Share
 
Comments

I will leave today on a visit to Nepal to attend the 18th SAARC Summit, being hosted by the Government of Nepal in Kathmandu on 26-27 November 2014. 

Although this is my first SAARC Summit, during the last six months, I have interacted extensively with leaders of SAARC countries beginning with their auspicious presence at my swearing in ceremony. Development of close relations with our neighbours is a key priority for my Government. 

The 18th SAARC Summit will focus on the theme of “Deeper Regional Integration for Peace and Prosperity”. India has always emphasized the importance of greater regional integration at all levels for the socio-economic development of the South Asian region. We have undertaken several initiatives in this regard on bilateral, sub-regional and regional basis, and will continue to do more. We hope that the Summit will lead to concrete outcomes, particularly in regard to various initiatives on enhancing connectivity that have been under discussion for a long time. 

I also look forward to holding bilateral discussions with other South Asian Heads of State and Government on the margins of the SAARC Summit. 

This will be my second visit to Nepal within four months, which reflects the importance we attach to our unique and special relations with Nepal. There has been significant progress in the implementation of the decisions taken during my visit to Nepal in August 2014. I look forward to reviewing the progress in our relations with Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and other Nepalese leaders. We also hope to conclude some concrete agreements in the areas of connectivity and development cooperation. 

Modi Govt's #7YearsOfSeva
Explore More
It is now time to leave the 'Chalta Hai' attitude & think of 'Badal Sakta Hai': PM Modi

Popular Speeches

It is now time to leave the 'Chalta Hai' attitude & think of 'Badal Sakta Hai': PM Modi
PM Modi at UN: India working towards restoring 2.6 crore hectares of degraded land by 2030

Media Coverage

PM Modi at UN: India working towards restoring 2.6 crore hectares of degraded land by 2030
...

Nm on the go

Always be the first to hear from the PM. Get the App Now!
...
It is our sacred duty to leave a healthy planet for our future generations: PM Modi
June 14, 2021
Share
 
Comments
In last 10 years, around 3 million hectares of forest cover added in India, enhancing the combined forest cover to almost one-fourth of the country's total area: PM
India is on track to achieve its national commitment of Land degradation neutrality: PM
Restoration of 26 million hectares of degraded land aimed by 2030 to achieve an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent
Centre of Excellence is being set up in India to promote a scientific approach towards land degradation issues
It is our sacred duty to leave a healthy planet for our future generations: PM

Excellency, President of the General Assembly,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Namaste

I thank the President of the General Assembly for organising this High-Level Dialogue.

Land is the fundamental building block for supporting all lives and livelihoods. And, all of us understand that the web of life functions as an inter-connected system. Sadly, land degradation affects over two-thirds of the world today. If left unchecked, it will erode the very foundations of our societies, economies, food security, health, safety and quality of life. Therefore, we have to reduce the tremendous pressure on land and its resources. Clearly, a lot of work lies ahead of us. But we can do it. We can do it together.

Mr. President,

In India, we have always given importance to land and considered the sacred Earth as our mother. India has taken the lead to highlight land degradation issues at international forums. The Delhi Declaration of 2019 called for better access and stewardship over land, and emphasised gender-sensitive transformative projects. In India, over the last 10 years, around 3 million hectares of forest cover has been added. This has enhanced the combined forest cover to almost one-fourth of the country's total area.

We are on track to achieve our national commitment of Land degradation neutrality. We are also working towards restoring 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030. This would contribute to India's commitment to achieve an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

We believe that restoration of land can start a virtuous cycle of good soil health, increased land productivity, food security and improved livelihoods. In many parts of India, we have taken up some novel approaches. To give just one example, the Banni region in Rann of Kutch in Gujarat suffers from highly degraded land and receives very little rainfall. In that region, land restoration is done by developing grasslands, which helps in achieving land degradation neutrality.  It also supports pastoral activities and livelihood by promoting animal husbandry. In the same spirit, we need to devise effective strategies for land restoration while promoting indigenous techniques.

Mr. President,

Land degradation poses a special challenge to the developing world. In the spirit of South-South cooperation, India is assisting fellow developing countries to develop land restoration strategies. A Centre of Excellence is being set up in India to promote a scientific approach towards land degradation issues.

Mr. President,

It is mankind's collective responsibility to reverse the damage to land caused by human activity. It is our sacred duty to leave a healthy planet for our future generations. For their sake and ours, I extend my best wishes for productive deliberations at this High-Level Dialogue.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.