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India commits to restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030

PM Modi announces the government’s resolve to tackle land degradation
PM Modi announces the government’s resolve to tackle land degradation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to restore 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 at the 14th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

India will increase its target for restoring degraded land from 21 million hectares to 26 million hectares by 2030, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday. The PM made the announcement at the 14th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. The conference is aimed towards tackling degradation of land and fixing the lapses in the management.

The PM also said that India’s tree and forest cover increased by 0.8 million hectares between 2015 and 2017. He also averred that he is willing to introduce new measures for greater South-South cooperation regarding issues such as climate change, biodiversity, and land degradation.

PM Modi also urged the leadership of UNCCD to come up with a global water action agenda which would be “central to the land degradation neutrality strategy”.  The PM stressed that climate change is also one of the factors contributing to land degradation. “When we address degraded lands, we also address water scarcity. Augmenting water supply, enhancing water recharge, slowing down water run-off and retaining moisture in the soil are all parts of a holistic land and water strategy,” he added.

Regarding plastic waste, the PM reiterated the government’s stance on banning single-use plastic. “I would like to draw your attention to another form of degradation, which is the menace of plastic waste that also destroys land. My government has announced that India will put an end to single-use plastic in the coming years,” he avowed. We are committed to the development of environment-friendly substitutes. It is time to say goodbye to single-use plastic,” he added.

As many as 196 countries are attending the 12-day conference, which is being hosted by India this year.

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