PIB Analysis : 15th, 16th and 17th June

PIB Analysis for UPSC CSE

  1. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
  2. World Food India

1 . United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

Context : June 17 is celeberated as the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. 

About World Day of Desertification

  • In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly declared 17 June the “World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought” to promote public awareness and the implementation of the UNCCD in the desertification affected countries.
  • The purpose of this World Day is to promote public awareness of land degradation and to draw attention to the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification(UNCCD).
  • This year the theme is Let’s Grow the Future Together
  • It is celebrated on June 17 and it is the date on which the General Assembly adopted the Convention to Combat Desertification

What is Desertification

  • Desertification is defined by the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification as land degradation in arid, semiarid and dry subhumid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities.
  • Land degradation is in turn defined as the reduction or loss of the biological or economic productivity of drylands.

What Causes Desertification?

  • Desertification occurs when:
    • the tree and plant cover that binds the soil is removed. It occurs when trees and bushes are stripped away for fuelwood and timber, or to clear land for cultivation.
    • animals eat away grasses and erode topsoil with their hooves.
    • intensive farming depletes the nutrients in the soil.
  • Wind and water erosion aggravate the damage, carrying away topsoil and leaving behind a highly infertile mix of dust and sand. It is the combination of these factors that transforms degraded land into desert.

Impact of Desertification

  • Desertification is a global issue, with serious implications worldwide for biodiversity, eco-safety, poverty eradication, socio-economic stability and sustainable development.
  • Drylands are already fragile. As they become degraded, the impact on people, livestock and environment can be devastating. Some 50 million people may be displaced within the next 10 years as a result of desertification.
  • The issue of desertification is not new though — it played a significant role in human history, contributing to the collapse of several large empires, and the displacement of local populations. But today, the pace of arable land degradation is estimated at 30 to 35 times the historical rate

Bonn Challenge

  • The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.
  • At the UNFCC Conference of the Parties (COP) 2015 in Paris, India also joined the voluntary Bonn Challenge pledge to bring into restoration 13 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by the year 2020, and additional 8 million hectares by 2030. India’s pledge is one of the largest in Asia.

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

  • Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the only legally binding international agreement linking environment and development issues to the land agenda.
  • The Convention’s 195 parties work together to improve the living conditions for people in drylands, to maintain and restore land and soil productivity, and to mitigate the effects of drought.
  • The UNCCD is particularly committed to a bottom-up approach, encouraging the participation of local people in combating desertification and land degradation.
  • The Secretariat facilitates cooperation between developed and developing countries, particularly around knowledge and technology transfer for sustainable land management.
  • India is hosting the Fourteenth session of UNCCD Conference of Parties (COP – 14). One of the primary functions of the COP is to review reports submitted by the Country Parties detailing how they are carrying out their commitments. India will take-over the COP presidency from China for two years until the next COP is hosted in 2021.

What can be done to address the issue

  • Reforestation and tree regeneration
  • Water management — saving, reuse of treated water, rainwater harvesting, desalination, or direct use of seawater for salt-loving plants
  • Fixating the soil through the use of sand fences, shelter belts, woodlots and windbreaks
  • Enrichment and hyper-fertilizing of soil through planting
  • Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), enabling native sprouting tree growth through selective pruning of shrub shoots. The residue from pruned tress can be used to provide mulching for fields thus increasing soil water retention and reducing evaporation.

2 . World Food India

Context : Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Smt Harsimrat Kaur Badal has said that World Food India 2019 will be the biggest gathering of all global and domestic stakeholders in Food Processing Sector. 

About World Food India

  • Global event to facilitate domestic and global investments into food processing sector in India.
  • Gateway to the Indian food economy and an opportunity to showcase, connect, and collaborate.
  • Largest gathering of investors, manufacturers, producers, food processors, policy makers, and organizations from the global food ecosystem in India.
  • Encompassing the entire food spectrum from production to consumption.
  • Enabling higher returns for farmers, creating employment, and fostering entrepreneurship.

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