The 12-day long 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has come to a close today, with thought-provoking discussions on land management, restoration of degraded land, drought, climate change, renewable energy, women empowerment, gender equality, water scarcity, and various other issues. India was the proud host of UNCCD COP14, which witnessed widespread participation from over 9000 participants from all across the globe at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida from 2nd to 13th September 2019.
Speaking at the Press Conference today on the outcomes of COP14, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Shri Prakash Javadekar exuded confidence that all three Rio conventions will work in synergy.
In an unprecedented global campaign to save productive land, country parties have agreed to make the Sustainable Development Goal target of achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030 a national target for action.
Shri Javadekar reiterated India's commitment to achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030. He also committed to providing effective leadership to the UNCCD during his two-year tenure of Presidentship.
Countries will address insecurity of land tenure, including gender inequality in land tenure, promote land restoration to reduce land-related carbon emissions and mobilize innovative sources of finance from public and private sources to support the implementation of these decisions at country-level.
The framework used for reporting action will be improved to ensure it captures key issues, such as gender equality, drought response and the influence of consumption and production patterns and flows on land degradation. Through the Delhi Declaration, ministers expressed support for new initiatives or coalitions aiming to improve human health and well-being, the health of ecosystems, and to advance peace and security. The Environment Minister stated, "Delhi Declaration is an ambitious statement of global action by each country on how to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality".
"To my mind, this was the COP where we put people at the heart of what we do," said Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of UNCCD, with Parties adopting a breakthrough decision on land tenure rights and drawing on the unique voices, experiences of youth and women.
COP 14 also adopted a landmark decision to buttress global efforts to better mitigate and manage the risks of drought and to build resilience.
Mr. Thiaw also highlighted the contribution of COP 14 to the Climate Action Summit, stressing that land restoration, at scale, is one of the cheapest solutions to address the global crises of climate and biodiversity loss.
Attention was also drawn to the role, the private sector plays in land restoration going forward, including through promoting sustainable value chains, as well as the incentives that will draw them in, such as the regulation in support of innovation for sustainable land management and rewarding conservation, restoration and sustainable use of resources.
COP14, ended today after 11 days of meetings, 11 high-level, 30 committee and over 170 stakeholder meetings, 145 side-events, and 44 exhibitions.
(With Inputs from PIB)