Government releases Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas of India

Government releases Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas of India

The Desertification and Drought Day 2021 was celebrated on 17th June. The day was commemorated by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to generate large scale awareness towards understanding the key role of land in all environmental and economic concerns. On the occasion, the Minister of State Shri Babul Supriyo released the latest version of “Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas of India“.

India has been at the forefront of bringing the issue of land degradation to the core of relevant international alliances for protection and conservation of environment. The government of India has adopted collective approach for making progress towards achieving the national commitments related to land restoration.

World Desertification and Drought Day

Desertification and Drought Day – known as the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought before 2020, is observed every year on 17th June to promote public awareness of international efforts to combat desertification.

In 2021, the goal of Desertification and Drought Day is to demonstrate that investing in healthy land as part of a green recovery is a smart economic decision – not just in terms of creating jobs and rebuilding livelihoods, but in terms of insulating economies against future crises caused by climate change and nature loss, and in accelerating progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals as we recover from COVID-19.

Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. 

India hosted the 14th session of Conference of Parties (COP 14) of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in September 2019.

India is striving towards achieving the national commitments of Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) and restoration of 26 Million ha of degraded land by 2030 which focus on sustainable and optimum utilisation of land resources.

Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas of India

On the occasion, the Minister of State released the latest version of “Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas of India”. It has been published by Space Application Centre, ISRO, Ahmedabad. The Atlas provides state wise area of degraded lands for the time frame 2018-19. It also provides the change analysis for the duration of 15 years, from 2003-05 to 2018-19.

The salient findings of this Atlas are not only useful as a ready reference, but, will also be helpful in strengthening the envisaged National Action Plan for achieving land restoration targets by providing important baseline and temporal data and technical inputs.

The Atlas and the geo-spatial database created for two timeframes along with corresponding satellite images are also available on SAC Web Portal “Visualization of Earth Data and Archival System” (VEDAS)”.