Prelims level : Environment - Climate Change and its Impacts Mains level : GS-III- Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.
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  • After 12 days of talks, the 14th Conference of Parties (COP14) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) ended with 196 countries and the European Union adopting the “New Delhi Declaration”.


  • The participating countries agreed that land degradation is a major economic, social and environmental problem, and welcomed strengthening of the adoption of voluntary “land degradation neutrality” targets that include restoration of degraded land by 2030.
  • It has challenge of droughts which are set to become more frequent and more intense in coming years,
  • While the New Delhi Declaration is a statement of consensus, the 35 decisions are legally binding on each the 197 signatories.
  • Declaration asserts that there is clear links between land restoration, biodiversity and climate change.
  • The document laid special emphasis on Community-Driven Transformative Projects that are gender-sensitive at local, national and regional levels to drive implementation.


  • The mention of international financial institutions like Green Climate Fund (GCF), Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Adaptation Fund has been deleted from the finalised New Delhi Declaration: Investing in Land and Unlocking Opportunities, released.
  • The Declaration has also removed the mention of ‘legal recognition’ of Tenurial Rights. Tenurial rights was one of the contentious issues that was being discussed at the convention.
  • The Declaration also dilutes the importance of land tenure and user rights of Indigenous Communities, youth and women.
  • The final Delhi Declaration downplays the connections with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as well as with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
  • In the draft, the linkages of UNCCD with UNFCCC as well as with CBD were being considered, but the New Delhi Declaration is completely silent on these.
  • Mention of Sharm El Sheikh Declaration, is also absent
  • What is Sharm El Sheikh Declaration.
    • Sharm El Sheikh Declaration, launched recognized by the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the its Fourteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, called for synergies in addressing environmental degradation, biodiversity loss and climate change.
  • Overall the Declaration has downplayed the role of global financial institutions, tenurial rights of people, and delinks UNCCD from other Rio mandated scientific bodies like IPCC and IPBES.

International Funding Bodies:

Green Climate Fund:

  • The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a new global fund created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change.
  • GCF helps developing countries limit or reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change.
  • It seeks to promote a paradigm shift to low-emission and climate-resilient development, taking into account the needs of nations that are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts.

Global Environment Facility (GEF):

  • The Global Environment Facility was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems.
  • GEF is an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector that addresses global environmental issues.
  • GEF funds are available to developing countries and countries with economies in transition to meet the objectives of the international environmental conventions and agreements.
  • GEF support is provided to government agencies, civil society organizations, private sector companies, research institutions, among the broad diversity of potential partners, to implement projects and programs in recipient countries.

Adaptation Fund:

  • The Adaptation Fund (AF) was established in 2001 to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing country Parties to the Kyoto Protocol that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
  • The Adaptation Fund is financed with a share of proceeds from the clean development mechanism (CDM) project activities and other sources of funding. The share of proceeds amounts to 2 per cent of certified emission reductions (CERs) issued for a CDM project activity.
  • The Adaptation Fund is supervised and managed by the Adaptation Fund Board (AFB).  The AFB is composed of 16 members and 16 alternates and meets at least twice a year (Membership of the AFB).

What is United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD):

  • The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD) is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.
  • It is the global agreement that will make or break our present and future.
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