High-level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought

  • IASbaba
  • June 16, 2021
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High-level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought

Part of: GS Prelims and GS -II – International Relations and GS III – Conservation 

In news

  • Recently, the Indian Prime Minister delivered a keynote address at the United Nations (UN) “High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought” via video conference.

Steps Taken by India to deal land degradation 

  • India is on track to achieve its national commitment on Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) (Sustainable Development Goal target 15.3).
  • It is working to restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030.
  • Over the last 10 years, around 3 million hectares of forest cover has been added.
  • India is assisting fellow developing countries to develop land restoration strategies.
  • A Centre of Excellence is being set up in India to promote a scientific approach towards land degradation issues. 
    • It is at Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education.

What is Land Degradation and its impact? 

  • Land degradation is caused by multiple forces, including extreme weather conditions, particularly drought and human activities that pollute or degrade the quality of soils and land utility.
  • It creates arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas.
  • It accelerates climate change and biodiversity loss. 
  • It adds to droughts, wildfires, involuntary migration and the emergence of zoonotic infectious diseases.

Global Efforts to Check Land Degradation

  • United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD): Sole legally binding international agreement 
  • The Bonn Challenge: : To bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030. 
  • Great Green Wall: Initiative by Global Environment Facility (GEF), where eleven countries in Sahel-Saharan Africa have focused efforts to fight against land degradation and revive native plant life to the landscape.

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