Environment Minister Yadav to address Desertification COP

India’s Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav on Monday night landed at Abidjan in the west African nation of Cote d’Ivoire to attend the 15th Conference (COP) of the United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification (UNCCD).

Leaders are meeting in Abidjan against the backdrop of a stark warning issued by the UNCCD that up to 40 per cent of all ice-free land is already degraded, with dire consequences for climate, biodiversity and livelihoods.

“Despite the pandemic, India as president of @UNCCD COP14 contributed significantly to bringing nations together for halting further land degradation,” Yadav tweeted.

Joint Secretary Jigmet Takpa, who has been looking after UNCCD related matters, had already reached the African nation two days ago.

Since September 2019, when the UNCCD COP was held at Greater Noida, India has been the UNCCD COP President and had that time led the comity of nations to adopt what is now known as ‘New Delhi Declaration’. India envisages land restoration to the tune of 26 million Ha by 2030.

The COP15 theme, ‘Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity’, is a call to action to ensure land – which is the lifeline on this planet – will also benefit present and future generations.

The Conference will start with a Heads of State summit and high-level segment held back-to-back on May 9-10 to create political momentum and raise ambition in particular in meeting the 2030 global commitments on restoration and robust actions that build the resilience of communities that are vulnerable to drought.

The Conference will focus on the restoration of one billion hectares of degraded land between now and 2030, future-proofing land use against the impacts of climate change, and tackling escalating disaster risks such as droughts, sand and dust storms, and wildfires.

More than a dozen heads of state and government, ministers and at least 2,000 delegates from 196 countries and the European Union are expected to be at the two-week Conference that will end on May 20.

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