PM Narendra Modi announces Centre of Excellence at ICFRE; visions to improve South-South cooperation in tackling land degradation

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On the eve of COP14 (Conference of Parties) to UNNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification) summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the setting up of Centre of Excellence at the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE).

The established institution will be useful in promoting South-South cooperation (a term used to describe the knowledge sharing between the global Southern nations) in addressing the issue of land degradation. Narendra Modi, as quoted by ANI, said: “In order to further develop our scientific approach and facilitate induction of technology to land degradation issues, India has decided to set up a Centre of Excellence at the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education.”

India is currently hosting the COP14 summit after it took over the presidency from China for the next two years. This year’s theme is- Reversing the land degradation and fixing the critical gaps in land management. The ongoing conference began from September 2. It will go on till 13 September.

Prime Minister Modi while announcing the landmark decision, said that the Centre of Excellence will collaborate with all those people who wants to access the technology, knowledge, and manpower for addressing land degradation problem.


  1. The proposed institution will help in leveraging the resources to fight against land degradation problem.
  2. It will be instrumental in planning and monitoring the preparation of actions against land degradation.
  3. It would be a platform for sharing technology and knowledge among developing countries of UNCCD for restoring degraded land. It is also expected that the move will help in preserving the biodiversity, ecosystem and ensuring a healthy supply of food and water.
  4. It will help in integrating the international and national institutions on a common approach to tackle land degradation and come out with sustainable management.
  5. It will help in setting targets for land degradation neutrality (LDN) by taking the ideas of all key stakeholders in the process.
  6. Creation of a database and knowledge sharing system has also been kept as ine of the important rile under the proposed institution.

HIGHLIGHTS of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech-

  1. Climate change affects both land and biodiversity. The negative effect of climate change is leading to the issue of land degradation. As a result of which, the world is witnessing erratic rainfalls, the rise in sea-level and much more.
  2. The holistic strategy of land and water use should be used to address the degraded land and water scarcity problem.
  3. India will put an end to the use of single-plastic use in the forthcoming years.
  4. Between 2015 to 2017, India’s tree and forest cover saw an increase of almost 0.8 million hectares.
  5. India announced to raise its ambitious target of restoring degraded land from 21 million hectares to 26 million hectares between now and 2030.


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