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India to Restore 50 Lakh Hectares of Land Affected by Desertification in Next 10 Years

India is facing a huge challenge as 29 per cent of its land surface was degraded

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The process involves a scientific approach and techniques, Javadekar said. Pixabay

India has set a target to restore in the next 10 years 50 lakh hectares of land affected by desertification or degradation, Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar announced on Tuesday.

“The process will be carried out by adopting the landscape restoration approach, which is crucial to converting the infertile land to fertile. The process involves a scientific approach and techniques,” Javadekar said.

India is facing a huge challenge as 29 per cent of its land surface was degraded. This translated to 960 hectares of the country’s geography. “We have to make this land fertile,” he said.

He said land degradation or desertification was caused due to overexploitation, overgrazing, water logging and removal of topsoil by winds or floods.

India, Desertification, Land
India has set a target to restore in the next 10 years 50 lakh hectares of land affected by desertification or degradation, Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar announced on Tuesday. Pixabay

India is hosting Conference of Parties (COP) 14 of United Nations convention from September 2 to 13 to combat desertification.

The Minister pointed out that the conference was crucial as one-third of the world’s land area was either affected by desertification or was degraded.

Addressing a press conference ahead of the event, he added that the country would implement the resolutions adopted at the New Delhi Declaration.

A centre of excellence to combat the desertification of the fertile land will be created at the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun.

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“This Centre will conduct the baseline mapping, mapping of the existing schemes and programmes, setting priorities and achieving transformative projects. The Centre will help the world by conducting research and promote learning of best practices among the nations.”

Javadekar said that on September 9 and 10 the New Delhi Declaration would be signed.

“The country will steer the world in the right direction by taking cooperation from all countries. Over 200 countries and 3,000 delegates have confirmed their participation,” he said.

The 12-day convention will see the participation of officials from the United Nations, experts and several non-governmental organisations.

India, Desertification, Land
The process will be carried out by adopting the landscape restoration approach, which is crucial to converting the infertile land to fertile. Pixabay

Elaborating on some of the topics to be discussed, an official said the connection between the land pockets and gender will be deliberated upon.

“Land rights have predominantly been available with male members. It would be interesting to deliberate that the women could play a vital role in nurturing their land pockets like their children and the importance of providing and ownership of agrarian land to them,” he said.

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The convention will also deliberate on finding a solution to lessen the impact of natural events such as climate change on land degradation and how the world community can take up the technology and funds transfer to help countries in need, another official said. (IANS)

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YouTube Rolls out ‘YouTube Charts’ in India to Empower Local Artists

YouTube Charts are also available within YouTube Music, including “Top 100” most played songs and “Top 100” music videos globally and locally and “Top 30 Trending” chart

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FILE - Signage is seen inside the YouTube Space LA offices in Los Angeles, California, Oct. 21, 2015. VOA

Google-owned YouTube on Monday rolled out “YouTube Charts” in India that will showcase country-specific trending music lists, top songs, artists and music videos at one place.

Now available in 56 countries alongside the global chart, “YouTube Charts” has more than two billion global users and 265 million monthly users in India.

“We’ve heard loud and clear from Indian artists, labels and fans that they want a single source of truth to see what’s hot and popular in the world of music. I’m incredibly excited to bring YouTube charts to India,” Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube, said in a statement.

Over the last year, many Indian artists including Guru Randhawa, Badshah, Arijit Singh and Neha Kakkar have reached the YouTube music country charts in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada along with the global chart.

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FILE – Silhouettes are seen in front of a Youtube logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica, Oct. 29, 2014. VOA

“Indian artists have truly gone global. Week to week in 2019, on an average 20 per cent of the entries on the ‘Global Top Songs’ chart have featured Indian artists. Their popularity outside India is a testimony of YouTube’s massive global reach and opportunities it offers to artists,” elaborated Pawan Agarwal, Head of Music Partnerships, YouTube & Google Play, India and South Asia at YouTube.

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The YouTube Charts include trending lists, top songs, artists and music videos.

YouTube Charts are also available within YouTube Music, including “Top 100” most played songs and “Top 100” music videos globally and locally and “Top 30 Trending” chart. (IANS)