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Summary and conclusion

Prof. Klaus Kellner, North West University, South Africa, facilitated this session, which was convened to pull together the summaries for the Day's discussions, the major lessons from the Day such as "climate smart agriculture."

Mr. Hans Nilsagård summarized the focus of each presentation in Panel Session 1, which indicated that the value for carbon mitigation under the climate change negotiations that would arise from the activities on land degradation discussed at Land Day 5.

Dr. Fred Stolle said his session started with a discussion of the broad legal and funding aspects concerning land degradation, and concluded with the concrete cases of implementation at national and community levels. He observed that there is a call for a holistic not simplified approach to land degradation, the need to the work with communities and appropriately recognizing the wide range of benefits that come with land rehabilitation/restoration and conservation. He said one troubling question remained: why isn't implementation happening everywhere?

Presenting the key messages from Panel session 3, Dr. Gambiza said:

    * the land degradation is a global phenomenon which cannot be resolved by a single institution, underlining the importance of partnerships;
    * measurement, monitoring and management are the three key challenges that need to be addressed in order to curb land degradation;
    * there is vast potential in the rangelands to sequester carbon
    * local initiatives need to be harnessed and up scaled;
    * the first step to achieving a zero-net land degradation is to be able to quantify and calculate the critical limits of tolerable changes, and develop useful indicators such as soil organic matter, as well as biological productivity.

Mr. Gnacadja, also delivered closing remarks. He said zero-net land degradation is about: bringing soil to out of the policy blind-spot; assessing the trade-offs involved in its prevention and restoration; and recognizing the importance of role and science and a legal instrument to address the degradation of all soil biomes. He concluded with an acknowledgement of the high-level keynote speaker at Land Day 5, and the dynamic partnership that yielded very talented panelists and moderators.

On behalf of host country South Africa and the Director-General of the Department of Environment Affairs, Mr. Jones Kharika Muleso, Director, Resource Use, thanked the panelists and moderators, and said "if we can solve the issues pertaining to land degradation, we can solve other larger issues."

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