India to lead fight against desertification: Javadekar

New Delhi


Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday said that India will lead by example the fight against increasing land desertification.

"We as a country make targets not under global pressure but for our own country's real sustainable development. As in the past, India will play a leadership role and will lead by example in combatting desertification," he said at an event here to mark the 'World Day to Combat Desertification'. 

Javadekar said about 30 per cent of India's total geographical area was affected by land degradation. "India has high stakes in the UN Convention and stands strongly committed to it," he added.

The Minister said that various schemes launched by the Central government such as Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), Soil Health Card Scheme, Soil Health Management Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (PKSY), Per Drop More Crop were aimed at reducing land degradation. 

Javadekar also announced that New Delhi will host the 14th Conference of Parties (COP - 14) under the United Nations' Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) from August 29 to September 14.

Over 5,000 representatives from over 197 countries drawn from national, regional and local governments, science and research communities, the private sector, international and non-governmental organisations and media will address the issue of combating desertification, land degradation and drought during the two-week event.

The COP reviews reports submitted by the member countries detailing how they are carrying out their commitments. 

India will takeover the COP presidency from China for two years until the next COP is hosted in 2021. IANS