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The Riyadh COP: the clock of hope. Presentation by Ibrahim Thiaw

My task today is: Share some facts about Land degradation and drought and how the loss of this natural capital is affecting everything we do. Propose some solutions and options that we can consider in our development plans Share views about the UNCCD COP16, a unique opportunity for the world to turn the tide and tackle the scourge of land loss and drought.   Land degradation and its consequences: As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the UNCCD, the only universally binding treaty on land management and drought mitigation, we are breaking new world records: Never have so many people been affected by land degradation and the effects of drought never has fertile land been so degraded (in the time it takes to breathe in and out, the equivalent of 4 football pitches is sliding inexorably towards loss). This loss is mainly due to our extractions: food, cotton, mining and overgrazing Never before has one person in four, as is now the case across the world, been severely affected by drought. More than just a lack of rainwater, drought is synonymous with food and energy insecurity, the disintegration of thousands of family units and a drastic drop in economic growth Finally, never before has the combination of drought and the loss of productive land led to so much forced migration. Millions of young women and men have had no choice but to venture onto increasingly dangerous roads, or to get caught up in illegal trafficking, or even to fall easy prey to violent groups.  More than 40% of the world's land is now degraded, at a time when there has never been a greater need to produce food, cotton for an explosive fashion industry, and minerals - including rare metals - for an energy transition driven by the response to climate change. In fact, to respond to the needs of the 10 billion people, including 3 billion people in the middle class, experts estimate that two-thirds of the cities in developing countries have not yet been built and that 50% more food needs to be produced by 2050.  Food: let's take a look at our menu for tonight. Not just to check our allergies and dietary restrictions. The equation is simple: up to 99 per cent of our calories come from land. Land feeds us; it quenches our thirst; it clothes us and provides us with some of the oxygen we breathe. Therefore, our wellbeing is largely dependent on the health of our land. Contrary to certain beliefs, we did not inherit this land from our ancestors. In truth, we are borrowing it from our children. Seen from this angle, any excessive exploitation could be considered a serious abuse of future generations. This begs the question of whether or not we are robing food from the table of the yet-unborn.   So what can we do about it? Land restauration and drought resilience: The good news is that we can have a descent life on earth without sawing off the branch on which we are sitting. In other words, we can make human well-being compatible with achieving planetary equilibrium. Technically, it can be done. What we need is the collective resolve to reset our relationship with nature.  Firstly, as citizens of the earth, if we halve food waste, we will have the most positive impact on land, water and energy.  Furthermore, by giving farmers and pastoralists access to clean energy (ON or OFF-GRID), we will considerably reduce post-harvest losses. Reducing food loss and food waste increases our income while at the same time reducing loss of land and water. Food wastage is first and foremost land and water loss. It's also good for the climate, the economy and human well-being.  By reducing the cost of money (i.e. interest rates) in poor countries and facilitating the development of value chains, we can create a local economy and generate income for all. In doing so, we will have a positive impact on the land, as farmers will be better able to reinvest in their natural capital to ensure the sustainability of production, rather than continuing to raze the soil to the ground to extract the last productive sap.  The other good news is that we have a billion and a half hectares of land that we will be able to restore to a productive state and circuit by 2030, thanks to the many techniques and technologies for restoring land.  I'm talking about farmland, rangelands, conservation areas, quarries and mining sites, public and private spaces, large and small agricultural areas, and even urban and peri-urban spaces.  Land restoration is socially viable, creating millions of green jobs. Restoration is economically profitable: each dollar invested could generate up to 30 dollars in economic income.  We are witnessing the birth of a new land restoration industry throughout the world. This opens the way for PPPs and other win-win agreements with communities and other landowners.  