Fifth Day of COP14 reflects upon importance of organic agriculture in combating land degradation

New Delhi: The fifth day of the 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida brought forth discussions on important mattersconcerning how to reverse land degradation.

The UNCCD, the World Future Council (WFC) and IFOAM – Organics Internationalconvenedan event, which pointed out how agro ecology and organic agriculture in India and the Himalayas enhance fertile landscapes, protect biodiversity and improve living conditions of the local people.

Contributing to the objectives of UNCCD’s conference i.e. UNCCD COP14, the event showcased, in particular, innovative policies that support the much needed transformation of food systems in India and the Himalayas, and thereby help achieve the land degradation neutrality target and improve the living conditions of people affected by desertification. Amongst the policies featured are Sikkim as the first 100% organic state in the world, which received the UN backed Future Policy Gold Award in 2018, and the 100% organic farming goals of Bhutan.

The India Pavilion at the UNCCD COP14 also saw discussion on Renewable Energy in India – towards sustainable energy transition & combating Desertification conducted by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).

Meanwhile, the Rio Conventions Pavilion held a technical session on mapping of Sand and Dust Storms (SDS) with discussions on SDS covering major concerns such as priority in detecting SDS sources, challenges in soil texture information & definition of free surfaces. Events in the Pavilion, which take place throughout the day, focus exclusively on synergies among the Rio Conventions on Climate Change, Biological Diversity and Desertification.

The Conference also witnessed an interactive session by Committee of the Whole (COW): A working group set up by COP to facilitate discussions on issues concerning landmanagement.

India is the host country of UNCCD COP14 beginning from 2nd to 13th September 2019. The Prime Minister, Shri NarendraModi will inaugurate the high-level segment meeting on 9th September, 2019 and will also address the August gathering at the Conference. Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Shri Prakash Javadekar earlier stated that good outcomes are expected of the UNCCD which will be notified in the Delhi Declaration.