The Indian Prime Minister is asking world leaders and Civil Society Organisations to increase investment in Water for all Agenda which will help combat desertification across the globe.

Narendra Modi believes that investment in water can solve concerns about global water safety and quality.

According to him, India is proud of its successes in land restoration using remote sensing and space technologies and he is ready to share this knowledge with other countries.

“India is also establishing a centre of excellence for forest research to support south-south cooperation and knowledge-sharing,” he said at a high-level segment opening ceremony of the 14th Session of the Conference of the Parties to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in India.

Speaking on the theme ‘Let’s move towards a greener future’ the Prime Minister added that India was increasing its commitment to restore 21 million hectares of land by 2030 to 26 million hectares, an increase of 5 million hectares.

The co-benefit of this would be that it would help create a carbon sink for 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon through increased tree cover.

Ralph Gonsalves

His counterpart Ralph Gonsalves, PM of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines believed that there are no countries big or small when it comes to desertification and climate change, and the only way to tackle these problems is to act on them as one global family.

“I believe the Conference is expected to agree on about 30 decisions to ramp up and elaborate further actions needed on the ground to ensure that the Convention’s goals for 2018-2030 are achieved” he added.

The UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed indicated that one-third of the time frame for delivering Agenda 2030 has already passed, and the countries need to act with increased urgency and ambition.

This, he said, is to get rid of silos that stand in the way of multiple benefits that can be achieved through coordinated action on land, climate and biodiversity.

According to the UN, the world loses 24 billion tons of fertile soil and dryland degradation reduces national domestic product in developing countries by up to 8% annually, much remains to be done as part of our efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”‹

UN's Amina Mohammed

“Recent assessments show that one out of every four hectares of productive land has become unusable. Moreover, three out of every four hectares have been altered completely from their natural state,” the UN Deputy Secretary-General added.

“Take negotiations from table level to input level” she charged international organizations, leaders of states and ministers from other countries.

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification Executive Secretary, Ibrahim Thiaw, assured that UNCCD COP14 is set to define the following key directions of work.

They include how to restore, protect and manage our land on a massive scale, how to trigger a seismic shift in private sector partnerships to make it happen and how to help ramp up the ambition of action plans for everyone involved.

“We are fast running out of time to build our resilience to climate change and achieve all other Sustainable Development Goals.

“We can turn around lives of the over 3.2 billion people all over the world that are negatively impacted by desertification and drought if there is political will” he added.