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17.06.2020 ►World Desertification and Drought Prevention Day

Author:  Image of Lalit GargLalit Garg
Published: 17.06.2020

World Day to combat Desertification and Drought

Since the year 1995, World Desertification and Drought Prevention Day is observed on 17 June in different countries of the world every year. It aims to promote public awareness to combat the effects of barren and drought with international cooperation. In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly announced World Desertification Prevention and Drought Day to attract the attention of the world to the issue of desertification and drought and the implementation of the Desertification Prevention Convention,to help the countries facing drought and desertification.
Desert is a barren, arid region, where there is little to no vegetation, only those plants which can have the amazing ability to store water or get water from the very bottom of the earth. Extremely dry and hot conditions in this region are not suitable for any yield. Abundance of sand is found in the actual desert. There are many types of desert, hot and dry, semiarid, coastal, and cold. In arabic they are known as Reg in Algeria and Serir in Libya. These are called Hamada in the Sahara region.
The Thar Desert in Rajasthan, India crosses the wall of the Aravalli Range, heading towards Jaipur, Alwar and Dausa districts of eastern Rajasthan. Such indications are found in the ongoing project of the Union Ministry of Environment and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in Rajasthan. Till now 3000 km long desert areas have been built in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West. The Aravalli ranges prevent it from reaching Bengal. It has been wiped out from many places due to continuous illegal mining going on for years. The desert has moved from west to east between those cracks and gaps. If this situation prevails, then it can reach Haryana, Delhi, UP. The ever-growing desert is a matter of grave concern.
In his second innings, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now active to stop the growing desert with the protection of nature, environment and pollution. Like a skilled politician, like a militant farmer and environmentalist, he has become aware to stop the dangers and rising deserts hovering on the earth. The Prime Minister's resolve to make barren land fertile and protect the environment is an auspicious sign, symbolizing the emergence of new India. Expect that the improved prospects of water, forest, land and life will be reflected in the policies of the government in a more intensified manner and will be successful in overcoming the conditions of desertification of the earth. The Prime Minister, while addressing the 14th Conference of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) held in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, announced that India will increase its target to make 21 million hectares of barren land fertile by 2030, making it to 26 million hectares. The environment will be protected so that the fertile land will also expand. It is seen that the so called modern society and the pattern of development has failed to recognize itself as sustainable and is paying a heavy price for it. The devastation that has been spreading continuously has been highlighting human misfortune, but has not been able to offer any solution. In such a situation, if the Modi government is determined, then it should be welcomed. Are we not ready to contribute to the same?
The transformation of fertile land into a desert is certainly a matter of great concern for the whole world. It is now seen as a slow natural disaster. It has been observed that man has been exploiting nature to fulfill his needs, deserting the land, leading to the expansion of desertification. If this kind of messing with nature continues, the day will not be far when we will not get pure water, pure air, fertile land, pure environment and pure vegetation. Without all of this our lives will become difficult to live. Today, there is a need to pay special attention to conservation of natural resources, which mainly includes sun, minerals, vegetation, air, water, environment, land and animals etc. These resources are being misused indiscriminately, due to which these resources are on the verge of being exhausted gradually. The Prime Minister's concern for this complex problem and taking the initiative to take some meaningful steps reveals new possibilities of turning the desert into fertile land.

Modi assured the government's awareness and cooperation on issues like climate change, biodiversity and land degradation. He informed that between 2015 and 2017 there has been an increase of eight lakh hectares in the area of trees and forest in India. The United Nations Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its report said that 23 per cent of the arable land in the world has been eroded, whereas in India it has been 30 per cent. To tackle this disaster, stopping carbon emissions is not enough. For this, changes will have to be made in agriculture, vegetarianism will have to be encouraged and land will have to be used consciously.
Water, forest and land- these three elements- constitute nature. Most of the rich countries in the world are considered as those where these three elements are in abundance. Matter of concern is not limited to the availability of these basic elements or resources. In this phase of modernization, when these resources are being exploited indiscriminately, these elements are also endangered and the productivity of the land is decreasing, water scarcity is happening. The fertile land is also turning into a desert. Technically, desert is the area where shrubs grow not trees. In areas where it is happening due to the elimination of ground water, it has been named as desertification. But with the expansion of cities, the construction of roads, bridges, factories and railway lines, the elimination of agricultural land and the depletion of the remaining power of the remaining land is another form of land degradation, which matters. But Modi's initiative is not only talking about it, but meaningful steps are also being taken to get rid of this problem.
There is but one thing to be worried about, the wastelands continuously taking drastic and ghastly shape, the efforts of destruction of the earth and nature being pushed towards the shrinking water resources. Increasing population, increasing pollution, destroying environment, shield of ozone that is being polluted by contaminated gases, excessive exploitation of nature and environment - all these are the biggest threats to the country and Modi's aim is to realize and make these threats. The temperature of the Earth is increasing every year. The population is increasing, the land is getting smaller. Availability of everything is decreasing. There is a shortage of oxygen. At the same time, our utilitarian outlook and lifestyle are posing a serious threat to the environment and nature. Constant erosion of forest area is also a big reason for this, but the biggest reason is the chaotic behavior of the construction sector. In the rapid process of urbanization, concrete forests have been erected in the fields here. Some lakes, rivers were covered to settle colonies, some parts of the land were filled with cement and sand, which is making its land infertile. Colonies located far from the rivers were left dependent on ground water, the continuous exploitation of which also led to green areas becoming deserts. If the government really wants to make the land fertile, then it will have to control the construction sector. But to take even a step forward in this direction, we have to be ready to stop and think about the development process. we can find a solution only when the society as well as the government changes its perspective. In these situations, Modi's call signifies the descent of the light among the darkness.


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