News Release

India: Desertification and Land Degradation Atlas released

Time:2016-07-12 Browse Number:238 Source:Indian Space Research Organisation

Desertification and land degradation are major threats to agricultural productivity in our country. Combating desertification and land degradation is one of the thrust areas identified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India, New Delhi. Space Applications Centre (SAC), ISRO, Ahmedabad along with 19 concerned partner institutes has carried out an inventory and monitoring of desertification of the entire country using Indian Remote Sensing Satellites (IRS) data in Geographical Information System (GIS) environment.


Release of Atlas

The maps and salient findings compiled in the form of an Atlas was released on the occasion of “World Day to Combat Desertification”, on June 17, 2016 jointly organized by MoEF&CC, and Arid Zone Forest Research Institute (AFRI) at Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

This Atlas presents state-wise desertification and land degradation status maps depicting land use, process of degradation and severity level. This was prepared using IRS Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS) data of 2011-13 and 2003-05 time frames in GIS environment. Area under desertification / land degradation for the both time frames and changes are reported state-wise as well as for the entire country. The outputs are helpful in prioritizing areas to be taken up for minimizing the impact of desertification and land degradation.


It may be noted that India is signatory to the United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification (UNCCD). The country is committed to combat desertification and land degradation and intends to achieve land degradation neutral status by 2030. MoEF&CC is the nodal Ministry for the implementation of the UNCCD. The status of India’s desertification and land degradation is an important contribution to India’s report to the UNCCD. Besides, concerned policy makers, regional planners and researchers can also use this Atlas as a ready reference.