India to host UN meet on land degradation in September

News :
India for the first time will host the 14th session of the Conference of Parties (COP-14) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in September.
  • It will see participation from at least 5,000 delegates from nearly 197 countries and will be held between September 2 and 14 in Delhi.
  • India will take over the COP presidency from China for two years until the next COP in 2021.One of the primary functions of the COP is to review reports submitted by the Country Parties, detailing how they are carrying out their commitments.
  • The global Conference is expected to review the progress made, especially during the last two years, to control and reverse the further loss of productive land from desertification, land degradation, and drought.These are considered growing threats to peace and security in both developed and developing countries due to the widespread loss of livelihoods for communities and even entire regions.

Pivotal Agenda 2030 target, includes :
  • The interaction between climate and land
  • Optimizing the mix of food, energy and environment demands on land
  • The rural-urban link
  • The negative feedback of land degradation on poverty and human health
  • The role of the faith communities and the rapidly growing global movement on land restoration both of which are essential to achieving land degradation neutrality.
The United Nations has three major Conventions:
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
To Know About UNCCD :
  • The UNCCD, established in 1994, has 197 parties working towards maintaining and restoring land and soil productivity and mitigating the effects of drought.
  • The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found.
  • The Secretariat of UNCCD is located in Bonn in Germany.
  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is the nodal Ministry for the Convention.
  • India became a signatory to UNCCD on October 14, 1994 and ratified it on December 17, 1996.
  • The convention addresses desertification and land issues.
  • It is the first and only internationally legally binding framework set up to address the problem of desertification and other land issues.
Issues :
  • India faces a severe problem of land degradation, or soil becoming unfit for cultivation.
  • A 2016 report by the Indian Space Research Organisation found that about 29% of India’s land (in 2011-13) was degraded, this being a 0.57% increase from 2003-05
  • At the previous edition of the COP, India had committed to restoring 13 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by the year 2020 and an additional 8 million hectares by 2030.
  • Thus, ahead of the COP-14, India is ready to launch a flagship project as part of a larger international initiative called the Bonn Challenge, to enhance India’s capacity for forest landscape restoration (FLR).
The project will aim to develop and adopt the best practices and monitoring protocols for the country, and build capacity within the five pilot States (Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland, and Karnataka).
The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land under restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.
  • The government is also in the process of launching transformative projects, policy formulation, research and development in the area of sustainable land management to address the issues of land degradation, desertification, drought and dust storms.
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