in our action. I am optimistic about the future and confident that if human actions have caused damage, further human action cam also restore the land ecology and environment," he said.
Thiaw said the delegates were tasked with making life better for three-and-half billion people affected by "degradation of three-quarters of our land."
In his remarks, Minister of State for Environment and Forest and Climate Change Babul Supriyo said India has been proactive in combating land degradation, desertification, and drought.
"We have added more than 15000 sq km of tree cover inside and outside forest areas in the last five years, which is a big success in land restoration," he said.
The opening session of the High-Level Segment (HLS) on September 9 will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
India Pavilion at the event venue showcases the country's success stories and achievements while depicting the link between land, water, energy, biodiversity, climate change, science, and technology.
The conference is being attended by delegates from 197 parties.
UNCCD was adopted in Paris on June 17, 1994 and was ratified by 196 countries and the European Union. India ratified the UNCCD Convention in 1996.
The other two Rio Conventions that emerged as major outcome of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit were the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
The issues being discussed at COP 14 include sustainable land management, reversing land degradation and drought mitigation. (ANI)