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Restoring Lifelines: Doing more and better with less

​Have you ever wondered how the issue of desertification is linked to the work of other United Nations organizations? We will be illustrating all the ways land degradation, drought and desertification are multi-institutional issues, and how sustainable land management (SLM) and restoring land resources facilitates solving these issues.

1.    WHO (World Health Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health.
How it relates:
-    Deforestation and land degradation reduce the availability of traditional herbs and medicinal plants
SLM and restoration of land resources could…
  • Reduce threats of malnutrition by conserving natural resources
  • Increase the biodiversity of food production
  • Reduce water and food borne diseases due to the conservation of clean water supplies
  • Reduce the occurrence of respiratory diseases caused by atmospheric dust from dust storms and haze
  • Protect beneficial flora that is used as traditional medicine 
2.    FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) is an agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.

How it relates:
-    Enhancing agricultural productivity and advancing the sustainable use of land and water resources through their improved tenure, management, development and conservation go hand-in-hand
SLM and restoration of land resources could…

  • Increase food security, primarily for smallholder farmers
  • Provide local fresh and clean water
  • Mitigate soil degradation and enhance soil development
  • Increase soil moisture, enabling soil development and functions
  • Enhance primary production and nutrient cycling
  • Preserve soil moisture (for plant production)
  • Increase primary production

3.   UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
How it relates:
-    Impacts of desertification may destroy the the natural wonders of the world
SLM and restoration of land resources could…

  • Increase agri and eco-tourism
  • Keep alive cultural and natural landscapes and protect cultural heritage
  • Increase income as well as the spread of indigenous cultures, crafts and foods

4.  UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the UN which contributes to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights.

How it relates:
-    Educating and mobilizing youth to fight desertification and valorize indigenous knowledge and production methods
SLM and restoration of land resources could…

  • Increase the number of green jobs, or jobs which help to protect ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Advance skills vital for poverty reduction, economic recovery and sustainable development

5.  UN WOMEN is the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
How it relates:
-    Women’s unequal access to productive assets exacerbates land degradation
SLM and restoration of land resources could…

  • Provide women with the training and technology to accomplish their agricultural and pastoral production processes more effectively
  • Empower women and ensure their full  participation
  • Decrease women’s workload and distance to travel for food and fuel collections
  • Decrease malnutrition in children and forced migration

6. UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) is an agency of United Nations which assists developing countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices.
How it relates:
-    Deforestation and land degradation causes soils erosion, water scarcity and biodiversity declination
SLM and restoration of land resources could…

  • Conserve biodiversity and contribute to  increased carbon sequestration capacity
  • Support land users to respond to changing market demand with adapted and traditional technologies to generate income, improve livelihoods and protect ecosystems
  • Regulate water discharge from highland to lowland area, reducing flodds and increasing low flows
  • Regulate river, lake and groundwater levels

7.  UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) aims to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.
How it relates:
-    Desertification is land degradation in drylands, resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities
SLM and restoration of land resources could…

  • Increased attention to the linkage of land and soil to climate change would not only enrich the substantive and conceptual debates on effective means for carbon sequestration
  • Reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases
  • Increase soil carbon sequestration; an important and immediate sink for removing atmospheric carbon dioxide and mitigating global warming and climate change
  • provide local energy

8.   CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) aims to develop national strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. How it relates:
-    Land degradation jeopardizes biodiversity... Desertification affects the global loss of biodiversity; 27,000 species are lost each year
SLM and restoration of land resources could…

  • Preserve biodiversity at the farm level through agroforestry, intercropping, fallow, and preservation of locally adapted seed
  • Decrease the amount of forced migration of plant and animal life
  • Protect the diverse array of plants and endangered species

A Natural Fix

​A joined up approach to delivering the Global Goals for sustainable development. It stresses the importance of the linkages and integrated nature of the global Goals in realizing the 2030 Agenda. Find out more here:

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