Delhi to host high-level UNCCD meet next month

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 27, 2019

UN convention Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar (right), and Minister of State Babul Supriyo addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday   -  PTI

More than 200 countries are expected to take part in the event

New Delhi will host the 14th edition of the Conference of Parties (CoP) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) between September 2 and 13. The event will be attended by more than 3,000 international delegates, apart from environment ministers from 94 countries, Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar said here on Tuesday.

India, where 96.4 million hectares of land (nearly 29 per cent of total geographical area) is degraded, has already made a commitment to restore 5 million hectares by 2030, Javadekar said while addressing the media on the upcoming CoP.

Apart from helping in increasing food production, this will provide an additional 7.5 million employment, the Minister said.

As the host, India will assume the presidency of CoP for the next two years during which it will try to persuade countries to adopt decisions arrived at the CoP14, the Minister said, adding that India is strongly committed to the convention. The conference to be held at Greater Noida, on the outskirts of the Capital, will not only review the progress made during the last two years in controlling and reversing further loss of productive land due to desertification, land degradation and drought, but is also expected to agree on about 30 major issues which are important to ensure the conventional goals for 2018-30 are achieved. These goals are to improve the lives of the population affected by desertification and land degradation and to improve the affected ecosystems. The focus will also be on mitigating the effects of drought and mobilising sufficient resources to achieve these goals.

During a recent meeting in Ankara in Turkey, UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw had said that forced migration due to land degradation is among one of the major issues that the world is currently facing. He also said the Delhi CoP would discuss and take a decision on the issue of involving private businesses in restoring degraded land.

To engage the private sector, there would be a decision on a controversial issue of land tenure by which the firms are given the rights over the land for a limited period of time, Thiaw had said.

Published on August 27, 2019

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