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UNCCD – Asia Pacific Regional Workshop Held

Published on April 29, 2018
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and the UN hosted four-day Asia Pacific Regional Workshop in New Delhi to monitor and report on land degradation.
UNCCD – Asia Pacific Regional Workshop Held
  • The four day workshop is aimed at enabling countries to efficiently report land degradation to the UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification).
  • It was attended by delegates from about 40 Asia Pacific countries, as well as representatives from 12 Indian states affected by land degradation, researchers and scientists from scientific institutions of national importance.

Key Facts

  • The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan highlighted the critical need to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) by 2030.
  • He urged the delegates to transform the Workshop into a milestone in combating land degradation, desertification, and drought. 
  • In India, the total land area under land degradation is 96.40 million hectares, which is 29.32 percent of the country’s total geographical area.
  • India has around 70 percent of its total geographical area under drylands and about 30 percent of its land affected by land degradation and about 25 percent of the land affected by desertification.
  • Conditions of droughts and desertification result in a loss of 20 million tonnes of potential foodgrain production. 
  • The workshop provided UNCCD member countries platform to submit their national report in time and in particular for Target 15.3 on Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN). 
  • It provided diverse and multi-disciplinary knowledge sharing platform addressing desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) issues.
  • It also provided opportunity to bring all key stakeholders from Asia to India and discuss key aspects of Reporting, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN).
  • The participants were trained in use of state-of-the-art tool called ‘Trends.Earth’ developed by Conservation International, an NGO for combating land degradation. 
  • It will collect data that in turn will help policy-makers to prioritize areas for interventions for combating land degradation.

UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification)

  • Signed: 14 October 1994
  • Effective: 26 December 1996
  • Parties: 197 (196 states + the European Union)
  • Location: Paris, France
  • Desertification was addressed for the first time in 1977 in the United Nations Conference on Desertification.
  • This was followed by the adoption of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Paris on 17th June 1994. 
  • The Convention entered into force in December 1996.
  • It is one of the three Rio Conventions, along with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
  • India became a signatory to the Convention on October 14, 1994, and ratified it on December 17, 1996. 
  • The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is the nodal Ministry to coordinate all issues pertaining to the Convention. 
  • The Convention holds a biennial Conference of Parties (CoP) to the Convention.
  • The last CoP was held in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, in China, in September 2016.
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