Droughts reduced Indian GDP by 2-5% over 20 years: UN | India News

NEW DELHI: The number and duration of droughts has increased by 29% globally since 2000, and the impact of severe droughts is estimated to have reduced India’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2-5% over the 20 years from 1998 to 2017, said a A new report from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was released on Wednesday.
The report, released on the sidelines of the ongoing 15th session of the UNCCD Conference (COP15) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, called for and also pointed to several measures including restoring land to reduce the risk that the droughts account for 15% of natural droughts worldwide, but took the largest human toll – approximately 6,50,000 deaths in 50 years (1970-2019).
Globally, droughts caused economic losses of around 124 billion US dollars during this period. Although Africa has been hit by severe drought more than any other continent, with over 300 events recorded over the past 100 years, accounting for 44% of the world total, the highest total number of people affected by drought was in Asia.
“We are at a crossroads when it comes to drought management. We must steer towards solutions instead of continuing with destructive measures and believing that small changes can heal systemic failures,” said Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, while calling for comprehensive global commitment to drought preparedness and resilience in all regions to be a top priority.

He said: “One of the best and most comprehensive solutions is land restoration, which addresses many of the underlying factors of deteriorated water cycles and loss of soil fertility. We need to build and rebuild our landscapes better, mimicking nature wherever possible and creating functioning ecosystems.”
The report comes in the context of earlier UNCCD Global Land Outlook report in April, which indicated that up to 40% of all ice-free land worldwide is already degraded, affecting 50% of humanity. It also noted that the current level of deterioration threatens half of global GDP ($44 trillion).
The UNCCD report notes that 128 countries, including India, have already expressed their willingness to achieve or exceed “land degradation neutrality,” and nearly 70 countries have participated in the convention’s global drought initiative aimed at achieving this to move from reactive approaches to drought to a proactive and risk-reducing approach.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.