As for drought, enormous scientific and analytical progress has been made. They all converge to the same conclusion: we need to change our approach, and move towards a proactive one rather than continue to get bogged down in reactive responses, which are ten times more expensive and just as ineffective. In other words, every dollar invested in drought resilience can generate up to 10 dollars in economic development. Droughts (often followed by floods) are amongst the most disruptive of all natural hazards. Droughts are silent killers: they kill animals or even people. Droughts disrupt energy generation, from hydro-power to nuclear power Droughts disrupt our social fabric, amplifying forced migration and even provoking surges of suicides… Less known to the general public is how droughts are affecting supply chains, as is the case in the Panama Canal this year. Some leaders and decision makers often ask me whether we can do something against drought. It is true that we can little to stop them from happening. But we can do much better in terms of preparadeness and response. Five areas need to be considered simultaneously:   Risk assessment, early warning and national planning Water supply, agricultural practices and nature-based solutions; Economic resilience and business response; Drought finance and insurance Emergency and humanitarian response The overall objective is to progressively build more resilient societies and economies, and progressively reduce humanitarian aid. Riyadh, December 2024: the moonshot moment.  Although Riyadh is the sixteenth meeting of the Contracting Parties to the UNCCD, it is more than just a traditional UN conference. The conference will mark a turning point in our perception of land and soils, a natural capital that we have always taken for granted, infinite and inexhaustible. In the words of UN SG Antonio Gutteres: « we depend on land for our survival, yet we treat it like dirt ». Realising that Riyadh is a rendez-vous with history, the Leaders' Summit to be held on 2 and 3 December should reaffirm the absolute necessity of managing our common heritage, that which the human species (a terrestrial species par excellence) has in common.  The leaders of the private sector, who will also be invited, should unequivocally align themselves with the only viable path for business and for a decent life on earth, the path, as I said, of sustainable land and water management.  Among the expectations of Riyadh COP16, two items stand out: To adopt an historic decision on managing the impacts of the recurrent and increasingly intense droughts that are affecting the world Adopting a clear stance and a clear decision to restore degraded land on a large scale, in order to maintain the natural balances that are essential to life on earth Beyond drought and land, COP will cover : Sand and dust storms Gender Youth engagement The gender gap one land ownership is incredible. While aggregate figures show that only 1 ha of land in 4 in the world is owned by women, the percentage can be as low as 4% of female land ownership in some regions. In Riyadh, COP16 is also expected to discuss youth engagement. Up to 1 billion young people in the world are ready to engage into land restauration, creating green jobs and boosting the economy. Saudi Arabia, as the host country, will provide the tens of thousands of participants expected to attend with the best possible facilities, with a tailor-made site. The UNCCD Secretariat and the host country wish to set up a COP-Legacy: the Riyadh Global Drought Resilience Partnership. This unprecedented Partnership targets the 80 least well-off countries (WB ranking) and aims to build the resilience (ecological, economic and social) of the target countries, in order to consign to history the terrible images of distress, destruction and death that our screens vomit out,  year-in year-out, as a result of droughts. As I said before, droughts are natural hazards and cannot be stopped. But we can mitigate its impact and turn off our screens those images of starving children, corpses and bones.  Ladies and gentlemen, Riyadh COP will be the moment of truth, first and foremost for the countries of the MENA region, which are hosting this Conference for the first time. This region has every right to exercise its leadership and soft power on such a crucial yet non-controversial issue. The timing couldn't be better. It's up to us to grasp it. 

The Riyadh COP: the clock of hope. Presentation by Ibrahim Thiaw
UNCCD stakeholders worldwide invited to share new insights on gender-responsive SLM

