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land degradation - Shanmugam IAS academy in coimbatore
land degradation


What’s in news?

Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that India has committed to rejuvenate 50 lakh hectares (5 million) of degraded land between 2021 and 2030.


  • 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.
  • One third of the world is facing the problem of land desertification.
  • A report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) earlier this month underlined that land everywhere was bearing the brunt of severe climate change impacts already and would lead to extreme food insecurity if steps weren’t taken.

Key data’s:

  • India is hosting the Conference of Parties (COP) 14 of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) from September 2-13.
  • 29 per cent land of India’s total geographical area is degraded which has to be restored and will be the agenda of the the summit.
  • Participants: From confirmed 200 Countries, 3000 delegates and 100 Ministers.
  • Now, India is targeting to restore 50 lakh hectares of land by 2030 as it converts degraded land into a fertile land.

India’s further step towards land degradation:

  • Centre of Excellence: The Union Government would establish a centre of excellence to combat desertification of the fertile land would be set up at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun. The centre will study the causes of desertification and devise solutions.
  • India will play a lead role in combating desertification for the next two years, taking over the COP Presidency from China.

India’s global action:

Bonn Challenge:

  • India became part of the “Bonn Challenge”, a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.
  • At the UNFCC Conference of the Parties (COP) 2015 in Paris, India also 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. This target was the largest in Asia.

Land degradation:

  • A land which undergoes any change or disturbance by a combination of human-induced processes acting upon the land. perceived to be deleterious or undesirable.
  • In simple terms it is defined as the temporary or permanent decline in the productive capacity of the land.

Reasons for Land degradation:

The responsible factors for land degradation are over exploitation, over grazing, over water logging, flood and wind.


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