NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the centre's plan to restore degraded land from 21 million hectares to 26 million hectares by the year 2030.
PM Modi said that India's trees and forest cover increased by 0.8 million hectares, speaking at the 14th session of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) which was conducted in the Greater Noida.
Modi assured that funds almost equal to six billion US dollars have been released to the respective governments for developing the forest lands.
He mentioned a programme specifically working in the direction of doubling farmer's income by increasing the crop yield through various measures like land micro-irrigation and restoration of degraded land.
The Prime Minister attended the 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) to United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification along with Indian Union Minister Prakash Javadekar and Ralph Gonsalves who is the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
UNCCD was adopted on June 17, 1994, in Paris, and India ratified the UNCCD Convention in 1996. UNCCD was also ratified by 196 countries and the European Union.
Land degradation mostly takes place due to the excess dumping of wastes, and the increase in the fertilizer and pesticides content in the soil.
Various countries approached COP14 to fight both natural and man-made causes with different measures. 11 countries are part of the project including India, and it costs almost 200 million euros. They also work for soil conservation and other strategies.
Modi announced several steps such as zero-budget farming, augmenting water supply, retaining of moisture in the soil and all.
PM Modi added that the government work towards putting an end to single-use plastic and that even the world will eventually do the same. He had announced a mass movement against single-use plastic in his radio show Mann Ki Baat on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.