Impact of climate change on land degradation over India

The studies of UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme) indicated that, over the preceding 20 years, the problem of land degradation had continued to worsen due to human activities and climate change such as prolonged or frequent droughts aggravating land degradation. This led formally defining desertification as “land degradation” in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas which is used as basis of the UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification). India became a signatory to UNCCD during 1994. One of the obligations of all developing country parties to the convention, including India, is to prepare the National Action Programme to Combat Desertification and to mitigate the effects of drought. In the present study, land degradation over the country has been examined with the help of soil moisture status which has been quantified by a moisture
index (P/PE) where P is rainfall and PE is Potential Evapotranspiration.

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