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India set to host COP14 to Combat Desertification from today

The participants include ministers from 196 countries, representatives of national and local governments, city leaders, community groups, scientists, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and industry experts and they will present and share their expertise and give an overview to achieve the goals at the 12-day Conference.

Desertification is a worldwide problem directly affecting 250 million people and a third of the earth’s land surface. To fight this menace, India will convert degraded land of nearly 50 lakh hectares to fertile land in next 10 years.

UNCCD, established in 1994, is the sole legally binding international agreement that links environment and development to sustainable land management. It addresses specifically arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as drylands, home to some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples.

Main agendas for COP14 are reversing land degradation and its outcomes while accelerating positive achievements for people and for ecosystems with a view to deliver on the United Nations- mandated Sustainable Development Goals.

Land degradation working in tandem with climate change and biodiversity loss may force up to 700 million people to migrate by 2050.

One-third of the world’s land, some four billion hectares, is degraded. In India, degradation has hit 96 million hectares, 29.32% of all the land in the country. Almost all countries have signed a pledge to reach net land degradation neutrality by 2030. That means they have promised to restore as much land as is being degraded.

With India succeeding China to the COP presidency, experts expect a fillip to the process of combating desertification in Asia.

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