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COP14 meet: World should say goodbye to single-use plastic, says PM Modi


New Delhi, Sep 09: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the gathering at the Conference of Parties (COP14) on Monday and said that climate change was leading to land degradation of various kinds.

Narendra Modi

"Climate and environment impact both biodiversity and land. It's widely accepted that world is facing negative impact of climate change. It is also leading to land degradation be it due to rise in sea levels and wave action,erratic rainfall and storms and sand storms caused by hot temperatures," Modi said.

"When we address degraded lands, we also address water scarcity. Augmenting water supply, enhancing water recharge, slowing down water run-off and retaining moisture in the soil are all parts of a holistic land and water strategy," he added.

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    The Prime Minister also reiterated his resolve to end single-use plastic in India. "My government has announced that India will put an end to single use plastic in the coming years. I believe the time has come for even the world to say good-bye to single use plastic," he said.

    PM Modi stressed that India aims to increase the total area restored from land degradation to increase from 21 million hectares to 26 million hectares. He also added that India's tree cover has increased by 0.8 million hectares between 2015 and 2017.

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    The COP14 summit, which runs through September 13, hosts ministers, scientists, government representatives, non-governmental organisations, and various community groups from 196 countries, in the hope of agreeing new actions to boost land fertility.

    Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar has been elected earlier this week as President of the Conference of the Parties and he will be presiding over the body for the next two years, Thiaw said.

    While Thiaw did not give details on what commitments India could make at the summit, he said at the working level in the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, "there is a big ambition that India has that they would address after the COP as part of their legacy to this entire process."

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