• Recently, Shyam Sundar Jyani, a Rajasthan-based climate activist, has won the prestigious United Nations’ Land for Life Award for his environment conservation concept, Familial Forestry.
  • The winner was announced on 17th June 2021 which is the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought
  • Familial Forestry means transferring the care of the tree and environment in the family so that a tree becomes a part of the family’s consciousness.

Important points:

  • Every two years, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) organizes the Land for Life Award. The Award recognizes excellence and innovation in efforts towards land in balance.
  • The past editions shed light on inspiring initiatives of recovery and restoration of degraded landscapes worldwide.
  • They all made a significant contribution towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15: “Life on Land”, in particular Target 15.3 Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN).
  • This year the award will put the spotlight on individuals/organizations that made an outstanding contribution to land degradation neutrality on a large scale.
  • Which means with long-term changes and dedicated actions for 25 years or longer and remarkable positive impacts on land, people, communities, and society.
  • The Land for Life Award was launched in 2011 at the UNCCD Conference of Parties (COP)10 in the Republic of Korea as part of the Changwon Initiative.
  • The Changwon Initiative intends to complement activities being undertaken in line with The Strategy (for 2008-18) and in accordance with COP 10 decisions.

The main components of the Changwon Initiative include:

  1. Enhancing the scientific process of the UNCCD.
  2. Mobilizing additional resources and facilitating partnership arrangements.
  3. Supporting a global framework for the promotion of best practices.

Healthy Land, Healthy Lives.

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

  • Established in 1994, it is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.
  • It addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found.
  • The convention obliges national governments to take measures to tackle the issue of desertification.
  • It is one of the three Rio Conventions, the other two are Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD)and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • India is among the select few countries to have hosted the COP of all three Rio conventions.
  • The new UNCCD 2018-2030 Strategic Framework is the most comprehensive global commitment to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) in order to restore the productivity of vast expanses of degraded land, improve the livelihoods of more than 1.3 billion people, and reduce the impacts of drought on vulnerable populations to build.


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