High-level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought
Part of: GS Prelims and GS -II – International Relations and GS III – Conservation
- 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.