ABC Live: India on Monday released its 4th National Report to UNCCD, 2010. This report provides a holistic overview capturing comprehensively India’s policies and programme related to desertification, land degradation and drought. Poverty and environmental degradation are major problems in dry lands, where forests and trees contribute significantly to rural livelihoods.
In order to eradicate poverty in the dry lands, it is important to protect the land from deforestation, fragmentation, degradation and drought.
About 228 mha (69%) of India’s total geographical area (about 328 mha) is under dry lands (arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid). These areas incidentally are highly populated which makes the people vulnerable to environmental stress and impacts livelihoods directly.
In order to tackle the issues of desertification, land degradation and droughts, 22 major programmes are being implemented in the country, including, the “Mission for Green India”, one of the Missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change, which will address dry land forests, in addition to other ecosystems.
This report not only encompasses the Government of India’s initiatives but also Civil Society’s contribution in addressing the issues of desertification, land degradation and drought.
This report will enable us to understand the key issues as also the measures undertaken to address the same; and will be useful for policy makers, planners, academicians, civil society groups and relevant stakeholders.
The main highlights of 4TH NATIONAL REPORT SUBMITTED TO UNCCD SECRETARIAT are as under:
- About 69 percent of India is dry land – arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid and these areas are heavily populated, Degradation has severe implications for livelihood and food security for millions of people living in these areas.
- An estimated 32 percent of India’s total land area is affected by land degradation (of which desertification is a major component) 81.45 million hectares, or 24.8 percent of the country’s geographic area is undergoing desertification.
- Water and soil erosion are major causes of land degradation; water erosion is most prominent in agricultural regions
- The key anthropogenic factors resulting in degradation are unsustainable agricultural practices; diversion of land to development programmes; industrial effluents; mining and deforestation
- Unsustainable resource management practices drive desertification, and accentuate the poverty of people affected by desertification
- Land rehabilitation has been a major priority since Independence, and several policies and government agencies address desertification and degradation
Started in year 2010, ‘Climate Himalaya’ initiative has been working on the mountain and climate related issues in the Himalayan region of South Asia. In the last two years this knowledge sharing portal has become one of the important references for the governments, research institutions, civil society groups and international agencies, those have work and interest in Himalayas. The Climate Himalaya team innovates on knowledge sharing, capacity building and climatic adaptation aspects in its focus countries like Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Climate Himalaya’s thematic areas of work are mountain ecosystem, water, forest and livelihood. Read>>