The Prime Minister of India delivered a keynote address at United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) on Desertification, Land degradation and Drought via Video Conference.
At the summit on June, 2021, Our Prime Minister, Mr. Modi said that India is on track to achieve its national commitment of Land degradation neutrality. He further added that India has also started working on its restoration of 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030. This would contribute to India’s commitment to achieve an additional carbon sink of 2.5-3 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.
The target to be achieved is planned with an emphasis on degraded agriculture, forest other wasteland by adopting landscape restoration approach. This would resolve issues relating to water scarcity, enhance water recharge in forest, slow down water run-off and retain moisture of the soil.
More than 700 million people in India depend on forests and agriculture for sustenance. And over 250 million people depend on forest for fuel-wood, fodder, food, security and other products. Terming land as the fundamental building block for supporting all lives and livelihoods, our Prime Minister called for reduction of the huge pressure on land and its resources.
The Prime Minster listed steps taken by India to deal with the land degradation issue. He said that India has taken the lead to highlight land degradation issues at international forums. The Delhi Declaration of 2019 called for better access and supervision over land, and emphasized on transformative projects.
Most livelihood are dependent on land and forest, but over the time changes have occurred in forest composition, land degradation, rising temperature and desertification. Landscape restoration project will resolve issues relating such land degradation and will restore the land by growing trees and protecting forests.
The Bani region in Rann of Kutch in Gujarat is an example to illustrate how restoration of land can start a virtuous cycle of good soil health, increased land productivity, food security and improved livelihoods.
It is necessary to devise effective strategies for land restoration while promoting indigenous techniques. A center of excellence has been set-up to promote a scientific approach for land degradation issues. This approach has provided tools and concepts for allocating and managing land to achieve social, economic and environmental objective.
Therefore, a ground-level holistic management can be combined to understand the complexity of different lands and their uses.
Monitoring and reporting are important to understand the working of such initiative that gives a better picture of the progress in the field of execution and management. Amendments and management should go hand in hand to understand what worked and what did not; to support adaptive management and to see that it has benefited the communities.
In the spirit of the cooperation, India is assisting fellow developing countries to develop land restoration strategies. It is the duty and collective responsibility of mankind to preserve the land and reverse the damage to land caused by human activity. And also, our duty to preserve healthy environment for our future generation.
Man is responsible to take proper care of the environment, make rational use of natural resources and prevent pollution from different processes. As a citizen of India, we should lend a helping hand in developing our nation to achieve this objective of restoration of land so that it benefits the present and future generations.
Right to safe, healthy and ecologically balanced society is a human right in itself, but it also demands for the duty to protect it. Every individual must contribute to living in an environment which is healthy and safe for its living.
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