UNCCD Current Affairs - 2019
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The Asia Pacific Regional Workshop of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), jointly hosted by Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and UNCCD was held in New Delhi. The four day workshop aimed at building capacity of Asia-Pacific Region to monitor and report on land degradation. It was attended by delegates from about 40 Asia Pacific countries, as well as representatives from 12 Indian states affected by land degradation, researchers and scientists from scientific institutions of national importance.
The workshop provided UNCCD member countries platform to submit their national report in time and in particular for Target 15.3 on Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN). It provided diverse and multi-disciplinary knowledge sharing platform addressing desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) issues.
It also provided opportunity to bring all key stakeholders from Asia to India and discuss key aspects of Reporting, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN).
The participants were trained in use of state-of-the-art tool called ‘Trends.Earth’ developed by Conservation International, an NGO for combating land degradation. The tool will collect data that inturn will help policy-makers to prioritize areas for interventions for combating land degradation.
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
UNCCD was adopted in 1994 and entered into force 1996. It is only legally binding international agreement to address problem of desertification and other land issues. It promotes good land stewardship and its end goal is to protect land from over-use and drought, so it can continue to provide food, water and energy. The Convention addresses desertification and land issues specifically arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as drylands.
India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is the nodal Ministry for this Convention, as well as other two Rio Conventions -United Nations Framework Convention to Combat Climate Change (UNFCC) and Convention on Biological Diversity, having their genesis in Earth Summit in 1992 in Rio De Janerio, Brazil.
The World Day to Combat Desertification (WDCD) is being observed on 17 June across the world to promote public awareness related to international cooperation to combat desertification and the effects of drought.
2016 Theme: “Inclusive cooperation for achieving Land Degradation Neutrality”. The theme advocates importance of inclusive cooperation to restore and rehabilitate degraded land. It also advocates to contribute towards achieving the overall Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
2016 Slogan: “Protect Earth. Restore Land. Engage People”. It addresses the importance of comprehensive cooperation and participation in working towards achieving Land Degradation Neutrality.
The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had designated declared June 17 as the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought in 1994. It was observed for the first time in 1995.
The day is observed globally to promote public awareness of the issue, and the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in those countries experiencing serious desertification or drought, particularly in Africa.