Climate Change

Only positive intervention can undo losses humans have caused to Earth: Javadekar

India's environment minister calls for a ‘Delhi Declaration’ at the end of UNCCD CoP14

By Kundan Pandey
Published: Monday 02 September 2019
UNCCD Executive President, Ibrahim Thiaw and Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar at the start of the UNCCD CoP. Photo: @UNDP_India/Twitter

People have realised that human actions have caused huge losses to the Earth, which can be restored only by positive human intervention, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadkar said on September 2, 2019, in New Delhi.

The minister stated this while setting the agenda for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Conference of Parties (CoP) 14, which would be held till September 12, 2019.

India is a Party to the UNCCD and the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) is the nodal ministry that will represent the Government of India at the meeting. India has taken over the residence of UNCCD for the next two years, which was earlier held by China.

Javadekar said human actions had created the problems of climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss. “With strong intent, technology and intellect, we can undo the damage. We meet here now to ensure that this happens,” he added.

The minister said there would be thorough discussions to understand the crisis and also learn from each other’s successes and failures. “We expect some good results which can become a Delhi Declaration,” he said.

“There are high expectations from the ongoing UNCCD event,” Executive Secretary of the Convention Ibrahim Thaw said.

In the morning, more than 7,000 people had registered themselves and there were possibilities that more than 50,000 would register themselves to attend the event, said Thiaw. “This year, we are celebrating 25 years of UNCCD and hope the Delhi Declaration, as the minister said, will set the agenda for the next 25 years,” he said.

Thiaw noted that over 70 per cent of the world’s land area had been transformed from its natural state to produce food, fibre and energy.

“Some of this conversion is essential, but what is alarming is the pace of land transformation that is putting one million species at the risk of extinction,” he said adding that moreover, one in four hectares of this converted land was no longer usable due to unsustainable land management practices.

This had put 3.2 billion people’s well-being at risk. “There are possibilities that 700 million people would be forced to migrate due to these challenges by 2050,” Thiaw added.

Major subjects which would be discussed during the 10-day event include land tenure, drought management, the consumption and production flows influencing agriculture, urbanisation etc.

As many as 7,200 participants including ministers and representatives of governments, non-profits, scientists as well as women from 197 countries are expected to participate in the event. These experts will deliberate over 30 decisions which intend to strengthen land-use policies worldwide.

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