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Report on combating desertification, land degradation, and drought

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Report-on-combating-desertification-land-degradation-and-drought

Why in news?

A report the Global Environment Facility on the financing of programmes and projects concerning desertification, land degradation, and drought has been released in the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in New Delhi.

Key highlights :

  • Up to 20 lakh hectares of land in India will be on a path to improvement through sustainable landscape management and public-private finance
  • Of this, 1.5 lakh hectares will be restored and 18 lakh hectares of landscapes will be under improved management, and directly benefit over 17 lakh people in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Funding of $6.85 million pouring in from Global Environment Facility (GEF), $4.47 million from Land Degradation Focal Area grant (LDFA) and $70 million will be co-financed.
  • This will be achieved by promoting sustainable agricultural production, supply chains through public-private finance.
  • In Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the project will enable institutional, fiscal, and strategic frameworks, at the national and state levels, promote sustainable agricultural landscapes and biodiversity conservation, scale-up of sustainable agriculture and landscape management, and inclusive economic growth among rural producers.
  • Through zero-budget natural farming, the project will build commitment to sustainable farming by demonstrating a positive benefit-cost ratio for farmers, enabling their access to technical and financial services and generating a market commitment to source sustainably produced commodities.
  • Of another 70,000 hectares, 10,000 hectares of land will be aimed at for restoration and 60,000 hectares for improved management. “ Here focus will be on the most vulnerable and least developed districts of the three broad landscapes – highlands of the North-East, drylands of the central region and coastal regions.
  • The intervention is expected to directly create carbon benefits of 50,000 tonnes of CO2e.
  • Funding of $4.90 million from GEF, $0.85 million from LDFA and $11 million will be co-financed, for this project.

For north-east and coastal regions

  • For the north-east, central and coastal regions in India, a multi-stakeholder National Steering Committee will met out community grants, aimed at enhancing the communities’ skills, capacities, and resources required to enhance ecosystem services, improve the sustainability and productivity of agroecosystems, deploy efficient energy technologies, and manage waste in a way that realises multi-focal area benefits, the report further says.
  • The project aims to enable communities and organizations in the most vulnerable and least developed areas of India to take collective action through a participatory landscape planning and management approach aimed at enhancing socio-ecological resilience from innovative livelihoods producing local and global environmental benefits
  • One landscape in each region will be selected for focused intervention, based on criteria that will include the existence of biodiversity of global importance, trends and patterns regarding threats and degrees of threat, appropriate policy frameworks at local and state levels, and other factors.
  • With 14 projects, Asia has the second-largest portfolio for the reporting period, including projects in ten countries – Afghanistan, Cambodia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vanuatu.
  • A total of 75 projects and programs were approved with funding from the LDFA and other related funding windows of the GEF trust fund. The total GEF grant for these projects and programs amounts to $857.76 million, which leveraged $5,673.87 million in co-financing, states the report.

What is The Global Environment Facility?

The Global Environment Facility was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, the GEF has provided over $18.1 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $94.2 billion in co-financing for more than 4500 projects in 170 countries. Today, the GEF is an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector that addresses global environmental issues.

Over the past years, the GEF has supported a range of notable achievements:

  1. PROTECTED AREAS: Investment in over 3,300 Protected Areas, covering more than 860 million hectares (ha), an area larger than the size of Brazil.
  2. SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPE AND SEASCAPE: Biodiversity protection and planning for more than 350 million ha of productive landscapes and seascapes.
  3. SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT: Support for over 380 forest-related projects, with $2.1 billion in grants that leveraged an additional $9.5 billion.
  4. SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT: 103 million ha are under sustainable land management (SLM). These have benefited more than 50 million smallholders.
  5. GHG EMISSION REDUCTION: Support for 940 climate change mitigation projects expected to contribute 8.4 billion tonnes of direct and indirect GHG emission reductions over time.
  6. INTEGRATED WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT: Sustainable management of 43 transboundary river basins in 84 countries.
  7. SAFE DISPOSAL OF HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS: Phaseout of 29,000 tons of ODP (ozone-depleting potential) and sound disposal of more than 200,000 tons of POPs legacy in developing countries.
  8. ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE: Vulnerability reduction for more than 11 million people in 130 countries.

About Land Degradation Focal Area (LDFA):

It established during GEF‐3 (2002‐2006) as a separate focal area, currently combines the principles of a landscape approach and integrated ecosystem management to maximize the global environmental benefits of combating land degradation.

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