The UNCCD Gender Action Plan (GAP) emphasizes the critical importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment in implementing the Convention. A key priority of the GAP is to increase women’s access to relevant knowledge and technologies. To fulfill these objectives, UNCCD and the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) joined forces in 2020 to advance gender-responsive Sustainable Land Management (SLM). This collaboration between UNCCD and WOCAT focuses on documenting, analyzing and scaling gender-responsive SLM practices by gathering gender-disaggregated data. A specialized tool, co-designed with gender and SLM experts, identifies gender-based parameters as well as the technical and socio-cultural factors that enhance the adoption of SLM by both women and men. In the initial phase of the project in 2021, WOCAT network partners in 15 countries tested the tool, showing promising results. As the Pambadeniya Women Group from Sri Lanka noted, “Women and men debated on how to guarantee equal opportunities in decision making, participation and fair distribution of benefits.” The data demonstrated that equal access to SLM technologies and approaches is both context- and technology-specific. Five technology group profiles on gender-responsive SLM were developed to show the need for further action. Building on this success and following Decision 24/COP.15, UNCCD and WOCAT are now launching a call for expressions of interest to apply the gender-responsive SLM tool. This initiative aims to gather more country-specific gender-disaggregated data on SLM practices, which will be presented at the upcoming UNCCD COP16 in Ryiadh, Saudi Arabia, this December. We are inviting up to 40 stakeholders to implement the gender-responsive SLM tool in local contexts from September to November 2024. Applications are welcome from UNCCD Parties, civil society organizations, WeCaN members and others involved in sustainable land management. The application deadline is 4 August 2024. Submissions are accepted in English, French and Spanish. For more details on the call, application requirements, and the online application form, please see the side menu. * Please note: the questionnaire is currently being reviewed and updated. The final version of the questionnaire will be available in September 2024

UNCCD stakeholders worldwide invited to share new insights on gender-responsive SLM
UNCCD and WOCAT collaborate to improve SLM gender responsiveness

Gender equality is a key entry-point for Sustainable Land Management (SLM) and UNCCD together with WOCAT are working to improve gender-responsiveness of SLM practices. Direct and indirect gender-related barriers prevent women from adopting SLM practices. These barriers include land tenure insecurity; land availability; education or literacy levels; access to seeds, fertilizers, or extension services; and access to technologies and financing. As a result, women adopt SLM technologies at a rate that is typically lower and slower than that of men. In line with the UNCCD Gender Action Plan (GAP) and guided by the idea to build back better, the aim of this UNCCD-WOCAT project is to: Add a gender lens to SLM technologies and appraoches and  assess their gender-responsiveness Evaluate how gender-responsiveness of SLM Technologies and Approaches can be improved, stepping up adoption and dissemination, making SLM beneficial for women and men alike. This will support project planners, designers and implementers to identify, realize and scale gender-responsive SLM Technologies and Approaches within the framework of LD/SLM and LDN projects and programmes as well as promote the implementation of gender-responsive SLM practices in the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration. Phase 1: Development of Gender-responsive SLM tool In the first phase, WOCAT and UNCCD designed a tool that helps to test the gender-responsiveness of SLM Technologies and Approaches and to identify areas of improvement to support project planners, designers, and implementers in their effort to scale up SLM Technologies and Approaches that are gender-responsive.  The gender-responsive SLM tool was reviewed during a UNCCD-WOCAT consultation  workshop with experts from different organizations and regions, resulting in the fine-tuning of the tool.  Currently, the tool is being tested with WOCAT network partners in more than 10 countries around the globe, supporting it further refinement and facilitating a first round of data collection. Data will be analysed and presented in the form of SLM Gender Profiles, showcasing women and men's involvement in different SLM Technologies and providing insights and recommendations on the improvement of SLM Technologies and related Approaches in view of gender equality and women empowerment. Phase 2: New gender tool added to WOCAT Database (May 2024 – June 2025) The Global WOCAT SLM Database will be enhanced with a gender-responsive SLM tool, enabling: Online assessment of the gender-responsiveness of SLM practices Search for gender-responsive SLM solutions Collection of gender-disaggregated data through a harmonized system Possibility to analyse and share gender-disaggregated data to support informed decision-making for gender equality in land management, particularly in relation to drought resilience Platform to discuss gender and land management related issues within communities Interested partners and institutions, including UNCCD Parties and CSOs, will be trained in its application to gain country-specific gender-disaggregated data on SLM practices.  Results will support the design and implementation of gender-responsive SLM projects and programmes and inform decision-makers. During the upcoming UNCCD COP16 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in December 2024, partners will present results and country insights.

