Teens raise environmental concerns at UNCCD CoP 14

Teens raise environmental concerns at UNCCD CoP 14
Image source: Google

Greater Noida: Teenagers from several Delhi-based schools thronged the 14th Conference of Parties (CoP14) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), voicing their worries over depleting natural resources due to land degradation and climate change.

The students, associated with SEEDS, an organisation which carries out workshops in schools on climate change, asked, "What will be left for us if there is no land?" 

"I have come here to express my views on the environmental concerns. I aggressively want to save the environment and want implementation of climate change mitigation action," a student said.

"People talk a lot about climate change sitting in air-conditioned rooms but there is no action or implementation. Our generation is at stake," said Lavanya, a Class VIII student of SKV Janki Devi school, Mayur Vihar.

Expressing concern over land degradation, Lavanya said, "Agriculture requires land. If land desertification is not dealt with, we won't have food." 

Several other students held discussions with various representatives of government organisations, NGOs and other participants over land desertification.

The second day of the CoP14, under the theme "Restore land, Sustain future", witnessed wide participation from various stakeholders.

Meeting of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC) and key discussions such as "Climate Co-Benefits of Programmes to Combat Land Degradation" were also organised.

Delivering the opening remarks of the 18th CRIC session, Executive Secretary, UNCCD, Ibrahim Thiaw said, "CRIC 18 could be a real milestone. We will finalise the first UNCCD reporting process - using progress indicators and setting baselines. We will be able to measure progress in implementing the Convention against these well into the future." 

An estimated 7,200 participants, including ministers and representatives of governments, non-government and inter-governmental organisations, from 197 countries are attending the event.

The CoP will go on till September 13, during which the ministers are expected to announce their targets for land restoration and agree on measures to address the related emerging threats of forced migration, sand and dust storms, and on actions to strengthen resilience to droughts.

During the last CoP in China in 2017, countries had agreed on a 12-year strategy to contain runaway land degradation that is threatening global food and water supply.