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India to Restore 50 Lakh Hectare of Degraded Land by 2030, Says Prakash Javadekar

Javadekar also announced that a centre of excellence to combat desertification of the fertile land would be set up at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun, which will study the causes of desertification and devise solutions.

PTI

Updated:August 27, 2019, 6:57 PM IST
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India to Restore 50 Lakh Hectare of Degraded Land by 2030, Says Prakash Javadekar
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New Delhi: India will restore 50 lakh hectare of its degraded land by 2030, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday.

Ahead of an upcoming global conference on land desertification, the minister said 29 per cent of India's total geographical area is degraded which has to be restored and will be the agenda of the summit.

India is hosting the Conference of Parties (COP) 14 of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) from September 2-13. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also likely to attend the conference, in which nearly 200 countries and 100 ministers will be participating.

"One third of the world is facing the problem of land desertification. It is a challenge. Science has given us many new opportunities to restore land. The main challenge is that India has 29 per cent of degraded land," Javadekar said at a curtain-raiser event at the National Media Centre here.

"Degradation happens due to many factors like over-exploitation, over-grazing, over-waterlogging and wind. Floods also make a good land into a bad land. We have to restore it. Therefore, we have taken a target to restore 50 lakh hectares of land by 2030. We will convert degraded land into fertile land," he said.

The minister also announced that a centre of excellence to combat desertification of the fertile land would be set up at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun, which will study the causes of desertification and devise solutions.

He said India will play a lead role in combating desertification for the next two years, taking over the COP presidency from China.

"India will lead in combating desertification for the next two years. We will lead the world in the right direction and seek cooperation of all countries. Nearly 200 countries have confirmed their participation. More than 3,000 delegates and 100 ministers are coming. All UN officials will be there," the environment minister said.

The curtain-raiser event at the National Media Centre was also attended by Minister of State for Environment Babul Supriyo, Secretary C K Mishra, Special Secretary Anil Kumar Jain and Joint Secretary Jigmet Takpa.

The Indian government is committed to achieving land degradation neutrality by the year 2030, the ministry said.

"To help reduce land degradation, it has launched various schemes over the last few years, such as Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Soil Health Card Scheme, Soil Health Management Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna (PKSY) and Per Drop More Crop," it said in a statement.

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