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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Delhi declaration to sum up global intent

The declaration which is expected to be about 24 paragraphs long will be finalised through a consensus driven approach and the process of proposing intentions for the declaration began almost a year back.

india Updated: Sep 12, 2019 00:45 IST
Jayashree Nandi
Jayashree Nandi
New Delhi
Executive Director of Green Climate Fund, Yannick Glemarec calling on the Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Information & Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar, on the sidelines of the 14th Conference of Parties COP 14 United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
Executive Director of Green Climate Fund, Yannick Glemarec calling on the Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Information & Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar, on the sidelines of the 14th Conference of Parties COP 14 United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. (ANI Photo)
         

The Delhi Declaration which will be presented on September 13, at the end of the 14th Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) currently underway in the National Capital Region will likely recommend the merging of all three Rio Conventions--the convention on biological diversity, the United Nations framework on climate change, and UNCCD -- be integrated for better policy-making.

With days to go for the closing of the summit, 197 countries are hard at work, behind closed doors on the Delhi Declaration which will summarise the intent of the world on how it plans to manage its land resources.

The draft is still being negotiated.

The three conventions were formed following the Earth Summit in Rio de Janerio in 1992.

“The Delhi Declaration will be a global expression of intent on how the world will take up land restoration in the next two years. It will be talking about linking the biodiversity, climate change and desertification COPs because they are after all linked. There may be a message to the UNFCCC that climate change is affected by land degradation and hence should be integrated,” said Jigmet Takpa, joint secretary, environment ministry.

The declaration which is expected to be about 24 paragraphs long will be finalised through a consensus driven approach and the process of proposing intentions for the declaration began almost a year back. The draft declaration was presented to the parties and UNCCD by environment minister, Prakash Javadekar who is the COP14 President on Tuesday.

Though the intentions are voluntary, parties can veto a decision.

A UNCCD Secretariat spokesperson said in response to Hindustan Times’ questionnaire on the importance of COP14 and the Delhi Declaration: “A declaration is an expression of political will and commitment to act towards something. It provides a strong foundation for actions, but is not binding on any government. A political declaration captures points of convergence on the part of the Parties, and a commitment to act.”

Apart from the Delhi Declaration, the summit is likely to see decisions on 30 important issues related to land.

The UNCCD spokesperson added that the agenda and substance of COP is defined by its two committees; the Committee on Science and Technology (CST) which consists of scientists and the Committee for the Review of Implementation of the Convention (CRIC), a political body. Finding finance for land restoration is also on the agenda.

The reason this COP is significant is because “ land-based solutions could contribute up to 30% of the Paris emissions gap and underpin the post 2020 biodiversity targets (under Convention of Biological Diversity),” the spokesperson said.

The Paris agreement on climate change set a target of limiting overall global temperature increase to under 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels and to pursue a target of limiting it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. However, when these targets are compared to the commitments made by countries that signed the agreement in terms of emission reductions, a significant gap emerged.

Meanwhile, UNCCD released documents related to drought preparedness on Wednesday and had an all women drought panel. Gender emerged as one of the important demands by civil society organisations and delegates. “You can see that most smallholder farms are managed by women. Women cannot give up.

We are ready to be used for this cause because our children’s future is dependent on our land...what are we if we see agriculture production decreasing and we cannot feed our children?,”said Samia Mkrumah, President of Kwame Nkrumah Pan African Centre, Ghana.

First Published: Sep 12, 2019 00:04 IST