India to raise target of restoring degraded land, says PM Modi


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that India will raise its ‘ambition’ of restoring degraded land from 21 million hectares to 26 million hectares between now and 2030.

“I would like to announce that India would raise its ambition of the total area that would be restored from its land degradation status, from 21 million hectares to 26 million hectares between now and 2030… We in India, take pride in using remote sensing and space technology for multiple applications, including land restoration,” Prime Minister Modi said while addressing the 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

The Prime Minister stated that India would be happy to help other friendly countries “develop land restoration strategies through cost effective satellite and space technology.”

“In order to further develop a scientific approach and facilitate induction of technology to land degradation issues, we have decided to set up a centre for excellence in India at the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education.”

At the event, Prime Minister Modi also called upon the leadership of UNCCD to “conceive a global water action agenda which is central to the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) strategy.”

UNCCD was adopted in Paris on June 17, 1994, and was ratified by 196 countries and the European Union. India ratified the UNCCD Convention in 1996.

Prime Minister Modi also said that the “time has come” for the world to say “good bye” to single-use plastic.

“My government has announced that India will put an end to single use plastic in the coming years. I believe the time has come for even the world to say good-bye to single use plastic,” he said.

The conference is being held at a time when India has assumed the COP Presidency for two years.

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