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When we went to the Carribean

The Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN), in collaboration with the United Nations to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), organized a panel discussion that took place on Saturday 29th of May, from 10:00 to 12:00 (GMT -4). The event aimed to bring together youths from across the entire Caribbean and panelists from five different islands in the region to discuss the topic “Covid-19, Land and the Future”. The main objective was to raise awareness among Caribbean youth about the importance of sustainable land use in relation to different vital aspects, crucial for the future of the region, as well as to inspire their youth action regarding the same. Attendees The webinar was attended by more than 575 participants from the Caribbean and the rest of the world. As part of the promotion of the event, several pieces of multimedia content were created and widely distributed through social and traditional media channels. More than 30,000 people in the Caribbean were reached through UNCCD CBM and CYEN's social media platforms. Professor Richard A. Byron-Cox and Mr. Elijah James conducted an interview with ABS TV media where they shared with viewers and 100K social media followers the major issues covered by the panel discussion. There was participation from the entire Caribbean and further afield. Panelists The panelists were all Caribbean nationals and came from different countries of the region: The keynote address was delivered by Honourable Hugh Todd, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guyana, who really set an excellent foundation for the rest of the exercise. Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guyana, Mr. Hugh Todd made a keynote address for the panel discussion. Prof. Richard A. Byron-Cox Ph.D. He is the Head of the Capacity Development & Innovation Office at the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Secretariat. Ms. Jhannel Tomlinson, a youth climate activist and member of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN), Jamaica. She is co-founder of Young People for Action on Climate Change (YPACC), Jamaica. Ms. Maria Beckles, a member of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) Barbados, and part of the organization’s Biodiversity working group. Mr. Chetwynd Osborne, a lecturer at the University of Guyana, currently pursuing Ph.D. studies in Environmental and Life Sciences at Trent University. He is also a technical advisor to the Partnership Initiative on Sustainable Land Management (PISLM). Mr. Davidson Baptiste from Sandy Bay, a village of the Carib settlement on the Northern part of St. Vincent. Due to the recent volcanic eruption on that island, this area of the island is presently deemed  “The Red Zone.” Mr. Baptiste is a farmer, community worker, and a God-fearing man who is very committed, responsible, influential in his community. He spoke on the effects of the La Soufrière volcanic eruption in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

