NEW DELHI: Around 170 countries on Friday agreed to make the Sustainable Development Goal target of achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030 a national target for action.
On the last day of UN Conference of Parties (CoP 14) on Desertification, the countries agreed to adopt The New Delhi Declaration: Investing in Land and Unlocking Opportunities listing a 12 point action plan to achieve land degradation neutrality.
Under the Bonn Challenge, there is a target to restore 350 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2030 by global efforts.
The conference did not come up with any new target while India announced to increase its land degradation neutrality target from 21 million hectares to 26 million hectares by 2030. At present, 122 of 170 party countries have set targets.
Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of UNCCD, said the COP 14 also adopted a landmark decision to buttress global efforts to better mitigate and manage the risks of drought and to build resilience.
“Further encourage a proactive approach to reducing the risks and impacts of desertification/land degradation and drought through the implementation of drought preparedness plans and increased risk mitigation for drought and sand and dust storms,” said the Declaration.
It also emphasised on encouraging local governments to adopt integrated land use management to rehabilitate the natural resource base that makes cities sustainable by reducing rates of land consumption and soil sealing along with biodiversity and ecosystem loss.