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UNCCD calls for land-use framework within 2015 agenda

​New York, 28 November 2013.  UNCCD Executive Secretary Monique Barbut addressed participants at the Rio Conventions joint side event held at the fifth session of the UN General Assembly's (UNGA) Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that ended in New York yesterday.

In a video message delivered on Monday, 25 November, Barbut underlined the need for powerful and effective programmes on the ground for delivering the multiple benefits of adaptation, rural poverty reduction and the protection of biodiversity and water services. She said the post-2015 development agenda and SDGs could provide the framework for these programmes.

Such a framework could have two elements, she added. First, to set targets that aim to reverse natural resource degradation, specifically on soil, land and water and second, to ensure the targets are supported by an integrated indicator framework that reflects positive and corrective actions, and that allow us to measure progress.

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Mr. Thomas Lovejoy, Biodiversity Chair, Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment and Ms. Uma Lele, Independent Scholar, also delivered keynote addresses, respectively speaking on the threats to biodiversity and ecosystems and on natural disasters in the context of climate change.

Representatives of Indonesia, Italy and South Africa presented their national experiences, and Mr. Braulio Dias, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity, was a respondent at the event moderated by Mr. Elliot Harris, Director of UNEP Liaison Office.

During the Q&A session in reference to the recent typhoons, Melchiade Bukuru, Chief of the UNCCD Liaison office in New York, stressed the need for sustained attention to drought due to their impacts, pointing out that while droughts are not dramatic disasters, their impacts are often hugely underestimated.

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