UNCCD Statement at CBD COP15 Opening Plenary

It is an honor to speak on behalf of the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The UNCCD is hopeful that CBD Parties would agree to a strong and solid new global biodiversity framework. Such agreement would greatly contribute to the success of the three Rio Conventions. Land is the operative link between biodiversity and climate change – by focusing our actions on restoring the health and productivity of terrestrial ecosystems, we can simultaneously protect habitats, capture, and store carbon, and improve the living conditions of local communities. Global commitments to restore degraded land by 2030 have reached one billion hectares, with almost half of these pledged as Land Degradation Neutrality targets under the UNCCD. At their recent COP in Abidjan, the UNCCD Parties agreed to explore complementarities within relevant Multilateral Environmental Agreements in the implementation of sustainable land management, ecosystem-based approaches, or nature-based solutions. The Rio Conventions must deliver a coherent and integrated plan of action at all levels to finance and effectively tackle the intertwined biodiversity, land, and climate crises. In GEF-8, we welcome the fact that countries are being incentivized to move more of their programming through integrated programmes that address our interconnected environmental and development challenges. In that respect, we would like to encourage all Parties to align land degradation neutrality targets, nationally determined contributions, and the new biodiversity targets to maximize the impacts of nature-positive investments and significantly diminish the tremendous gap between commitment and action. Adopting new targets and agreements will only make full sense if we implement them in a coordinated manner, at all levels. Thank you for your attention. At UNCCD we stand ready to support you in promoting an enhanced collaboration for the wellbeing and survival of all species and the planet.  


The twenty-first session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC21) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), will be held from 9 to 13 October 2023 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.


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