Current Size: 90%
Desertification, along with climate change and the loss of biodiversity were identified as the greatest challenges to sustainable development during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Adopted in 1994, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) entered into force in 1996 and became a legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The Convention addresses specifically the issue of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD) in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas of drylands, which are home to some of the most vulnerable people and ecosystems in the world. The Convention’s 195 parties work together to improve the living conditions for people in drylands, to maintain and restore land and soil productivity, and to mitigate the effects of drought. India became a signatory to UNCCD on 14th October 1994 and ratified it on 17th December 1996. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is the nodal Ministry in the Government of India for the UNCCD, and Desertification Cell is the nodal point within the Ministry to co-ordinate all issues pertaining to the Convention.
Combating DLDD requires interventions in form of Preventive and Curative Measures. Preventive measures include adopting Sustainable Land Management (SLM) practices that can ensure sustainable productivity of land resources and; food, water and livelihood security for present and future generations. Curative measures involve undertaking restoration and reclamation interventions on degraded lands and subsequent SLM of reclaimed land resources.
As a party to the Convention, the Country Parties are obligated to submit National reports to UNCCD periodically. Till date, India has submitted 6th National Reports. India’s Seventh National Report will be due for submission in 2016. The country parties are required to submit the reports every 2 years against the achievements of the UNCCD Operational Objectives which are reflected in performance indicators. The reporting against Strategic Objectives reflected through impact indicators happened for the first time in 2012 and is required to be repeated at 4 year interval. After ratification in 1996, India prepared its National Action Programme (NAP) to Combat Desertification and sent it to the UNCCD Secretariat in 2001. NAP 2001 provides an overview of the status of natural resources in the country, the status and impacts of desertification, measures under implementation, and in particular, the initiatives taken for combating desertification. India is also preparing its New national Action Programme to Combat Desertification (NNAP-CD) keeping in view (a) The 10 year (2008-2018) Strategy of UNCCD (Decision 3/COP 8), (b) the fact that India has already undertaken a number of schemes and programs in the recent past to address the issue of DLDD and (c) the aspirational goal of achieving Land Degradation Neutrality.
The need for coordinated efforts by all concerned Ministries and Departments for preparing the proposed NNAP and orchestrating national reporting against defined indicators can hardly be overemphasized.
For more information visit: http://www.unccd.int/en/Pages/default.aspx