Global WDCD observance: Ghent, Belgium
The global observance was marked at the Conference on Desertification and Land Degradation titled, “Desertification: to care or not to care?” organized by the University of Ghent, Belgium, jointly with UNESCO, UNU-UNWEH and BC Gent. Speaking at the event, Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, UN Convention to Combat Desertification called for action at the policy and grassroots profits in order to mitigate the effects of drought, and to combat desertification and land degradation effectively. On the ground, he called for help to enable local communities adopt and scale up sustainable land management practices. On the policy front, he said, one side of the equation is to turn the global aspiration of a land-degradation neutral world into a reality by giving it a concrete target under the Sustainable Development Goals under consideration. The other side is to mitigate drought by implementing the outcomes of the recent high level meeting on national drought policy held in Geneva in order to better prepare for and manage the risks associated with drought.
Gnacadja also announced the three winners of the Land for Life Award with a total prize fund of USD100,000 drawn from 137 applications received from 62 countries. The top award of USD 40,000 goes to overall winner, Foundation for Ecological Security from India. The two runners-up who will receive USD30,000 each are Consejo Civil Mexicano para la Silvicultura Sostenible from Mexico and World Vision Australia for its work in West Africa.
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