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DATA STORY : Desertification and Land Degradation in India

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Published: 24th May, 2022

Land is the fundamental resource that is integral to all air-water-nutrition and energy cycles. It is both a source and a sink of GreenHouse Gases (GHGs) and is intrinsically related to climate change adaptation and mitigation and biodiversity conservation. 

India has been at the forefront of bringing the issue of land degradation to the core of relevant international alliances for protection and conservation of environment. India hosted the 14th session of Conference of Parties (COP 14) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), in September 2019, where Hon'ble Prime Minister announced India's aspirational goals to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) and restore 26 M ha of degraded land by 2030.

Desertification is land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities leading to loss of productive ecosystem and biodiversity. There is an urgent need to stop and reverse the process of land degradation. 

Sustainable management of soil, water and biodiversity are required for protecting the land from further degradation. There are global efforts to combat desertification. India is signatory to the United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification (UNCCD) and is committed to achieve the land degradation neutral status by 2030.

As per United Nations Convention for Combating Desertification (UNCCD), Desertification is defined as “land degradation in arid, semiarid and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various factors including climatic variations and human activities” (UNCCD, 1994).

This data story aims to highlight the data related to desertification and land degradation in India.

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