India to host UN conference on land degradation, desertification this year

NEW DELHI: India will host the 14th session of the Conference of Parties to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) this year to address the issue of land degradation and desertification.

A source close to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change said Friday the conference of the UNCCD, which has participation from over 100 countries, is likely to be held in October.

The UNCCD, established in 1994, has 197 parties working towards maintaining and restoring land and soil productivity and mitigating the effects of drought.

Gaurav Khare, the ministry spokesperson, said hosting this conference will be a “prestigious moment for the country”.

“Hosting UNCCD COP-14 will be a prestigious moment for the country. India’s commitment to SDG 15 (life on land) is in coherence to the prime minister’s vision for doubling the income of farmers by 2022.

“SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) 15 addressing land issues is concomitant to climate change, poverty, food security, clean water and sanitation and gender equality, livelihood,” Khare said.

Khare said the government is committed to achieve land degradation neutrality by 2030 and by hosting the COP-14 it aims to showcase its role as a leader in addressing the land agenda.

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, the source said. PTI

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