UNCCD COP Meet Scheduled In India In September 2019

For the first time, India will host the 14th session of the Conference of Parties (COP-14) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in September 2019.

Relevance of the News: UNCCD is an important convention of the UN to combat desertification which is a major concern in India also. The meeting will help India to highlight its concerns in this area and to steer the global debate on desertification.

Details of the Proposed Meeting:

  • To be held between September 2 and 14, 2019 in Delhi, at least 5,000 delegates from nearly 197 countries will be participating in COP-14.
  • India will take over the COP presidency from China for two years until the next COP in 2021.
  • Before the COP meeting the Union Environment Ministry has launched a flagship project, which is a part of a larger international initiative called the Bonn Challenge, to enhance India’s capacity for forest landscape restoration (FLR).
  • Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land under restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.
  • At the previous edition of the COP, India had committed to rehabilitate 13 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by the year 2020, and an additional 8 million hectares by 2030.

The Flagship Project:

  • The project launched by the Environment Ministry will aim to develop and adapt the best practices and monitoring protocols for the country, and build capacity within the five pilot States.
  • It will be implemented during a pilot phase of three-and-a-half years in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland and Karnataka, which will be scaled up across India eventually.

Desertification in India:

  • India faces a severe problem of land degradation, or soil becoming unfit for cultivation.
  • A 2016 report by the Indian Space Research Organisation found that about 29% of India’s land (in 2011-13) was degraded, this being a 0.57% increase from 2003-05.


  • Established in 1994, the UNCCD is the only legally binding international agreement linking environment and development issues to the land agenda.
  • The permanent secretariat of the Convention has been located in Bonn, Germany since January 1999.
  • The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found.
  • The United Nations has three major Conventions: the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).


Source : The Hindu, 17th June 2019