Union Environment Minister delivers the National Statement at the 15th Session of the Conference of Parties of UNCCD

Union Minister, for Environment, Forest and Climate Chnage, Shri Bhupender Yadav delivered National Statementat the 15th Session of the Conference of Parties of UNCCD today. He was addressing the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Conference of Parties at its fifteenth session in Cote d’Ivoire.

The Minister stated that several global developments indicate renewed and stronger resolve that provide direct and indirect support to the objectives of UNCCD, such as the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) that aims at halting and reversing ecosystem degradation and loss. The importance placed on increasing area, connectivity and integrity of natural ecosystems in the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. It is timely that at this COP, we call for action to ensure that land is sustainably managed and continues to benefit present and future generations.

Emphasizing that Land plays a fundamental and cross-cutting role in achieving several of the Sustainable Development Goals. Meeting SDGs goals can help accelerate tree cover, soil conservation and transition towards sustainable agriculture production. Land restoration is one of the proven strategies that can put us on a pathway to green recovery. It can create jobs, uplift rural communities, and deliver significant co-benefits for human health, biodiversity, and adaptation to climate change.

“We will need to appropriately align our policies and institutions such that they contribute towards the restoration of landscapes and its productivity.  It is critical to ensure the flow of public finance into natural resource management to halt the deteriorating state of the environment. Our programs and initiatives will not see fruition without the means of implementation necessary to support them.” said Shri Yadav

The Minister further emphasized that our recovery process needs to awaken change at the individual level by changing our consumption habits, without which we will continue to put tremendous pressures on land.

The three conventions on climate change, biodiversity and combating desertification are all linked by the high consumption lifestyle of a global minority among countries. And urgently reducing their profligate emissions is key to the success of all these three conventions.

During India’s Presidency, the Minister gladly reported that the Bureau has successfully convened seven high-level meetings that witnessed vibrant discussions and led to decisions on:

  • Leveraging multilateral platforms on the road to Rio+ 30.
    • Scheduling of the Fifteenth session of Conference of Parties (COP-15) at Cote d’Ivoire in May 2022.
    • The deliberations in the Intergovernmental Working Group (IWG) on Drought,

    Report of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST) Committee for Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC-19). Two extra-ordinary sessions to deliberate on the interim budget for 2022 and recommend the unanimously agreed extension of term of the Executive Secretary, UNCCD.

    Further informing about the significant actions on addition, during this period G-20 leaders have recognized the importance of combating land degradation and creating new carbon sinks with an aspirational goal to collectively plant 1 trillion trees, urging other countries to join forces with G20 to reach this global goal by 2030.  A High-level Dialogue of United Nations General Assembly was held on 14th June 2021 on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought, where Shri Narendra Modi Ji, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India highlighted the success stories and initiatives taken by India to combat land degradation, he added .

    Shri Yadav expressed that for the first time, an Intergovernmental Working Group (IWG) on effective policy and implementation measures for addressing drought under the United Nations Convention for Combating Desertification (UNCCD) was established by decision 23/COP.14. A draft report has been prepared and will be discussed during COP-15.

    Shri Yadav concluded by remarking  that India held the 14th COP in Delhi in 2019 as a part of its commitment to the global community and our commitment to the fundamental objectives of this Convention. Subsequently it also held the presidency during the difficult Covid 19 pandemic times, he said.

    “The world has now chosen Abidjan as the site to begin the next step of our journey, to carry forward this important task. We pass on this responsibility to our hosts, the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, knowing that you will undertake the task at hand with deft and zeal. We repose our faith in you to guide the global community to tread on the path of sustainability with care and respect for Mother Earth” , Shri Bhupender Yadav said.

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