17 June: Live Ministerial Panel

Desertification and Drought Day ministerial panel finished with over 5 500 online viewers

Political leaders are assessing their next moves as the world slowly emerges from a global pandemic. It is widely accepted that returning to normal is not viable in view of the unmatched social, economic and environmental implications of the COVID19 pandemic. Normal got us here in the first place. But the decisions taken in the coming months will lock in development pathways for decades to come. 

Is it time to fundamentally rethink our relationship with nature?

Can entering into a social contract for nature help us to build back better?

This high-level panel brings together some of the world's most influential political leaders in the environmental field to debate what the post-COVID19 recovery strategy might look like. What needs to happen immediately and in the long term. Engagement will be framed in the context of four key questions.

  • What are the future implications of COVID19 for social, economic and environmental well-being?
  • How is the flow of basic goods and services (such as food, feed and fibre) affected, and how can we address them as drivers of the pandemic?  
  • Do you have plans to include nature and environmental issues in your plans to build back better? What are the critical elements? How will the protection or restoration of the environment be incentivized? 
  • Do we need a global approach, regional cooperation?  What else is needed to achieve sufficient momentum? 
  • Panelists will make brief opening remarks, then an exchange of views with the audience and journalists will follow. 

H.E. Mr. Babul Supriyo

  • Minister of State, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, India

H.E. Ms. Marieme Bekaye

  • Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Mauritania
  • Chair of Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative

H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi

  • Minister of Climate Change and Environment, United Arab Emirates

H.E. Mr. Saboto Caesar 

  • Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation and Industry, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Mr. Francesco La Camera

  • Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency

Session Moderator: Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw

  • Executive Secretary, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
  • Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

The event will be broadcast live via Zoom and streamed on UNCCD website and social media channels. The session will be conducted in English and French. Only participants who register via Zoom, however, will have access to simultaneous interpretation. Registered participants may also submit written questions directed to any of the panelists in advance. Registration will close once full capacity is reached in which case access will be through the social media channels.

Time of the Event

  • United Kingdom: 14:30 – 16:00
  • Germany: 15:30 – 17:00
  • United Arab Emirates: 17:30 – 19:00
  • India: 19:00 – 20:30
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines: 09:30 – 11:00


  • Please follow this link to register on Zoom