When we went to the Carribean
Global Essay Competition: Health & Land

Background: In the year 2020, we witnessed the Covid-19 pandemic spread, as people across the globe faced devastating impacts both socially and economically. To many, the pandemic feels like a force out of their control. Yet, an extensive look may perhaps reveal to us that our actions as a society has had a direct impact on the birth of these pandemics. To mark the 2020 World Soil Day (Saturday the 5th of December), the UNCCD Capacity Development and Innovations Office (CDIO) invites you to participate in our essay competition exploring the concept of ‘one health’ and examining the relationship between our treatment of the planet’s land and the increased likelihood of these pandemics. Participation in the essay competition is open to everyone and is FREE! Participants should register through THIS FORM. Registration means agreement to the following rules: Topics: The goal of this competition is to explore Covid-19, a topic of current and global importance, specifically, how our actions towards the planet’s land resources can play a role in dealing with and helping in preventing such pandemics from occurring in the future. Submitted essays should explore inter alia: The diagnosis (the objective reality): The nature of Covid-19 and its relation to our attitude to land. The prescription and solution: What issues must be addressed for our improved relation to land. And what concrete actions we may take in these regards in preventing or minimizing the occurrence of these pandemics in the future? Submissions must not include any endorsements of products or services, or any obscene, violent, racist, religious intolerance or defamatory content. Incomplete entries or entries that do not comply with the formal specifications will be automatically disqualified.   Format: All essays must be submitted through link in PDF format. Participants in the primary school student category can also choose to submit one essay together as a group. In this case, all participants’ name should be included in submitted document. Each essay is allowed a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 1500 words. Essays can be submitted in English, French, Russian or Spanish. All entries must be original works produced by the participant which have not been published anywhere.  The participants grant the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), its partners and other UN agencies as well as other persons or entities authorized by the UNCCD, a free of charge, non-exclusive, irrevocable, transferable, perpetual, worldwide license to use the copyright, related rights or any other intellectual property rights that have arisen by law or will arise by law from the submitted essays. The UNCCD is entitled to publish the essays but has no obligation to do so.    Prizes: All submitted essays will be assessed by the UNCCD Capacity Development and Innovations Office (CDIO) which will determine the winners, to be awarded prizes as follows: First place – 300 euros Second place – 200 euros Third place – 100 euros Furthermore, special individual prizes will be awarded as listed below: Winning essay submitted by land practitioners – 100 euros Winning essay submitted by secondary school students (Age 14-18) – 100 euros Winning essay submitted by primary school students (Age 13 and below) – 100 euros For the purposes of this competition, a land practitioner is defined as someone who works in the field of agriculture, forestry, landscaping, rangeland or watershed management. Winning the overall (first, second or third) prize is not mutually exclusive from winning any of the special individual prizes. What this means is that participants have the possibility of, for example, winning the first place 300-euro prize AND the winning essay prize for secondary school students if they qualify to participate as a secondary school student. Please note that by claiming one of the individual special prizes, you agree to showing proof of identification when requested. Selected winners will be featured in the work of the UNCCD-CDIO via its various media channels.  Lastly, all participants will be granted a certificate from the UNCCD for participation in the essay competition. Special certificates shall be given to all winners. UNCCD memorabilia will also be given depending on availability.   Deadline: All participants must submit their essay by 23:59 Bonn (Germany) Time (GMT+1), on the 5th of February 2021.   Assessment and Announcement of Results: All essays will be assessed by the CDIO. All decisions made in this regard are FINAL and may not be contested.  The winners will be announced in the final week of February. The UNCCD reserves the right to change this date. The prizes are as stated and are non‐transferable. If due to circumstances beyond the UNCCD’s control, the UNCCD is unable to provide a stated prize, the UNCCD reserves the right to award a substitute prize of equal value. The winners will be notified by email within 7 (seven) working days of being selected. The UNCCD will actively endeavor to contact the winners to make arrangements for the delivery of the prizes for a period of 1 (one) month following the announcement of the competition winners. In the event that the UNCCD is unable to contact the winner in this notification period, the UNCCD reserves the right to reallocate the prize concerned. Entrants shall note that by submitting an entry, they are deemed to have agreed that if picked as a winner their name may be disclosed to any third party, by the UNCCD, when providing a list of the names of the entrants where requested.   How to Register: Individuals who want to participate simply have to fill out a short survey and upload their essay through this LINK. Please note that by ticking either the ‘land practitioner’, ‘secondary school student’ or ‘primary school student’ box in question 6, you agree to showing proof of identification upon request. Contact: If participants have any questions or comments or if they need assistance, they should send an email to the Capacity Building Marketplace team at jsanz@unccd.int.  

Global Essay Competition: Health & Land
Wild Karnataka screening at CJD Königswinter

Königswinter, Germany – On Friday 6th of March, the Capacity Development & Innovations Office (CDIO) of the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was welcomed at the CJD Königswinter School for a very special event. The occasion was the first ever film screening  organized by the CDIO to raise awareness about the UNCCD, the protection of the environment  and sustainable development. This event saw the screening of “Wild Karnataka”, a cinematographic masterpiece that presents the flora, fauna, and natural beauty of the Indian state of Karnataka in breathtaking pictures. Wild Karnataka is a 52-minutes film, narrated by Sir David Attenborough. It is a brilliant documentary, suitable for viewing by the entire public, and is a visual celebration of the wildlife and ecosystems of Karnataka that we must protect. This film reinforces the crucial importance of the realization of Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land. The event heard brief remarks from Head of the CDIO, Dr. Richard A. Byron-Cox who introduced the presenter of the film and its soundtrack composer, Grammy award-winning artist and UNCCD Land Ambassador, Indian national, Ricky Kej, who was the special guest of the occasion. The screening was a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of Karnataka’s rich biodiversity, as well as to share its linkage with the UNCCD goals. The audience was totally engrossed by the film following which Dr. Byron-Cox and Ambassador Kej fielded questions from the young audience who fully engaged a series of queries on issues such as the role of the UNCCD in sustainable development and what they can do to help protect the environment. The CDIO is certain that these sorts of events and visits are key to raise awareness, engaging the public at large including the youngest in supporting the UNCCD; and addressing the achievement of global sustainable development. In the end, everyone present agreed that we are all required to preserve our beautiful planet, its biodiversity and land. The CDIO has among its chief aims providing inspiration to the youth to play their part in promoting the importance of land globally. The entire CDIO composing of the Head of the office, Dr. Richard A. Byron-Cox, Sandrine Rastetter, J. Daniel Gonzalez Carmena, Ana Marques, Jorge Sanz, Mariya-Yelyzaveta Tserkovnyuk, Nicolo Accame, Eldhos Vakkanal and Alejandra Peña Vasquez, being officers, consultants and interns, respectively. This multicultural Team comprises people representing countries from all over the world i.e.: St. Vincent and the Grenadines, France, Spain, Portugal, Ukraine, Italy, Japan, India and Colombia.    

