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Chinese television presenter becomes UNCCD Drylands Ambassador

Bonn, 07/05/13. Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Mr Luc Gnacadja has named Chinese television presenter Ms Fangfei Liu a Drylands Ambassador for the Convention.

Drylands Ambassadors are appointed to take a lead in raising international awareness about the causes and solutions to land degradation. Recent appointees include Ms Universe 2011 Leila Lopes, Dr Dennis Garrity, former Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre, and world renown scholar, Professor Jeffrey Sachs.

"Ms Liu is very active in environmental activities, especially in promoting the conservation of forests using recycled material. Maintaining land cover is critical in our efforts to combat desertification. Coming from a country that is adversely affected by desertification and where everyone’s involvement in the campaign to combat desertification and restore degraded land is desirable, her large following both inside and outside China is an asset in our global awareness raising efforts," said Mr Gnacadja when he announced the appointment.

“I am proud and deeply honored to be named UNCCD Drylands Ambassador. I will make every effort to promote the preservation of drylands through my activities. Together with the ‘green plan of handkerchief’ campaign I have launched in China, I believe we can work to create a sustainable and harmonious environment for the humanity,” said Ms Liu on her appointment.

“By donating the proceeds from the sale of handkerchiefs to tree planting under her ‘three handkerchiefs for a tree’ campaign, Ms. Fangfei is already working to improve land cover,” Mr. Gnacadja said.

China is the country most affected by desertification both in terms of area and population. Twenty-seven percent of the landmass and more than 400 million  people  are affected.

China is involved in a national campaign to restore degraded lands, and is recovering 3 to 5 million hectares of land every year.

Ms Liu is a professional television presenter working for the national television, CCTV. She has hosted several programmes, including ‘The Cross over South and North Poles’, ‘Attend to Africa’, ‘Movie & TV Club’ and ‘Classics.’

Ms Liu’s voluntary work includes her own campaign to raise awareness about recycling of paper products, and serving as ambassador for the Red Cross in China, poverty eradication and education activities in China.

Recent studies show that more than 2 billion hectares of degraded land and forest globally have the potential for restoration. Every year, the opportunity to produce 20 million tons of grain is lost through drought and the degradation of productive dryland areas, known as desertification, alone. Globally, land degradation costs the global community US$490 billion per year, and up to 5 percent of the agricultural gross domestic product (AGDP).

For more information about Drylands ambassadors, contact: Ms Yukie Hori, tel: +49-228-815-2829, email: yhori@unccd.int or Ms Wagaki Mwangi, tel: +49-228-815-2820, email: wmwangi@unccd.int.

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