This is needed to halt the deteriorating state of the environment

He was delivering the National Statement at the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) 15th Conference of Parties (COP) in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.

India, which held the presidency since the14th COP in Delhi in 2019, has now handed over the responsibility to Cote d'Ivoire.

According to Yadav, several global developments, such as the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), indicate renewed and stronger resolve that provides direct and indirect support to UNCCD objectives.

He also emphasised the importance of land in achieving several sustainable development goals, including tree cover and soil conservation.

Stressing the fact that UNCCD members need to appropriately align policies and institutions, he said, "It is critical to ensure the flow of public finance into natural resource management to halt the deteriorating state of the environment. Our programs and initiatives will not see fruition without the means of implementation necessary to support them."

The Minister went on to say that our recovery process requires individual change, such as modifying our consumption patterns, otherwise, we will continue to put a huge strain on the land.

During India's presidency, the Minister reported, the seven high-level meetings were successfully convened.

These saw lively discussions and resulted in decisions on leveraging multilateral platforms on the road to Rio+30, the scheduling of the 15th Conference of Parties (COP-15) in Cote d'Ivoire in May 2022, and the Intergovernmental Working Group (IWG) on Drought.

A draft report has been prepared by the IWG and will be discussed during COP-15.

During this period, G-20 leaders have recognized the importance of combating land degradation and creating new carbon sinks with an aspirational goal to collectively plant 1 trillion trees, urging other countries to join forces with G20 to reach this global goal by 2030, Yadav said.

A High-level Dialogue of United Nations General Assembly was held on June 14, 2021 on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the success stories and initiatives taken by India to combat land degradation, he added .

India hosted the 14th COP in Delhi in 2019 as part of its commitment to the international community and to the Convention's core goals, Yadav pointed out. Subsequently it also held the presidency during the difficult Covid 19 pandemic times, Yadav said.