Written by Talent KAS

Related Topics: Environment & Biodiversity, UNCCD


14th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP14) of UNCCD kicked off in New Delhi.


The participants include ministers from 196 countries, representatives of national and local governments, city leaders, community groups, scientists, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and industry experts.

Host Country

The biennial event held as part of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is being hosted by India, one of the first countries to commit to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of achieving ‘land degradation neutrality’ (LDN).


  • The main agenda for COP-14 is to reverse land degradation and fix the critical gaps in land management.
  • The deliberations would lead to a final set of commitments—the New Delhi Declaration—which would be signed by all member countries.
  • A total of 30 proposals focusing on improving the lives of people affected by desertification and droughts are set to be considered and debated.

Indian Scenario

  • The stakes are high for India, as nearly 29% of land in the country is degraded.
  • This is critical as India’s population is projected to reach 1.7 billion by 2050.
  • India has committed to restore nearly 5 million hectares of degraded land in the next 10 years, which would mean putting into place an innovative land use and management approach that prioritizes the sustainable use of land.


  • Land degradation working in tandem with climate change and biodiversity loss may force up to 700 million people to migrate by 2050.
  • Over 70% of the world’s land area has been converted from its natural state to produce food, fibre and energy and one in four hectares of this land is being lost to degradation.
  • According to UN, land degradation is costing humanity up to $1.3 billion every day.


  • It is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.
  • It was established in the year 1994.
  • It is an international agreement on good land stewardship (carefully and responsibly conducting, supervising or managing).
  • It addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found.
  • It helps people, communities and countries to create wealth grow economies and secure enough food and water and energy, by ensuring land users have an enabling environment for sustainable land management.
  • UNCCD 2018-2030 Strategic Framework is the most comprehensive global commitment to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) in order to restore the productivity of vast expanses of degraded land, improve the livelihoods of more than 1.3 billion people, and reduce the impacts of drought on vulnerable populations.

[Source: PIB, Livemint]

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