Wild Karnataka screening at CJD Königswinter
Poster Competition 2019

The Poster Competition 2019 of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is meant for people to show the world their posters regarding the UN-Day Bonn (Germany, October 12). This competition aims to promote their creativity and to give them the opportunity to share ideas and experiences in this field. The theme of the Competition is: “Achieving SDGs to leave no one behind” Submissions requirements: Format : A3 Resolution : 300ppp Maximum file size 100MB Short title and a text of maximum 250 words in German, English, French, Russian, Spanish, Arabic or Chinese.   Submission Deadline: The deadline is October 31, 2019 at 23:59 Bonn time (GMT +2). No registration form or submission will be accepted after this date. Eligibility of participants: Participation in the poster competition is FREE! Participants should register through the online form. Registration means agreement to the Competition Rules. All entries must be original works produced by the participant which have not been published anywhere. To be able to participate, the participants need to be at least 18 years old on the date of the submission deadline or need parents’ consent to participate. Participants must provide proof of their age or parental consent form if and when requested by the Capacity Building Marketplace team. Participants are limited to one submission per person and the same poster cannot be submitted more than once. Current and former staff, consultants, and interns of the United Nations, as well as first degree relatives of the aforementioned individuals, cannot participate in the competition. The participants grant the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), its partners and other UN agencies as well as other persons or entities authorized by the UNCCD, a free of charge, non-exclusive, irrevocable, transferable, perpetual, worldwide license to use the copyright, related rights or any other intellectual property rights that have arisen by law or will arise by law from the prepared and submitted poster designs. The UNCCD is entitled to publish the posters but has no obligation to do so. The UNCCD-CBM reserves the right to modify the original design in order to include the corporative elements of the UNCCD, such as, but not limited to, the UNCCD Logo. Competition submissions must not include any endorsements of products or services, or any obscene, violent, racist, religious intolerance or defamatory content. Incomplete entries or entries that do not comply with the formal specifications will be automatically disqualified. Submissions may also not be accepted into the contest if the image in the entry features an identifiable individual who has not given their consent to appear or if the image, advertising or trademarks which would otherwise require the UNCCD to obtain permission to use. Voting process: UNCCD-CBM selects shortlisted candidates The winner will be defined through the public vote online. The winners will be notified by email.  

Poster Competition 2019
An Amazing Event at the COP14

At the UNCCD COP14 recently held in Delhi India, the Capacity Building Marketplace (CBM) featured strongly through its side-event "Talking Capacity Building and You. A chance to share and to receive!" which took place on 6th of September. The CBM  team of Jairo (Colombia), Ali (Pakistan), Jorge (Spain), Lilia (Russia), Loretta (Ghana), and Paul (France) had worked -under the guidance of CBM Manager, Dr. Richard A. Byron-Cox- for weeks organizing this major event. From the planning of the exercise to the designing of materials, and the organization of a grand cocktail to close the event, were all in the hands of the Team. This was all being done working with people halfway around the world from Germany, i.e. in India. People they had never and will never meet in person as no member of the Team save the Manager attended the COP. But they made it a grand affair, as from all accounts, the event turned out magnificently!!

An Amazing Event at the COP14
A great day at the Bonn International School

On June 25, the UNCCD Capacity Building Marketplace (CBM) Team visited the high school students of the Bonn International School, Germany. The main purpose of this visit was to raise awareness about the importance of engaging the youth in the sustainable development process, and the roles they can play to help in achieving this goal. The multinational Team comprising Jorge Sanz (Spain), Raissa Tadia (Cameroon) ,Ines Belhous (France), Loretta Asare (Ghana) and Jairo Lozano (Colombia) engaged around 80 students between the ages of 15 and 17 on several issues including  how they can personally help in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);how land degradation and desertification is increasing, and how young people can play a very positive part in helping to address these challenges; the importance of the World Day Combat Desertification; and the opportunities that  the Marketplace offers, such as scholarships, university programs, vacancies, and much more. There was also a fun-filled charade between the presentations to further reinforce the importance of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A great day at the Bonn International School
These events were organized by the UNCCD Capacity Development and Innovation Office.