The Drylands Ambassador programme raises awareness among decision makers and the public at large about the importance of combating desertification, land degradation and mitigating the effect of drought. These issues are vital to solving major global challenges such as poverty alleviation, sustainable water management, food security and greening energy.
Dryland Ambassadors emphasize the opportunities generated by sustainable land management (SLM), land rehabilitation and reclamation. Drylands Ambassadors also help reach target groups such as youth, children and women.
Some Dryland Ambassadors are targeting the public at large, while others are drawing the attention of decision makers to the importance of topics such as land management within relevant policy agendas, and as a priority for increased investment.
Highly regarded Drylands Ambassadors could draw attention to the issues upheld by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and provide the impetus needed to fully implement the objectives of the UNCCD 10-Year Strategy.
"There are a lot of people, who go hungry, and yet there is land they could be utilizing profitably. It is part of my obligation to learn about the land and how it can be better utilized."
Deborah Fraser, South African gospel singer
“I will, in particular, hope to contribute to the Secretariat's efforts to highlight the role of agroforestry, evergreen agriculture, and farmer-managed natural regeneration as critical opportunities for making vast progress on the ground in the regeneration of healthy farms and ecosystems.”
Dennis Garrity, Former Executive Director of World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
“Desertification is one of the most severe and most serious problems we are now facing. We are trying to stand up in action in preventing and combatting decertification. We are dedicated and devoted and determined to do every effort to prevent desertification.”
Byong Hyon Kwon, Former Korean ambassador and chairman of the NGO Future Forest
"I am humbled and honored to be called upon to serve as a Drylands Ambassador for the Convention."
Leila Lopez, Miss Universe 2011
“There are many human lives at stake. While many countries fight against desertification, we must be all united to support them with all our energies. I am very proud to add my humble help to this cause.”
Carlos Marchena, Spanish football player and World Cup winner
"Drylands are absolutely in the frontline of the most vulnerable position with regard to global anthropogenic climate change, not in the future, but now.”
Jeffrey Sachs, Economist and Director of the Earth Institute
"Sustainable Land Management, particularly the fight against desertification, land degradation and drought are major priorities for Africa”
His Excellency Pedro Pires, former President of Cape Verde
""Soil protection and the promotion of sustainable land management and agriculture are central tools for tackling poverty. I intend to promote sustainable land management at all levels, and its inclusion in the new sustainable development goals and the post-2015 Development Agenda. This is crucial for effective poverty eradication,"
Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland