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ICFRE celebrates ‘World Day to Combat Desertification & Drought’

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By Our Staff Reporter 

Dehradun, 17 Jun: Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) has initiated the setting up of a Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Land Management for restoration of degraded lands and achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030. The Centre of Excellence celebrated the ‘World Day to Combat Desertification and Land Degradation’, today, by organising an event to create awareness among the stakeholders, mainly targeting youths (university students, young researchers, etc.), natural resource managers and other stakeholders to combat desertification and land degradation. The theme for the Desertification and Drought Day this year is ‘Rising Up from Drought Together’.

RK Dogra, Deputy Director General (Admin & Research), ICFRE, in his welcome address, highlighted the challenges of desertification and drought and its direct and indirect impact on ecosystems and human well being.

Arun Singh Rawat, Director General, ICFRE, and Chief Guest, in his inaugural address stated that land is a critical resource for sustenance and offers vital ecosystem goods and services. He stated that drought is severely affecting the various sectors and overall economic development of the country. Droughts adversely impacts livelihood and economies of a large section of population. He further stated that ICFRE is in the process of establishing a Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Land Management at Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education in order to further develop scientific approach and facilitate induction of technology for addressing land degradation issues.

Dr PR Ojasvi, Principal Scientist, Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Dr RS Rawat, Scientist – E from ICFRE, Dr N Bala, Scientist-G from Forest Research Institute, Prof Anil Kumar Gupta, National Institute of Disaster Management, and Bikram Singh, Director, Metrological Centre, Dehradun deliberated on different aspects of desertification, land degradation and drought during the event. Dr Rajesh Sharma, ADG (Biodiversity and Climate Change), concluded the event and thanked all the dignitaries and participants. Dr Shilpa Gautam, Scientist -E, Biodiversity and Climate Change Division, moderated the event. The event was attended by more than 100 participants from different parts of the country including all Deputy Director Generals, Directors, Officers, Scientists, Researchers and Students of ICFRE and its Institutes. Dr Sanjay Singh, Dr Krishna Giri and Dr Gaurav Mishra actively participated in organising the event.