UNCCD and WOCAT collaborate to improve SLM gender responsiveness
GEF 67th Council Meeting: Speech by Ibrahim Thiaw

Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of the GEF Council, Ibn Khaldun, the renowned Tunisian father of sociology in the Middle Ages, once said: "He who finds a new path is a pathfinder, even if the trail has to be found through the desert." We are pathfinders. Together, we are forging new and innovative trails towards sustainability and resilience, even in the most challenging environments. For many of us who have been observing this institution function and transform itself over time, the GEF is more than just a facility. It’s a family. It’s an example of what we can do together, to address global issues. An example of what we should be doing more and better. Setting clear rules of engagement while supporting -efficiently- the countries and communities in need. As far as land restoration is concerned, I am pleased to note several proposed GEF Trust Fund financing packages for large scale land restoration initiatives are being considered at this Council. We need large scale and multi-country actions to bring degraded land back to health, build resilience to drought, secure food for all, reduce tensions and conflicts and avert forced migration. Yes, Land restoration provides multiple solutions, and responds perfectly to GEF mandate: biodiversity conservation, climate change, fight against land degradation and pollution. Yet, despite the clear uptick in investments, according to all available data, we are not winning the battle and should certainly not rest on our laurels. Land degradation is ruining the global economy, destructuring the social fabric of our communities, destroying fragile ecosystems, threatening the global security. Such as a virus, land loss is attacking the most fragile communities, accentuating poverty and amplifying the impacts of climate change and biodiversity degradation. Dear Council members, While droughts by all means are not a new phenomenon, we are observing the increase and intensity of their occurrence. 29% more droughts are observed since the beginning of the new millennia. The GEF Council ought to respond to the increase demands for help. Droughts are among the most viscous disruptors of our time: droughts disrupt food, water, energy and even global supply chains, as exemplified by the disruptions created this year in the Panama Canal. GEF Council may wish to pay attention to these trends. Droughts are exacerbated by Climate Change, Ecosystem change, habitat destruction. As we all know Southern Africa is currently facing an extreme environmental and humanitarian crisis as a severe drought takes a stronger hold on the region. Eastern Africa suffered for 4 consecutive years. Many countries Latin America and Asia are hit hard. Over 100 countries, including small islands have been affected in the last years. You may be aware Senegal and Spain created the International Drought Resilience Alliance. Nearly 40 countries and over 30 organizations are working together for global drought resilience. IDRA partners are clear there is an urgent need to establish effective early warning systems (that work across borders), bolster that land-water management nexus and mobilize sustainable financing to improve drought resilience. So, since I am addressing the GEF Council, I take the opportunity to raise with you – and stress to Council Members - the urgency of investing more in land restoration and drought resilience. Separately.  And together and scale! Large scale multi country land based approaches – that deliver multiple global benefits - combined with the integrated programmes of GEF8 - represent a clear path forward. By addressing the interconnected challenges of land degradation, water scarcity, biodiversity loss and climate change, we will be achieving more comprehensive and lasting results. The recently launched Blue and Green Islands Integrated Program (BGI-IP) by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility provides a case in point. We need more. We can do more, whiting existing resources. We should much more! We are going to be working with SIDS to strengthen their regional programming and we are expecting strong participation of SIDs in our upcoming COP in Riyadh in December 2024. In the SIDS – or LIONS (Large Island Ocean States) as Carlos Manuel has started to call them, data plays a crucial role. Accurate, timely, and accessible data enables us to make informed decisions, measure