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Current Affairs

Reverse desertification

Date: 10 September 2019 Tags: Climate Change

Issue

PM Modi has announced that India would raise its ambitious goal of the total area that would be restored from its land degradation status, from 21 million hectares to 26 million hectares between now and 2030.

 

Background

At the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP) 2015 in Paris, India had joined the voluntary Bonn Challenge and pledged to bring into restoration 13 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2020, and an additional 8 million hectares by 2030. India’s pledge was one of the largest in Asia.

 

Details

  • India faces a severe problem of land degradation, or soil becoming unfit for cultivation. About 29% or about 96.4 million hectares are considered degraded.

  • The decline in productive capacity of land is due to climatic factors and human intervention.

  • The intended target would be achieved with an emphasis on degraded agricultural, forest and other wastelands by adopting a landscape restoration approach.

  • This would also address water scarcity, enhance water recharge in forests, slow down water run-off and retain soil moisture.

 

Land Degradation

Land degradation is a process in which the value of the biophysical environment is affected by a combination of human-induced processes acting upon the land.