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Environment and forest minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said that India would be ‘land degradation neutral’ by the year 2030 in a policy declaration that aims to protect the land to combat the challenge of food security.
Javadekar said the objective of the land degradation neutrality is to maintain or improve the condition of land resources through the sustainable management of soil, water and biodiversity.
“In India, we are facing the problem of degradation of land, desertification of the land and creation of wasteland. All these are major challenges as it impacts the livelihood. As the Modi cabinet has decided that poverty eradication is the main objective of this government, to that end we must make the country degradation neutral by 2030,” the minister said.
The minister was speaking as the chief guest on the occasion of “World Day to Combat Desertification” organised by the ministry of environment and Indian Council for Forestry Research and Education.
He said the environment ministry will take a lead in cooperatng with the ministry of agriculture, ministry of rural development, ministry of water resources and other ministries and departments concerned to chart out a detailed programme to combat the challenge of desertification with the participation of people.
“Our government does things differently. We will take people’s movement, people’s participation in development and environment protection,” the minister tweeted after the programme. “Together we can...Together we can stop desertification...together we can make India land degradation neutral,” the minister added.
Land degradation neutrality was born out of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) where member states recognised the need for urgent action to reverse land degradation. The concept also embraces the restoration of degraded natural and semi-natural ecosystems that provide vital, albeit indirect, services to people and working landscapes.