progress, and adapt our strategies as needed. Investing in data collection and analysis is not just an option; it is a necessity. Vital for decision support – in the small islands, in the hyper arid areas and in the high mountains. So GEF’s investments and those of other Partners are directed where they are most needed. With this in mind, the UNCCD has recently engaged 18 “champion countries” in the Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting Process 2.0 to demonstrate how countries can strengthen their LDN targets - and support better land use decisions by mainstreaming LDN into their integrated land use planning frameworks. To make better decisions - again with GEF support. All of this leads to stronger policies, improved implementation, and greater resilience. Especially in the face of drought and flood. It is a proactive approach that saves lives, protects livelihoods, and preserves our natural resources. As we look ahead to UNCCD COP 16 in Riyadh, we are filled with ambition and determination. As the main financing instrument for the Rio Conventions, we look forward to the GEF’s strong participation in our upcoming COP this year. We look forward to land and drought – not just capturing the Council’s attention.  But capturing more investment too. The UNCCD COP – from 2nd-13th of December – is an ideal opportunity to reinforce our investments in land.  And underline the critical issue of drought resilience.  COP16 will open with a Leaders Summit where Heads of State and Government, CEOs from the Private Sector and Heads of Institutions will be invited. A Ministerial Segment is also foreseen as well as large gatherings of Civil Society, Local communities and Indigenous groups. Seven Thematic Days will help design and formulate a strong action agenda, which will be an excellent leverage to the GEF. UN agencies, the WB and NGOs have agreed to play a lead role in organizing the Days. This year COP16 provides an opportunity for the GEF to showcase the results achieved to date – especially in transformative large scale change and nurturing the enabling environment – at the landscape level. This COP is not just a meeting; it will be a milestone in our journey towards a land degradation-neutral world.  I extend a warm invitation to all of the GEF family of stakeholders to join us in Riyadh from the 3rd-13th of December. Your presence and participation will be invaluable.  Though the path is not always easy – we will be blazing a trail together.

GEF 67th Council Meeting: Speech by Ibrahim Thiaw
نداء عالمي من أجل مستقبل مستدام للأرض

 ألمانيا تستضيف الذكرى الثلاثين لاتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة التصحر في بون الإعلان عن 10 من أبطال الأرض في يوم مكافحة التصحر والجفاف 2024 إطلاق برنامج جديد لدعم المفاوضين الشباب بشأن الأراضي والجفاف بون، ألمانيا، 17 تموز / يونيو 2024 - إن حشد مختلف الأجيال لدعم الإدارة المستدامة للأراضي هو جوهر يوم مكافحة التصحر والجفاف لعام 2024، والذي يحتفل به في 17 تموز / يونيو. يمثل هذا اليوم لحظة محورية في الجهد العالمي لمكافحة تدهور الأراضي والجفاف. قد جمع هذا الحدث، الذي استضافته جمهورية ألمانيا الاتحادية من خلال الوزارة الاتحادية للتعاون الاقتصادي والتنمية في بون، صناع التغيير من جميع أنحاء العالم تحت شعار "متحدون من أجل الأرض: إرثنا. مستقبلنا". يتزامن حدث هذا العام مع الذكرى الثلاثين لاتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة التصحر، وهي الاتفاقية العالمية الوحيدة المخصصة للإدارة المستدامة للأراضي والتي وقعت عليها 196 دولة والاتحاد الأوروبي. وبهذه المناسبة علق الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة أنطونيو غوتيريش قائلاً: "كما يذكرنا اليوم العالمي لهذا العام، يجب أن نكون متحدون من أجل الأرض. ويجب على الحكومات والشركات والأكاديميين والمجتمعات المحلية وغيرها أن تجتمع وتعمل معاً. نحن نعرف ما يتعين علينا القيام به: أنه أمر منصوص عليه بوضوح في اتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة التصحر. وفي الوقت الذي نحتفل به بالذكرى السنوية الثلاثين للاتفاقية، يجب على العالم أن يسرع وتيرة التنفيذ بشكل كبير، وعلينا بناء الزخم استعداداً لمؤتمر الأطراف السادس عشر لاتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة التصحر الذي سيقام في الرياض، كما يجب أن نضمن أن يتم الاستماع لأصوات الشباب في المفاوضات، فلنزرع معاً بذور مستقبل مزدهر للطبيعة والإنسانية. كما علق رئيس جمهورية ألمانيا الاتحادية فرانك فالتر شتاينماير: "اليوم، لا نحتفل بذكرى يوم مكافحة التصحر والجفاف السنوي فحسب، بل نحتفل أيضاً بمرور 30 عاماً على اتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة التصحر. لا يوجد شيء أكثر أهمية من التربة الجيدة والغذاء الآمن والمياه النظيفة. لذلك دعونا نعمل معاً، ودعونا نستمع الشباب للتأكد من أن قراراتنا اليوم تضمن مستقبلهم الجيد غدًا. إن عام 2024 هو عام حاسم: ما يتم مناقشته والتفاوض من أجله واتخاذ القرار بشأنه هذا العام سيكوّن عالمنا وحياة أطفالنا."  