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Peace & security

Peace and security, man with camel

A growing world population drives increased demand for natural resources. By 2050, 10 billion people will share our one planet – depending on healthy land for their livelihoods. 

Land degradation goes beyond environmental impacts; it fuels forced migration and conflict over dwindling resources. In Africa alone, up to 60 million people could be displaced over the next decade due to deteriorating land conditions. 

Restoring degraded land is not only critical to advancing all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but also to meeting climate and biodiversity targets, closing the food gap, and improving human health and prosperity , 

At UNCCD we are deeply committed to the principle that the health of the land is critical to  ensuring peace, security and stability. Securing healthy and productive land brings prosperity and stability, especially to land-dependent communities on the forefront of land degradation and drought.   This is why all our policies and initiatives, such as the Great Green Wall and the Peace Forest Initiative, aim to protect the land and avoid the adverse environmental and social impacts of land degradation.  

The Great Green Wall

The Great Green Wall is an African-led initiative to restore the continent’s degraded landscapes and transform millions of lives in the Sahel.   Implemented across 22 African countries, this ambitious project aims to restore 100 million hectares of currently degraded land, sequester 250 million tons of carbon and create 10 million green jobs by 2030.  

The Peace Forest Initiative

The Peace Forest Initiative (PFI) is a flagship programme of UNCCD designed to address restoration of ecosystems and land-based resources including land, soil, water and forests in fragile and conflict-affected locations. 

With the UNCCD Secretariat providing countries with technical support and seed funding, PFI presents a collaborative platform for communities in cross-border settings to develop joint activities that conserve, restore and manage their environment and natural resources as a shared asset.  

Every year we degrade 100 million hectares of productive land, with devastating consequences for our environment and society. Degradation fuels droughts, which increasingly threaten our social stability and cause upheaval. As a global community, we must aggressively combat desertification, reverse land degradation and mitigate the harsh effects of drought. 

 Governments around the world must implement coherent and economically viable land restoration policies. At the upcoming COP16 in Riyadh, which marks the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), nations will come together to accelerate efforts to sustainably manage and restore land as a key driver of economic growth, prosperity and wellbeing, and to advance the SDGs. 

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