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Government of India
Ministry of Environment and Forests
17-June-2014 15:49 IST
Aim to become “land degradation neutral” by 2030 – Shri Prakash Javadekar
Minister felicitates Grass Root Innovators; Workshop inaugurated on the occasion of World Day to Combat Desertification

Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar has said that India would become “land degradation neutral” by 2030 if all the critical stakeholders i.e. Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Water Resources and Department of Land Resources worked together on a common implementation strategy. To achieve the said goal, it was necessary for all stakeholders to work out a roadmap that addressed the concerns of all. The Minister stated this while addressing the delegates present at the inauguration of a workshop organized by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change on the occasion of World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) here today.

Elaborating further, the Minister said that desertification, loss of biodiversity along with climate change were the greatest challenges for the sustainable development. The desertification of land could be stopped or reverted through the integrated land use planning on landscape basis. His experience on working 11 watershed projects in Maharashtra showed that land desertification could be stopped with the collective efforts. Coordination among the different stakeholders was the key to achieve the goal of land degradation neutral India. Reclaiming the waste land has direct effect on the poverty eradication and makes communities prosperous, the Minister added.

Shri Javadekar also highlighted the innovative method adopted by the Ministry in publicizing the idea of land degradation neutral India. Earlier, the Ministry invited entries in the form of concept along with painting /designs/ captions on the occasion of World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) and has used the best among them to publicize the event. The Minister stated that the crowd sourcing model adopted by the Ministry would give a sense of participation in the people and the Ministry would continue to use this model in all its future endeavours.

A key highlight of the inauguration ceremony was the felicitation of pioneers who addressed the land degradation issue with their innovative approach at the grass roots level. The Minister felicitated Mr. Jadav Payeng from Assam, Mr. Ranaram Bishnoi from Rajasthan and the Foundation for Ecological Security, an organization based in Gujarat for their outstanding contributions in restoring degraded land and ecosystems. The Minister also released a short documentary on SLEM project in India prepared by Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE).

The World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) was celebrated every year on 17th June 2014. As a signatory to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which focuses upon Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD), India celebrates World Day to Combat Desertification every year since 1995 to promote public awareness of the issue, mobilize international cooperation for the implementation of the UNCCD. The theme of this year's WDCD is ecosystem-based adaptation with the slogan ‘Land Belongs to the Future, Let’s Climate Proof It’. The 2014 WDCD highlights the benefits of mainstreaming sustainable land management policies and practices into our collective response to climate change.

CP/GV