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تنبيه إعلامي: فتح باب الترشح لتغطية فعاليات مؤتمر الأطراف السادس عشر 

بدء قبول طلبات اعتماد وسائل الإعلام لتغطية فعاليات الدورة السادسة عشرة لمؤتمر الأطراف لاتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة التصحر  سيُعقد المؤتمر في الفترة الممتدة من 2 إلى 13 ديسمبر 2024 في بوليفارد الرياض سيتي، الرياض، المملكة العربية السعودية (طريق الامام سعود بن فيصل، حطين، الرياض).   ندعو جميع الصحفيين المهتمين بتغطية فعاليات مؤتمر الأطراف السادس عشر إلى التقدم بطلبات الحصول على اعتماد من الآن عبر نظام التسجيل الإلكتروني (ORS).   هام: نظام التسجيل الإلكتروني (ORS) هو المنصة الوحيدة المخصصة لتقديم طلبات الاعتماد للحصول على تصاريح لتغطية الدورة السادسة عشرة لمؤتمر الأطراف. لا تقبل أمانة اتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة التصحر طلبات الاعتماد المُرسلة عبر البريد الإلكتروني أو البريد العادي.  نؤكد على ضرورة استيفاء جميع المستندات للشروط المحددة، كما يجب الحرص على أن تتطابق بيانات مقدم الطلب في كافة مراحل التسجيل. تخضع عملية التسجيل للمراقبة، وكلّ طلبات التسجيل تحتاج إلى موافقة قبل قبولها.  ننصح بمراقبة حسابكم على نظام التسجيل الإلكتروني (ORS) باستمرار للاطلاع على أي طلبات إضافية لمستندات أو معلومات قد نحتاجها لاستكمال طلبكم. بمجرد تأكيد تسجيلكم، سنقوم بإرسال نموذج تأكيد التسجيل إليكم.   للحصول على مزيد من المعلومات، لا تترددوا في التواصل معنا عبر حساب التسجيل الإلكتروني الخاص بكم أو على البريد الإلكتروني press@unccd.int.  سنقوم بنشر مزيد من التفاصيل على موقعنا الإلكتروني في الوقت المناسب. 

تنبيه إعلامي: فتح باب الترشح لتغطية فعاليات مؤتمر الأطراف السادس عشر 
UNCCD COP16 note verbale

The secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) presents its compliments to the Embassy and has the honour to inform that the sixteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP16), the twenty-second session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC22) and the sixteenth session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST16) to the UNCCD will take place in Riyadh, at Al Imam Saud Ibn Faysal Rd, Hittin,  Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 2 to 13 December 2024. The secretariat of UNCCD has the honour to invite the Government of your country to participate in COP16 under the overarching theme “Our land, our future”. Regional consultations of affected country Parties of the Convention’s regional implementation annexes for Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Northern Mediterranean and Central and Eastern European country Parties in preparation to COP16 will be convened  in two periods, one set of meetings will happen in the regions during September and October, and the second set of meetings will happen in Riyadh prior to the session from 30 November to 1 December 2024, at the same venue. For the regional consultation meetings, specific invitations and information will be sent to the different regions.  A high-level segment[1] including a Leaders Summit will be organized at the beginning of the session on 2 and 3 December. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is working closely with the secretariat and numerous partners to deliver an ambitious Riyadh Action Agenda that will include thematic days to raise awareness and scale up transformative solutions. During the thematic days several side events and official high-level events will happen under different formats including High Level Interactive Dialogues, Ministerial Round Tables and Special Events. Specific information about the thematic days and the events will be uploaded at https://www.unccd.int/cop16. The high-level interactive dialogues focusing on the following topics: (a) agri-food systems, (b) land governance and (c) science-innovation and technology will be organized from 5 to 9 December 2024. Ministerial dialogues on drought resilience and finance will be organized from 10 to 11 December 2024. During the initial segment, from 2 to 6 December, in addition to the CST16 and CRIC22 sessions, the Committee of the Whole (COW) would initiate its work. In order to ensure the effectiveness of the civil society input in the deliberations of the COP, two half-days of open dialogue sessions have been planned on 5 and 9 December in the morning. During the concluding segment, the COP will consider all decisions not previously adopted. It will decide inter alia on the date and venue of the twenty-third session of the CRIC taking into account decision 13/COP.13 on the terms of reference of the CRIC, its operations and its schedule of meetings, and any further decision on the matter taken during the current session. The secretariat and the incoming presidency recognize the importance of whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches, and welcomes the inclusion of representatives of youth, women, and civil society organizations, indigenous peoples and local communities, private sector, academia, local governments, among others, as part of your delegation. All Embassies of Parties and NFP to UNCCD In order to assist delegations in preparing for the conference, a provisional agenda and relevant documents for the session are being made available on the UNCCD website[2] including the “Information for participants” (ICCD/COP(16)/INF.1) document. It is requested that representatives of Parties to the Convention be provided with full powers to participate in the session, including the possibility to serve as officers of COP16 and its subsidiary bodies, and of any sessional committees, working groups or subsidiary bodies, established by the Conference. The secretariat of the UNCCD would like to remind that, in accordance with Rule 19 of the rules of procedure of the Conference of the Parties, the credentials of delegations shall be issued either by the Head of State or Government or by the Minister of Foreign Affairs or, in the case of a regional economic integration organization, by the competent authority of that organization. Parties are kindly requested to observe this requirement. It is brought to the attention of States that are not Parties at the time of COP16 that, in accordance with article 22, paragraph 7 of the Convention and rule 7 of the rules of procedure of the Conference of the Parties, anybody or agency, whether national or international, governmental or non-governmental, which is qualified in matters covered by the Convention and which has informed the Permanent Secretariat of its wish to be represented at a session of the Conference of the Parties as an observer may be so admitted unless at least one third of the Parties present at the session object. Please also note that COP16 will be a paperless session. Accordingly, official pre-session documents for COP16/CRIC22/CST16 sessions will be made available on the UNCCD website and the UNCCD Conference app. Official documents prepared in session will also be posted on the website and the Conference app. Limited quantities may be printed on demand only. The secretariat would be grateful if the Government of your country would kindly nominate the representative(s) who will attend COP16. Online registration will be available from 15 July 2024 on this link: https://www.unccd.int/cop16/registration. All participants are required to upload an official nomination letter confirming their capacity to attend the COP16 session. For more information on the online registration, please refer to the document “Information for participants” (ICCD/COP(16)/INF.1).  The secretariat would like to draw your attention that participants are responsible for getting their own visas, hotel reservations and any type of health or other insurance they may need. While the secretariat will assist with the issuance of Note Verbale, participants requiring visas must therefore obtain these from the Embassies or Consulates of Saudi-Arabia in their country before their departure to Riyadh. The secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification avails itself of the opportunity to renew to the Embassy, the assurances of its highest consideration. [1] Information about the high-level segment will be included in document ICCD/COP(16)/INF.2 and made available on the UNCCD website [2] Please check the following link: https://www.unccd.int/cop16/official-documents  

UNCCD COP16 note verbale
UN system-wide strategy for water and sanitation: Statement by Ibrahim Thiaw

On behalf of the UNCCD, I welcome the UN System-wide Strategy for Water and Sanitation to further align our efforts to provide quality water for all. At UNCCD, we are particularly focusing on ensuring the availability of water through one of the planet’s most important natural assets: our land. Land is a natural ally in our drive to secure quality water supplies. Yet up to 40% of our planet’s land is already degraded, affecting nearly half of the world’s population. Meanwhile, global freshwater demand is on track to outstrip supply by 40% by 2030, putting societies, economies, and ecosystems on the line. In this context, we cannot afford to continue taking our land and its crucial role in the provision of clean water, food and energy for granted.   Healthy lands are better at filtrating water, allowing aquifers to recharge, retaining soil moisture, and even supporting cloud formation!   Additionally, healthy lands reduce water runoff, erosion and the risk of floods, which can trigger serious sanitation and public health problems and, tragically, loss of life.   We tend to think of drought as the absence of rain. But often, it is also the result of poor land management, meaning we are only as resilient to climate change--and its impacts on water quality and availability--as our land is. Addressing water and land management as part of drought resilience policies is therefore critical. The new UN System-wide strategy is an opportunity to recognize this vital connection between water and land and to put in place the right policies, incentives and investments to secure these precious resources for present and future generations. 