وقال إبراهيم ثياو، الأمين التنفيذي لاتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة التصحر: "إن مستقبل أرضنا هو مستقبل كوكبنا. وبحلول عام 2050، سيعتمد 10 مليارات شخص على هذا المورد الحيوي. ومع ذلك، فإننا نخسر ما يعادل أربعة ملاعب كرة قدم بسبب تدهور الأراضي في كل ثانية." كما علق وزير الدولة يوخن فلاسبارث قائلاً: "تشكل التربة الصحية أساس مستقبلنا. وبغض النظر عما إذا كنا نتحدث عن تغير المناخ، أو فقدان التنوع البيولوجي، أو الأزمات الغذائية - فإن جودة التربة تلعب دوراً رئيسياً في مواجهة هذه التحديات العالمية. فالتربة تحتفظ بالمياه وتسمح للأشجار والنباتات بالنمو. لن نتمكن من إطعام البشرية والتعامل مع أزمة المناخ وآثارها إلا إذا كانت لدينا تربة صحية." يؤثر تدهور الأراضي على ما يصل إلى 40 بالمائة من أراضي العالم وما يقرب من نصف سكان العالم، ويتحمل أعلى التكاليف أولئك الذين لا يستطيعون تحملها: مجتمعات السكان الأصليين، والأسر الريفية، والمزارعين أصحاب الدخل المحدود، وخاصة الشباب والنساء. يعتمد أكثر من مليار شاب يعيشون في البلدان النامية على الأرض والموارد الطبيعية. إن إشراك الشباب في استعادة الأراضي يمكن أن يخلق ما يقدر بنحو 600 مليون فرصة عمل في السنوات الخمس عشرة المقبلة، مما يساهم في النمو الاقتصادي والاستدامة البيئية. وشدد رئيس مؤتمر الأطراف الخامس عشر آلان ريتشارد دونوهي قائلاً: "لفترة طويلة جداً، كان يُنظر إلى التصحر والجفاف على أنهما مشكلتان في جنوب الأرض فقط. إلا أن هذه الظواهر تنتشر عالمياً وتؤثر علينا جميعاً. لقد شهد العام الماضي العديد من الأحداث التي تذكرنا بالحاجة الملحة إلى العمل. إن يوم مكافحة التصحر والجفاف هذا والمؤتمر السادس عشر لمؤتمر الأطراف المقرر عقده في كانون الأول / ديسمبر يشكلان فرصة مهمة كي نقوم بتنظيم أنفسنا من أجل مكافحة التصحر والتعامل مع العواقب، ليس هناك وقت لنضيعه". وبمناسبة يوم مكافحة التصحر والجفاف، أعلنت اتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة التصحر عن أسماء عشرة من أبطال الأرض. يعمل صناع التغيير الشباب من جميع أنحاء العالم على استعادة الأراضي، وتعزيز القدرة على الصمود في وجه الجفاف، وتطوير أعمال زراعية مستدامة، وتسخير التكنولوجيا والابتكار لمواجهة التحديات البيئية العالمية. وأضاف ثياو: "تقدر اتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة التصحر مواهب الشباب باعتبارهم رواد أعمال وعناصر تغيير. إنهم يلعبون دوراً أساسياً في تحويل مجتمعاتهم وتحفيز الابتكار في الإدارة المستدامة للأراضي. فمن البرازيل إلى مالي، ومن الفلبين إلى مولدوفا، يلتزم القادة الشباب باستعادة الأراضي. نحن بحاجة إلى أصواتهم من أجل مستقبل كوكبنا". وتم خلال الحدث إصدار سلسلة من الإعلانات والالتزامات لتعزيز الإدارة المستدامة للأراضي. وتم إطلاق برنامج جديد لتدريب المفاوضين الشباب ليصبحوا صناع القرار في المستقبل بشأن قضايا الأراضي والجفاف. في عامه الأول، سيتلقى المفاوضون الشباب من أكثر من 30 دولة تدريباً قبل المؤتمر السادس عشر للأطراف لاتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة التصحر، المقرر عقده في الرياض، المملكة العربية السعودية، في كانون الأول / ديسمبر 2024. افتتحت عمدة بون، كاتيا دورنر، بالتعاون مع اتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة التصحر، أول مدرسة "صديقة للأرض" في المدينة. يمنح هذا البرنامج الفريد الطلاب الفرصة للتعرف على الزراعة العضوية من خلال الدروس التعليمية والعملية في الأراضي الزراعية. كما نظمت البلدان في جميع أنحاء العالم فعاليات يوم التصحر والجفاف. وأصدرت إيطاليا طابعاً تذكارياً، واستضافت الرئاسة البلجيكية للاتحاد الأوروبي عرضا وثائقياً وحلقة نقاش حول استعادة الأراضي في بوركينا فاسو. وأعلنت كينيا عن زراعة أكثر من 120 ألف شتلة كجزء من حملة زراعة الأشجار والتوعية. واستضافت نيجيريا ندوة عبر الإنترنت حول الممارسات المستدامة، بينما عقدت تونس حدثًا عبر الإنترنت حول تحييد تدهور الأراضي. وناقشت الهند الإدارة المستدامة للأراضي في تشيناي، وأطلقت ميانمار حملة على الإنترنت وعقدت حدثاً رفيع المستوى في نايبيداو؛ ونظمت الفلبين أنشطة زراعة الأشجار وعقد ورش عمل لأصحاب المصلحة. كما نظمت سري لانكا حملة توعية، وربطت غواتيمالا بين التنمية المستدامة وإدارة الأراضي، فيما عقدت مولدوفا اجتماعا أقاليمياً بشأن تحييد الجفاف وتدهور الأراضي. للاستفسارات الإعلامية، يرجى الاتصال بـ: اتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة التصحر press@unccd.int بورتلاند  unccd@portland-communications.com يمكن الوصول واستخدام المواد المرئية الخاصة بحملة متحدون من أجل الأرض عبر الرابط: https://trello.com/b/VdJGolcp/desertification-and-drought-day-2024 ملاحظات للمحررين نبذة عن مجموعة أبطال الأرض لعام 2024 البرازيل: حوّلت بياتريس أزيفيدو دي أراوخو، وهي محامية في مجال البيئة من سيارا، تجربتها الشخصية مع الجفاف إلى مهمة لتحقيق التنمية المستدامة. حيث تسعى إلى أن تكون مشاريع الطاقة صديقة للبيئة وتشجع على توفير الوظائف الخضراء. كوستاريكا: أستريد بيرازا هي مهندسة في علوم المواد، وناشطة في مجال المناخ والمساواة بين الجنسين وروائية من كوستاريكا. تسعى أستريد جاهدةً لتمكين النساء والفتيات، وإتاحة الفرص أمامهن للنمو وصنع التغيير. ألمانيا: تتولى لينا بيكهارت قيادة الجهود الرامية إلى إعادة تأهيل الأراضي المتدهورة وتحسين جودة التربة، بالإضافة إلى مكافحة الاتجار بالكائنات البرية. تعتبر مسيرة لينا، من مشاهدة التدهور البيئي إلى قيادة مشاريع الإصلاح التي تديرها المجتمعات المحلية، قصة نجاح ملهمة في التأثير وصنع التغيير. الهند: سيدهيش ساكور هو مزارع ومؤسس منظمة.AGRO RANGERS يعمل سيدهيش على إيجاد حلول لمشاكل تدهور التربة في الأراضي الزراعية. كما يسعى إلى تمكين المزارعين الصغار والهامشيين من مجتمعه المحلي من خلال نماذج الحراجة الزراعية المبتكرة. مالي: روكياتو تراوري هي رائدة أعمال من مالي تعمل على معالجة مشاكل الفقر وتغير المناخ وانعدام الأمن الغذائي. مت خلال مؤسستها الاجتماعية "Herou Alliance"، تسعى روكياتو إلى تمكين النساء والشباب من