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India to Restore More Degraded Land, End Single-use Plastic: PM Modi at UNCCD COP14

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

The Opening Ceremony of the High-Level Segment was attended by His Excellency Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister, Republic of India, His Excellency Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, His Excellency Mr. Prakash Javedkar, President of COP 14 and Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Republic of India, Her Excellency Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat  Desertification (UNCCD) and other dignitaries took place from 10:30 am to -11.30 am on September 9 in the Plenary Hall, India Expo Centre and Mart ,New Delhi, India .

Prime Minister Narendra Modi while speaking at the 14th session of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) said India will be leading the restoring activities by raising its target from restoring 21 million hectares to 26 million hectares. This will help in achieving its target of creating a carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through forest cover. The Prime Minister also reiterated the fact that between 2015 and 2017, India's tree and forest cover has increased by 0.8 million hectares. He also encouraged South-South cooperation which will help in fighting and degradation and restoring desert lands.

The honourable Prime Minister also highlighted the programmes initiated by his Government for restoring the lands, for doubling the farmers income, bringing in sustainability in farming like the Zero budget Natural Farming, the use of biofertilizers, issuance of millions of soil health cards, the Jal Shakthi Ministry, one of its kinds was formed very recently in May 2019, in the second term of the Modi Ministry. He emphasised the importance of the Jal Shakthi Ministry as water management is an important issue to tackle in LDN. He also said that a Centre of excellence under the Ministry of Environment and forests is to be established.

Remote sensing applications and technology will also be used in restoring lands, said the Prime Minister. He emphasised on the ban on single use plastic, which his Government is trying to bring up and hopes the world too bans single use plastics.

Last but not the least he also threw light on the release of 6  billion for the renewal of forest lands  and on the end note he  wished prosperity to the Mother Earth and  prosperity to all.

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