India's bioenergy initiatives can play role in land restoration: Tomar

India's bioenergy initiatives can play a crucial role in achieving land restoration, halting desertification and building drought resilience by providing sustainable energy solutions, Madhya Pradesh state assembly speaker Narendra Singh Tomar said on Wednesday.

Tomar said more than 2 billion hectares of land are degraded worldwide, nearly the size of India and Russia combined, impacting global food and water supplies.

"One of the key challenges of land restoration is the effective utilization of biomass, which significantly impacts the flora and biodiversity of the region," Tomar said at an event organised by Confederation of NGOs of Rural India.

He said India's consumption of energy and electricity is less than one-third of the global average despite having about 17% of the world's population.

The government has implemented various schemes to promote bioenergy including the National Bioenergy Programme, the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation scheme, and the GOBAR Dhan scheme, Tomar said.

Global Cooperation Economic Forum Chairman Dileep Shanghani said the cooperative economic framework has a major role in tackling climate change and bio-economy can provide livelihood solutions.

  India is taking a leading role through campaigns like LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) that encourages responsible living in harmony with nature, said Binod Anand, secretary general of the NGO confederation.

  Land degradation affects about 3.2 billion people worldwide and could reduce global food productivity by 12% by 2040, leading to food price hikes of up to 30%, according to speakers at the event.
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