Solan (The Hawk): To promote public awareness and global response,17th June is observed as World Day to combat Desertification and Drought .Land degradation in arid,semi-arid and dry sub humid areas resulting from various factors including climatic variations and human activities is defined as Desertification, UNCCD(2013). Scientists have estimated, by 2050 drought may affect over three quarter of the world population. The number and intensity of drought has increased by 29 percent since 2000 compared to two previous decades. More than 2.3 Billion people faced water stress between 1900 and 2019 due to change in land use pattern and increase of Earth temperature. According to a report drought has impacted 2.7 Billion people in the world and has been attributed as a major cause of death of 11.7 million people around the globe. “Human activities are responsible for causing Global warming with increase of earth temperature to 1 degree centigrade (.8 to 1.2 degree centigrade above pre industrial level)”,IPCC ,2018 .The carbon footprint due to anthropogenic activities like deforestation, mining, land use, wetland ecosystem loss, urbanization, industrialization and over exploitation of natural resources are some of the human activities responsible for release of GHGs in the atmosphere.From the pre- industrial period the carbon concentration has increased from 280 PPM to 390. 5PPM ( 40% increase), Nitrous oxide 271 PPM to 324.20 PPM ( 20% Increase) , Methane from 722 PPM to 1803 PPM ( 150% increase.). Equally increase in emission of other GHG’s like CFC, HCFC, Sulfur hexa fluoride, carbon tetra chloride and other fluorinated gases have been observed in the atmospheres which are further adding fuel to the fire. The whole phenomenon with Green house effect is heading the human society towards global warming of this unique Planet, only one earth; ultimately dragging the world towards climate change with increase in evapotranspiration ultimately to desertification and drought severity.

Deforestation and degradation means 2.4 Billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere as the process of absorption of fossil fuel is considerably affected. Tropical rain forests produce 40% of Earth’s oxygen.One can easily make out the situation if drought situation are allowed to prevail or mitigation measures are put in place with snails speed, how these Forsests ecosystem will be impacted and what harm to the eco service these forests render to the globe.India is 12 mega biodiversity country with 2.4% of global geographical area and habitat which supports to 7 percent of world biodiversity.

According to Economic survey report 2018 ,around 52% of India’s total land under agriculture is still un irrigated and desertification seems to a great threat for its productivity which will be reducing the income between 20-25 percent. 80 percent of employed women in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) depend on agriculture for livelihood. Desertification will adversely effect their sustenance. Further mass migration will create rifts and costs heavily for resettlement at new places. According to ISRO atlas (2018- 2019 report), 29 percent of India’s land is degraded (97.85 million hectare of 328.72 million hectare of India’s geographic area) whereas, it was 96.40 million hectare as per (2011-2013) report And the reason where the effect of desertification is largely seen in India are Rajasthan Maharashtra Gujarat Karnataka Ladakh Jharkhand. India’s green cover is 80.9 million ha (24.6%) of Total geographical area which is far less than 33 percent as laid down in National Forest Policy. India hosted COP-14 in New Delhi in September 2019 , wherein India stand committed towards land degradation and restoration of 26 million ha of degraded land by 2030 with focus on sustainable and optimum utilization of land resources. In Paris agreement India’s intended nationally determined contribution is 33-35 percent reduction in energy intensity of its GDP by 2030 over 2005 level. Additional carbon dioxide sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes carbon dioxide by massive aforestation drive and sustainable mitigation strategy towards climate change impacts.

land degradation leads to due to drought and desertification. 12 million ha of land is lost every year globally, meaning thereby a net loss of 20 million tonnes of grains.Currently land degradation has reduced productivity to the extent of 23 percent of global terrestrial area. 75 percent of emerging infectious diseases in humans are zoonotic which are interlinked with ecosystem and transfer from animal to humanbeing, UNEP 2016. “Covid-19 is a way to humanity”, Inger Aderson UNEP.We are almost in the mid of United Nations SDG’s 2030 agenda with 17 goal and 169 targets-13 exclusively deals with the urgent action to combat climate change whereas goal -15 suggests for protection of terrestrial eco system, biodiversity, combat desertification and degradation.74% poor are directly effected by land degradation globally (UN 2015). Effective strategies and people participation and stand for commitments will certainly help in tackling the problem and ensuring food security, population security world over.

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