خلال إنشاء سلسلة قيمة مستدامة للمورينغا في مالي. مولدوفا: أليونا إيزاك هي ناشطة شابة تعمل على مكافحة التصحر من خلال مبادرات الزراعة المستدامة وغراسة الأشجار. وهي تسعى إلى استعادة المناظر الطبيعية المحلية وتأمين مستقبل أفضل لمجتمعها المحلي. المغرب: منال بيدار هي ناشطة في مجال المناخ من المغرب ومؤسسة مشروع حكومة الشباب الموازية بالمغرب، الذي يركّز على الحفاظ على الأراضي ومكافحة الجفاف والتصحر في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا. وهي تعمل على إيصال أصوات الشباب والفئات المهمشة فيما يتعلق بمواجهة تغير المناخ ومناصرة القضايا المتعلقة بالأراضي. الفلبين: بيلي دوماليانغ هي أحد المؤسسين المشاركين لمؤسسة Masungi Geo reserve Foundation والمسؤولة عن قسم المناصرة فيها، وهي منظمة تُعنى بالحفاظ على النظام البيئي الكارستي بالقرب من مانيلا. فازت المؤسسة بالعديد من الجوائز، بما في ذلك جائزة الأمم المتحدة لأهداف التنمية المستدامة لعام 2022. الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية: غريس ماغني فوكام هي مؤسسة شركة Folia Technologies، وهو معهد أبحاث غير ربحي بقيادة شبابية يُعنى بتطوير تقنيات الذكاء الاصطناعي لمعالجة أزمة المناخ. يتمثل اختراعهم الرئيسي في جهاز FoliaNet، وهو جهاز يعمل بالذكاء الاصطناعي للكشف المبكّر عن الأمراض في المحاصيل. زيمبابوي: أطلق الشاب المتخرج حديثاً تاكودزوا آشلي ملامبو أكبر مبادرة لإعادة تشجير الغابات في البلاد، وذلك بهدف زراعة مليار شجرة بحلول عام 2030. ويتوافق مشروعه مع هدف الحكومة المتمثل في إصلاح 2.5 مليون هكتار من الأراضي المتدهورة. حول اتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة التصحر اتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة التصحر هي اتفاقية دولية بشأن الإدارة الجيدة للأراضي. وهي تساعد الناس والمجتمعات والبلدان على خلق الثروة وتنمية الاقتصادات وتأمين ما يكفي من الغذاء والمياه النظيفة والطاقة من خلال ضمان بيئة مواتية لمستخدمي الأراضي لإدارة الأراضي المستدامة. أنشأت الأطراف الـ 197 في الاتفاقية أنظمة صلبة لإدارة الجفاف بسرعة وفعالية. وتساعد الإدارة الجيدة للأراضي المبنية على أساس السياسات والعلوم السليمة على دمج وتسريع تحقيق أهداف التنمية المستدامة، وبناء القدرة من أجل التكيف مع تغير المناخ، ومنع فقدان التنوع البيولوجي. حول يوم مكافحة التصحر والجفاف أقرت الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة رسمياً يوم مكافحة التصحر والجفاف في عام 1994 (A/RES/49/115) ، ليتم الاحتفال به سنوياً في 17 حزيران / يونيو، لتحقيق الأهداف التالية: ·       تعزيز الوعي العام بالقضايا المرتبطة بالتصحر وتدهور الأراضي والجفاف ·       عرض الحلول التي يقودها الإنسان لمنع التصحر وعكس اتجاه الجفاف المتزايد ·       تعزيز تنفيذ اتفاقية الأمم المتحدة لمكافحة التصحر                           

نداء عالمي من أجل مستقبل مستدام للأرض
Address to the Parliamentary Committee for Environment and Sustainable Development of the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil

Mr Chairman, Honorable members of the Committee Your excellency, Minister of Environment and Climate, Ladies and Gentlemen, On behalf of the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), I would like to thank the Committee for welcoming me today; especially, as Brazil is looking to secure productive lands and build the resilience of economic sectors, communities, and ecosystems to drought. Promoting sustainable Land management and building resilience to drought: these are the two pillars, the two reason d’être of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.   As the only global treaty dealing with land and drought, the UNCCD celebrates its 30th birthday on 17 June. Remember, it is one of the three Conventions conceived in Rio de Janeiro, at the famous 1992 Summit. After two years of gestation, the Convention was signed in Paris in 1994. We support countries and regions in developing plans, policies and interventions to halt and reverse the loss of fertile land; to create national plans for drought resilience. Brazil ratified the Convention in 1997, integrating the treaty into its legal framework. Brazil is a global leader in agricultural commodity trading; one of the top hydropower producers in the world; and is home to ecosystems that regulate rainfall patterns across the country —and the entire region. Yet, Brazil is affected by more and more severe and frequent droughts, disrupting food production, rural economy and human security. This means Brazil is uniquely placed to appreciate the centrality of sustainable land and water management to all economic and social sectors. Now, why are land degradation and drought a top concern? Consider this: in optimum conditions, it takes between 200 and 400 years for 1 cm of topsoil to form. However, every second, I repeat every second, the world loses the equivalent of four football fields of healthy land due to the destruction of native vegetation and poor land management. Annually, this adds up to 100 million hectares, an area larger than the State of Mato Grosso. If current trends continue, we will need to restore 1.5 billion hectares of land by 2030 to reach the Land Degradation Neutrality goal. Brazil accounts among the countries that continue to lose fertile land every day, every second. In parallel, droughts