From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : UNCCD, Bonn Challenge
Mains level : Desertification in India
- India for the first time will host the 14th session of the Conference of Parties (COP-14) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in September 2019.
About United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
- Established in 1994, the UNCCD is the only legally binding international agreement linking environment and development issues to the land agenda.
- It addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found.
- 2006 was declared “International Year of Deserts and Desertification”.
Desertification in India
- India faces a severe problem of land degradation, or soil becoming unfit for cultivation.
- A 2016 report by the ISRO found that about 29% of India’s land (in 2011-13) was degraded, this being a 0.57% increase from 2003-05.
- At the previous edition of the COP, India had committed to restore 13 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by the year 2020, and an additional 8 million hectares by 2030.
The Bonn Challenge
- Ahead of the COP-14, MoEFCC launched a flagship project, part of a larger international initiative called the Bonn Challenge, to enhance India’s capacity for forest landscape restoration (FLR).
- The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land under restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.
- It will be implemented during a pilot phase of three-and-a-half years in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland and Karnataka.
- The project will aim to develop and adapt the best practices and monitoring protocols for the country, and build capacity within the five pilot States.