He said programmes and initiatives to halt land degradation will not fructify without the means of implementation necessary to support them
New Delhi: Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav has underlined the need for developed countries to support efforts to revive degraded land in developing countries. In his address at the UN Convention to Combat Desertification 15th session of the Conference of the Parties in Cote d’Ivoire on Wednesday, he added programmes and initiatives to halt land degradation will not fructify without the means of implementation necessary to support them.
“Land plays a fundamental and cross-cutting role in achieving several of the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs]. Meeting SDG goals can help accelerate tree cover, soil conservation, and transition towards sustainable agriculture production,” he said. He added land restoration can help adapt to the climate crisis. “Land restoration is one of the proven strategies that can put us on a pathway to green recovery. It can create jobs, uplift rural communities, and deliver significant co-benefits for human health, biodiversity, and adaptation to climate change.”
Yadav stressed the need to move away from a high-consumption lifestyle. “[…] our recovery process needs to awaken change at the individual level by changing our consumption habits, without which we will continue to put tremendous pressures on land. The three conventions on climate change, biodiversity, and combating desertification are all linked by the high consumption lifestyle of a global minority among countries. And urgently reducing their profligate emissions is key to the success of all these three conventions.”
In 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the goal of restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030. Environment ministry officials said India has managed to restore 9.8 million hectares. About 960 lakh hectares or 29.23% of the land area is undergoing degradation in India, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation’s 2016 land atlas.