Nature is the basis of all life on Earth, an interconnected system of people, plants and animals. And just as nature’s multiple parts work together in harmony, the UNCCD works with its sister Conventions on Biological Diversity and Climate Change to promote an interconnected approach to solving the ecosystem and climate challenges.
The three global agreements – which were adopted at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit – the UNCCD, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), work together to ensure that land, climate, and biodiversity benefit from a joint approach to restore our balance with nature.
The UNCCD focuses on coordinated actions to put the world on a path to land degradation and carbon neutrality. We have ambitious and vital targets to:
- halt the loss of biodiversity
- live in harmony with nature
- achieve all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Land is the common thread that unites these targets. Twenty years on from the original Rio Summit, the Rio +20 conference reaffirmed a global desire to:
- strive for a land-degradation neutral world
- take coordinated action nationally, regionally, and internationally
- monitor land degradation globally
- restore degraded lands in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas
There are many specific ways the Rio Conventions work together to address problems caused by climate change, biodiversity conservation, desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD), such as on:
- forestry, sustainable land management (SLM), rural development, agricultural production, and reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)
- mitigation actions under the Kyoto Protocol, such as community non-forest fuel-related or energy efficiency actions and bio-fuels
- adaptation through ecosystem approach and resilience capacities
- training, education, awareness raising, and the sharing of information and science
To implement their activities, the three Rio Conventions utilise National Action Programmes (NAPs), National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs). Such national level actions are important to establish coherent and cost-effective policy tools that help achieve the goals of the three Conventions.
To further enhance collaboration and cooperation, in 2001, the secretariats of the Rio Conventions established a Joint Liaison Group (JLG) to collect and share information on work programmes and operations of each convention.
The JLG works with funding agencies, such as the Global Environment Facility, to award funds to country-led projects that are designed to tackle biodiversity, climate change, desertification and drought challenges. In 2013, JLG mainstreamed gender in the work of the three Rio Conventions. Today, each Convention has a gender plan and a gender officer.