are hitting faster and more often, posing an unprecedented emergency on a planetary scale: last year, 1 in 4 people in the world were affected by drought, and events have increased by 29% since the year 2000. Drought is a natural phenomenon. However, global warming and the way we treat our land are combining to create human-made droughts. We see their devastating consequences all around us: crop failure, disruptions in freight transportation (as is the case this year with the disruption of the Panama Canal), soaring energy costs, loss of livelihoods, conflicts over scarce resources, large-scale forced migrations. Again, Brazil is one of the most freshwater in the world. Yet, it is no stranger to the impacts of land degradation and drought: from the lingering impacts of a historic drought in the Amazon, to pressures on hydropower and agricultural production, to the expansion of semi-arid and even arid lands. Mr Chairman, Drought is a hazard, but it needn’t be a disaster, as long as we manage it proactively. With the right investments, policies, and incentives, it is possible to decouple the severity of drought from its most serious impacts on societies, economies, and ecosystem functions. Any single dollar invested in drought resilience and prevention can yield up to ten dollars in return. It is therefore encouraging to see Brazil join the International Drought Resilience Initiative. While we can not stop droughts from occurring, with early warnings, preparedness and adapted responses, we can better mitigate its impacts. Since we are as resilient to drought and climate change as our lands are, it is crucial we make agrifood systems part of the solution, incentivizing sustainable land and water management practices that replenish, rather than squander, the natural capital all of us depend on. From that perspective, what I saw two days ago in Caatinga is encouraging. It was indeed inspiring to witness a whole of Government, in fact a whole of society approach to combatting desertification and building the resilience to drought. This said, much remains to be done in Caatinga and other areas affected by land loss and drought. As representatives of the People of Brazil, your role, honourable Parliamentarians can not be understated. We need to plan at the landscape level. This calls for land-use planning to identify the areas that are best suited for food production, protection of water sources, and ecosystem conservation. At the farm level, sustainable land management can combine precision agriculture to optimize the use of irrigation and fertilizers, with low-tech and nature-based solutions like agroforestry, crop rotation or reduced tilling. Again, coming back to Caatinga, low-tech approaches such as the cisternas are making a difference. To further buttress productive systems, and to protect the livelihoods of the 38 million Brazilians who are most vulnerable to desertification and drought, it is also vital this Parliament allocates a robust budget to support the communities: enhancing water management, building resilience to drought; monitoring and assessment; and supporting a just land transition. Especially, in the Caatinga drylands and the Cerrado, which underpins the water security in Brazil and beyond. At the UNCCD secretariat, we stand ready to support Brazil in its journey towards a more resilient future — but it all starts with your decision to prioritize land and drought in your policies and in the budget you allocate to implementing them. Your leadership ---Brazil’s leadership--- can prevent human suffering, protect economic sectors and set an example for nations across the region and around the world. Particularly, in the lead-up to UNCCD COP16, which will be held from 2-13 December in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. UNCCD COP16 is gearing up to be the largest, and most ambitious, global summit on land and drought to date. Together, we will chart the way for Land Degradation Neutrality targets, drought resilience frameworks, and stronger agrifood systems, and work to unlock a multibillion land restoration industry. Given Brazil’s active environmental diplomacy, the country has a particular role to play as a member of groups such a the G20, BRICS, G77 and LAC. Land degradation and Drought issues are rather unifying. They provide excellent opportunities for countries to play their soft power. Brazil’s active diplomacy and extraordinary political influence will be needed to make the Riyadh COP a moonshot moment for land and fought in the world. Finally, COP16 provide opportunity to Members of Parliament from country Parties to actively participate in the Conference. We look forward to your active engagement in the lead up to, and during COP16, and stand ready to support Brazil in its drive to be a beacon for sustainable land management. Thank you

Address to the Parliamentary Committee for Environment and Sustainable Development of the Chamber of Deputies of Brazil