UN system-wide strategy for water and sanitation: Statement by Ibrahim Thiaw
Brazil: lessons in resilience from the world’s most populated dryland

How water harvesting and land restoration are bringing hope to the arid heart of the country. A little-known fact is that  northeastern Brazil is home to the most populated dryland on the planet, made up of two biomes: the Cerrado, a regional water tower at the frontlines of agroindustrial expansion, and Caatinga, which is exclusive to the country and is inhabited by one in seven Brazilians.  The Caatinga is naturally dry, but the combination of overgrazing, deforestation, and climate change are creating new challenges for traditional communities living off the land, increasing the risk of food insecurity, poverty, and migration.  And the risks span beyond the Caatinga: around 38 million Brazilians are vulnerable to the impacts of desertification and drought, while arid lands are emerging for the first time and semiarid lands are projected to expand across much of the country in the coming years. The good news is that, even in the arid heart of Brazil, rural communities like Malhada da Areia, Bahia, are showing it is possible to halt and reverse land degradation and to prepare for, and adapt to, drought. That is, provided the right approaches and investments are in place. At the heart of their resilience are low-tech and nature-based solutions. For example, water harvesting roofs, deep excavation water storage, and water tanks, as well as sustainable land management practices to produce food, while reviving soils and restoring native vegetation.  In Malhada da Areia, in the Brazilian region of Caatinga, community members show one of the water storage solutions at the center of their drought resilience. In June, a delegation led by the Minister of Environment of Brazil, Marina Silva, and the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Ibrahim Thiaw, visited Malhada da Areia and the nearby cities of Juazeiro and Petrolina as the country is boosting its efforts to tackle drought.  For instance, by investing in 130.000 water tanks in 2023-2024; creating a network of more than 180 scientists specialized in land degradation and drought; and launching a national campaign to build awareness on these matters. Brazil, which now chairs the G20, is the latest country to join the International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA), the global coalition built on the notion that drought is a risk, but it needn’t be a disaster. “Brazil’s accession to IDRA demonstrates the government’s determination to combat drought and desertification, promote food and water security, and tackle inequalities,” said Minister Silva. “Successes here [in the Caatinga] demonstrate that, with the right strategies and collaborations, we can fight land degradation and build resilience to climate change.” The Executive Secretary of UNCCD, Ibrahim Thiaw, and the Minister of Environment of Brazil, Marina Silva, during a visit to the Caatinga with focus on drought resilience. Exportable solutions In Malhada da Areia, community members proudly showed visitors around, noting how they have transformed a land historically associated with famine and migration into a land of hope. “I am inspired by the innovative spirit of the communities in Caatinga,” said Thiaw during the visit to the area, where he noted that water capture, storage and reuse is essential to building resilience in arid environments. “These efforts in land restoration and sustainable water management are not just local solutions, but models for the world.” So far, the water tanks initiative has already reached 230,000 families as part of broader social packages, significantly reducing child mortality, increasing school attendance, improving water security, and enabling more varied and nutritious diets, thanks to the proximity of well-watered kitchen gardens. For the National Secretary for Food and Nutritional Security Lilian dos Santos Rahal the program goes beyond access to water: “It is a comprehensive approach to social development that integrates water security with food production and economic inclusion.”  The traditional community of Malhada da Areia, who lives off the land, explain the role of land use planning in restoring their lands and building resilience to drought. From barren to bountiful Locals are also engaged in a long-term initiative to restore degraded lands and the ecosystems they support, known as ‘Recaatingamento.’ The initiative is supported by the Regional Institute for Appropriate Small-Scale Farming (IRPAA), a civil society organization that has been instrumental in helping dozens of communities coexist with drought across the state of Bahia in the past three decades. Malhada da Areia is a traditional ‘fundo de pasto’ (‘back pasture’) community, where a group of families share and collectively manage an area of native vegetation as pasture for goats and to gather wild fruits and leaves. To restore a once productive land, they have fenced off 50 of the 2,000 communal hectares so it can recover out of the reach of goats.  Inside the protected area, people grow fruits and produce honey as alternative sources income, and jaguars and some plant species are making a comeback. To feed the goats, farmers grow fodder with reused water, bringing sustainable land and water management practices full circle. In the dryest months, aroeira trees drop their leaves to preserve moisture, standing like pale, denuded sentinels; hence the name Caatinga, meaning ‘white forest’ in Tupi language. Like Malhada da Areia, the aroeira is a testament to the ability of people and nature to thrive —if only given a chance — in the world’s drylands. ‘Restoring the Caatinga is necessary! The Caatinga is worth more standing than deforested,’ reads a sign of a landscape restoration initiative based on sustainable land management.

