India to raise target for restoring degraded land: PM Modi

News:Indian Prime Minister has addressed the 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification(UNCCD).


Key highlights of PM’s speech:

  • Prime Minister announced that between 2019 and 2030,India will raise target of restoring land with degraded status from 21 million hectares to 26 million by 2030. 
  • PM has also announced India’s proposal to set up a global technical support institute for the member countries of the UNCCD for their capacity building and support regarding the Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting Program.
  • He also acknowledged the importance of the role of water.He called upon UNCCD to conceive a “Global Water Action Agenda” which is central to the Land Degradation Neutrality strategy.
  • Further,the PM also said that in order to develop a scientific approach and facilitate induction of technology to land degradation issues,India has decided to set up a centre for excellence in India at the Indian Council for Forest Research and Education(ICFRE).

Additional information:

About Land Degradation Neutrality(LDN)

  • It is defined as a state where the amount and quality of land resources necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security, remains stable or increases within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems
  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 15.3 envisions to combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world by 2030.
  • There are three global indicators for LDN: 1) Land cover (land cover change); 2) Land productivity (net primary productivity); 3) Carbon stocks (soil organic carbon,)
  • India’s target for LDN is 30 million hectares by 2030.

Land Degradation and Desertification

  • Land degradation is any reduction or loss in the biological or economic productive capacity of the land resource base
  • Desertification is the process of ecological degradation by which economically productive land becomes less productive.In some cases it may lead to the development of a desert-like landscape.


  • The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.It was established in 1994.It has 197 parties.
  • UNCCD seeks to work towards maintaining and restoring land and soil productivity and mitigating the effects of drought.
  • India for the first time is hosting the 14th session of the Conference of Parties (COP-14) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

About Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education(ICFRE):

  • The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) is an autonomous organisation or governmental agency under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.
  • The council is headquartered at Dehradun,Uttarakhand.
  • The functions of ICFRE are (a)to conduct forestry research (b)transfer the technologies developed to the states of India and other user agencies and (c)to impart forestry education.