Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that we as a country make targets not under any global pressure but for our own country’s real sustainable development, and as in the past India will play a leadership role and will lead by example in combating desertification. Speaking at an event in New Delhi on the occasion of World Day to combat desertification and drought, he announced that India will be hosting the fourteenth session of Conference of Parties (COP – 14) from 29th August – 14th September 2019.
He also said that about 30% of country’s total geographical area being affected by land degradation; India has high stakes and stands strongly committed to the Convention.
CEO , NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant who was also present on the occasion said that the World Day to combat desertification is a unique occasion to remind global community that desertification can be effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, and that key tools to this aim lay in strengthened community participation and cooperation at all levels.
The Union Minister also launched a flagship project on enhancing capacity on forest landscape restoration (FLR) and Bonn Challenge in India, through a pilot phase of 3.5 years implemented in the States of Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland and Karnataka. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in partnership with The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), through this flagship project aims to develop and adapt best practices and monitoring protocols for the Indian states and build capacity within the five pilot states on FLR and Bonn Challenge. This will be eventually scaled up across the country through subsequent phases of the project.