New Delhi, Sept 1 : India is all set to conduct the 14th session of the Conference of Parties (COP 14) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) on September 2 to 13.
The global event, held at Greater Noida, will be inaugurated by Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary and Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar.
"The purpose of the Convention is to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought to achieve sustainable development in the affected areas by taking effective action at all levels through international cooperation and partnership agreements,'' the government said in a statement.
The conference is expected to agree on about 30 decisions to ramp up and elaborate further actions needed to ensure the Convention’s goals for 2018-2030 are achieved.
The theme of COP14 is 'Investing in the land; unlocking opportunities' and India will take over COP presidency from China for the next two years, 2019-2021.
Over 6,000 participants from 196 countries will take part in the event. Ministers from more than 80 countries, scientists, representatives of national and local governments, NGOs, private companies, youth, journalists, will share their expertise at the conference.
“Close to a quarter of our land is now almost unusable. By the middle of the century, we have to produce twice as much grain as we do today to keep up with global population growth. If we fail to act now, competition over resources like land may lead to hostilities in the future as nations find it increasingly difficult to meet the demand for vital and declining resources,” an official release quoted Ibrahim Thiaw.
“Half of the government ministers worldwide who are in the position to ensure land is used optimally will be in New Delhi. That’s an epic force for change that can raise the bar for how we approach land, turning it from a major part of the problem to an even greater part of the solution” he added.
Earlier, during the curtain raiser of the conference, Mr Javadekar had announced that India will convert 50 lakh hectares of degraded land into fertile one by 2030.
The COP is the place where governments planned and agree on effective land use and sustainable land management goals for the whole world.