Brazil: lessons in resilience from the world’s most populated dryland
UN declares 2025–2034 Decade on Combating Sand and Dust Storms

Crossing borders silently and impacting millions globally, sand and dust storms are the 'underappreciated' extreme weather events, yet they profoundly affect the environment and the lives of hundreds of millions worldwide, across all continents. According to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), every year, an estimated 2 billion tonnes of sand and dust, an amount equal in weight to 350 Great Pyramids of Giza, enter the atmosphere. In recognition of these challenges, the General Assembly proclaimed 2025-2034 as the United Nations Decade on Combating Sand and Dust Storms. Introduced by Uganda on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, the initiative underscores international concern over sand and dust storms and promotes proactive measures through awareness and action. In the resolution (A/78/L.88), UN Member States emphasized that sand and dust storms currently threaten the realization of 11 out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The announcement comes on the eve of the annual observance of the International Day of Combating Sand and Dust Storms (SDS), 12 July, which aims to raise global awareness of the growing health and environmental challenges posed by SDS. “Sand and dust storms need to be addressed in a holistic manner. The UNCCD is working to address the negative impacts of sand and dust storms through several initiatives. We help countries set up monitoring and early warning systems and promote international partnerships to tackle the root causes,” said Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of UNCCD. Sand dust storms cost economies hundreds of millions of dollars each year through damage to communications, energy, and transport infrastructure, increased healthcare costs, damage to farmland, and disruption to schooling, employment, and transport. Sand and dust storms have historically played a critical role in Earth's biogeochemical cycles, but human activities now contribute significantly to their increase. According to the SDS Compendium produced by UNCCD, at least 25 per cent of global dust emissions originate from human activities like unsustainable land management and water use. On the occasion of SDS Day, UNCCD and FAO are launching the “Policy guideline on the integration of sand and dust storm management into key policy areas”, helping governments and policymakers better adapt to SDS. The guidelines, aimed at policy makers globally, emphasize the need to integrate SDS management into national and regional strategies, enhancing resilience and mitigating the socioeconomic impacts of these increasingly frequent and intense events. “The Policy Guideline will support countries to develop and implement sand and dust storms-related initiatives, improve land use and management, enhance food security, and build resilience to climate change,” said Lifeng Li, Director of the Land and Water Division at FAO. Sand and dust storms will be on the agenda of the upcoming UNCCD COP16 to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 2-13 December 2024. At UNCCD COP14, the United Nations Coalition on Combating Sand and Dust Storms was launched to promote and coordinate a collaborative UN-system response this phenomenon. Currently, 19 Members of the Coalition include UN agencies and non-UN agencies. Within the framework of this coalition the UNCCD leads the efforts on the SDS Toolbox, providing practical solutions to manage and mitigate SDS. The 2024 SDS Day will be celebrated with numerous events around the world. FAO and UNCCD will jointly organize a webinar, highlighting the launch of the Policy Guidelines.

UN declares 2025–2034 Decade on Combating Sand and Dust Storms
Call for аpplications: training workshop for French-speaking journalists

Prior the 16th Conference of the Parties (COP16) to the UNCCD, the Convention Secretariat is organizing a training session for French-speaking journalists who cover the African continent on desertification and the role of the media in promoting sustainable land management practices. This training will take place during 2-6 September 2024, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on the sideline of the 20th African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN). Journalists will have the opportunity to exchange with experts in sustainable land management and desertification, and to participate in a field visit. The workshop will address major concerns related to land degradation, desertification and drought, as well as the role of the media in this context and strategies specific to better address these subjects. Eligibility and selection criteria The call is open to French-speaking journalists interested in environmental issues. Each applicant must submit: A letter of recommendation from the editor-in-chief of the applicant's organization. Freelancers must provide a copy of the press card. A cover letter of one page maximum explaining the journalist's interest in participating in the workshop. Links or copies of the last three reports or publications on the subject. Complete application files can be sent to press@unccd.int by 11:59 pm Central European Time (CET) on 21 July 2024, indicating as subject: “Candidature pour l'atelier d’Abidjan”. Successful candidates will be informed in writing. See complete details in the attached document.

Call for аpplications: training workshop for French-speaking journalists