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Land degradation affecting livelihood, experts call for alertness at grass root level

Joymala Bagchi (Ani) | Updated: Sep 05, 2019 20:33 IST

By Joymala Bagchi (Ani)
New Delhi [India], Sept 5 (ANI): With land degradation massively affecting livelihood at the local level in all parts of the world, UNCCD has said that 122 countries have committed to set Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) targets so far.
Asserting that there is a need to create alertness at a grass-root level, Marioldy Sanchez Santivanez, Project Manager, Responsable De Motireo Institutional told ANI, "Achieving Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) is a very ambitious challenge especially for developing countries. It depends on stakeholders from different sectors and genuine implementation."
In addition, Santivanez said, "Different entities deal with different aspects, be it water, soil or biodiversity and sometimes it becomes very difficult to coordinate everybody in a common agenda."
Alongside 80 countries over two-thirds have already set their targets, and many have secured high-level government commitment to achieving LDN.
United Nations observed earlier that land degradation is costing a scale as high as 1.3 billion dollars every day.
Expressing concern over implementation Santivanez said, "Delivering information about LDN at the local level is the biggest challenge. There is a need to simplify the terms to make it more understandable to the local communities/ farmers. And second is aligning national level policies at the most local level is pivotal to achieve the global target."
As far India is concerned the govt is focussed to achieve LDN by 2030 which already begun with India's massive afforestation drive.
India's diverse sets of ecosystem such as grassland, forest land and scrublands have all the potential to achieve LDN, however, competition for land for other sectors is one of the major challenges.
Land degradation is the loss of productive potential to grow food, support biodiversity and its ability to sustain human well being. Reversing and restoring of productive land at a particular spatial scale is instrumental toward LDN.
While speaking on challenges that India would be facing Jagdish Krishnaswamy, a senior fellow at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) said, "productive land is a finite resource and therefore conversion of productive land to other uses is something that we are really worried about. We are worried about productive land being diverted to other use."
"When we make choices of land to divert we have to be very careful that the last resort should be diversion if productive land," Krishnaswamy asserts.
Globally there are many lands which do not comply with the definition of land degradation as it supports the livelihood.
14th session of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is being attended by 196 countries and 5000 participants and nearly 8000 representatives. (ANI)