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Call for Inspiring Stories about Individuals or Communities that have transformed their lives through land improvements

​Decision 4 of COP12 invites all stakeholders to share inspiring stories that will interest people in the general work of the Convention to Combat Desertification. We invite you to share two inspiring human interest stories from your country, which focus on how a community, family or person improved their own life, or that of others, through the implementation of sustainable methods, in particular by finding solutions to land degradation. The vast quantity of information we present in short-hand facts and figures lacks the empathy and emotion needed to get the public to identify with these realities. Human interest stories are short accounts about inspiring individuals or communities, which can educate and motivate audiences to adopt or promote sustainable practices.

More and more journalists are contacting the secretariat for inspiring stories about the people behind the rural transformation of restored land or about the victims of a land degradation that is amplified by climate change. But the best practice stories in our database mostly focus on the land, not the people behind these achievements. The human interest stories we have are just from a handful of countries. For example, Yacouba Sawado of The Man Who Stopped the Desert or Aba Hawi, the hero in Ethiopia Rising. Such heroes – individuals or communities – exist in every country. The information submitted will be presented as stories that capture the true spirit of the subject, and remain true to the facts. The stories will be filed in a database, by country, for easy access.
Submissions should be sent to: Hayley George, ERPA Unit, Deadline for submission: 15 October 2016.

Suggested requirements

The guidelines and table below provide some ideas of what each story should contain to make it complete. The contents are examples drawn from real-life stories. Feel free to write the information as a story. If most of the questions gaps below are covered, then the story is complete.
•    Aim of the story: to motivate the reader to take an interest in the subject of sustainable land management
•    Focus on the subject’s achievements and how they did this. State clearly what is inspiring about his story, without exaggerating.
•    In order to capture the true spirit of the story quote directly from the subject as much as possible.

Click to Download Template

For more information, contact:

Ms. Hayley George, or Wagaki Wischnewski,

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