India to be desertification neutral by 2030: Prakash Javadekar

New Delhi, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar Tuesday said India will become desertification neutral by 2030, adding that 32 percent of India's total land is facing the threat of desertification.

"In India, 69 percent of the land is dryland, and 32 percent of the land is undergoing desertification," Javadekar said while addressing a conference here.

The land area facing desertification threat is 81 million hectares, while 105 million hectares are dryland. "It is a serious threat and has to be stopped and reversed," he said.

The minister said integrated plan will be launched with agriculture, land resource and water ministries to address the issue, and the process of desertification of the land would be reversed by 2030.

"Land degradation is directly linked to poverty, and its reversal will provide livelihood options for thousands of people. India will be made desertification neutral by 2030," said Javadekar.

June 17 is observed as the World Day to Combat Desertification. It is a type of land degradation in which a relatively dryland region becomes increasingly arid, typically losing its bodies of water as well as vegetation and wildlife.

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