Why in the discussion?

On 17 June every year, World Desertification and Drought is organized. This time, on the occasion of this day in New Delhi, India has expressed commitment towards achieving sustainable development goals.

  • For the year 2019, its theme is ‘Let’s Grow the Future Together’.
  • This time it is focusing on three main issues related to land- Drought, Human Security and Climate.
  • During this celebration organized on the occasion of World Desertification and Drought Prevention Day, India first participated in the conference of Parties: COP- 14) to announce the hosting.
  • It is estimated that at least 5,000 delegates from around 197 countries participate in this meeting.
  • The meeting will be held from 29 August to 14 September, 2019 and in Delhi.
  • During this celebration, the Union Minister introduced a Flagship Project to increase forest capacity restoration and its capacity at Bonn Challenge in India.
  • According to the Environment Minister, 30 percent of the country’s total geographical area is being affected by erosion of land. India is committed to achieving these goals as well as achieving this goal.
  • Various schemes of the Government of India, such as the Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme (PMFBY), Soil Health Card Scheme, Soil Health Management Plan, Prime Minister Agriculture Irrigation Scheme (PKSY), and more crop per drop are helpful in preventing erosion of soil.
  • ‘United Nations Desertification Prevention Convention’
  • (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification-UNCCD)
  • United Nations Desertification Prevention Convention is one of three Rio Conventions under the United Nations. The other two agreements are:
  1. Convention on Biological Diversity – CBD
  2. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

UNCCD is the only international agreement which is legally binding on environmental and development issues.
The day was started 25 years ago with the aim of raising awareness among the people about international efforts to tackle the challenge of desertification.
Since then, on June 17, ‘World Desertification and Drought Prevention Day’ is celebrated every year.

Conference of Parties (COP)

  • This is the highest body of the UNFCCC Conference. Under this, representatives from different parties have been included in the conference. It organizes its sessions every year.
  • The COP takes the necessary decisions to ensure the effective implementation of the provisions of the conference and regularly reviews the implementation of these provisions.

Flagship Project

  • This project will be of 3.5 years pilot phase, which will be implemented during the pilot phase of Haryana for three and a half years in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland and Karnataka.
  • The purpose of the project is to develop and optimize the best practices and monitoring protocols for the Indian states and to build capacity within the five pilot states.
  • It will be expanded across the country in the next steps of the project.
  • Bonn Challenge
  • The Bon Challenge is a global effort. Under this, vegetation will be grown on 150 million hectares of non-deforested and wasteland and upto 2030 by 350 million hectares of land.
  • In the United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in Paris, India had voluntarily approved the Bone Challenge in 2015.
  • India has expressed its commitment to grow 13 million hectares of non-forested and wasteland by 2020 and on additional 8 million hectares of land by 2030.

United Nations Framework Agreement on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

  • It is an international agreement which aims to control the emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
  • This agreement was made during the June 1992 Earth Convention. It was implemented on March 21, 1994 after signing the agreement by various countries.
  • Annual meetings of UNFCCC have been continuously organized since 1995. Under this, the Kyoto Protocol was introduced in 1997 and the goal was to control greenhouse gases by developing countries (the country included in annex -1). Under the Kyoto Protocol 40 industrial countries have been placed in separate list Annex-1.
  • The annual meeting of the UNFCCC is known as the Conference of the Parties (COP).

Convention on Biological Diversity – CBD

  • This Convention is one of the major agreements signed during the Earth Convention held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
  • CBD is the first comprehensive global agreement in which all aspects related to biodiversity are included.
  • Moving forward to economic development, commitments have been set to keep the world’s ecological bases strong.
  • The CBD consists of 196 countries in the world, in which 168 countries have signed.
  • India is a party of CBD.
  • With the confirmation of their sovereign rights on biological resources of nations in this Convention, three goals have been set-
  • Protection of biodiversity.
  • Continuous use of biodiversity components
  • Proper and equal participation in the benefits gained from the use of genetic resources.


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