Annex IV: Northern Mediterranean
The lands around the Mediterranean Sea (the Mediterranean Basin) form the largest of the five world regions subjected to a Mediterranean climate – long, warm to hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. These climatic conditions make the Mediterranean vegetation (woodlands, scrubs and grasslands) well adapted to survive dry conditions and to recover from droughts, floods and fires. Yet, land degradation and desertification do occur in croplands, rangelands and woodlands in the Mediterranean Basin.
The Regional Implementation Annex IV offers opportunities for an effective national action in the Northern Mediterranean Region. The Annex involves 12 affected country members and three observers. Seven of the affected countries are members of the European Union, all but two (Portugal and Hungary) are within the Mediterranean Basin, and all but one (Albania) have drylands. In four affected countries, drylands cover most of the territory.
Northern Mediterranean regional cooperation
In 2011 the members of Annex IV identified priorities for five subprograms of the regional work programme for 2012-2013.
- Aligning existing NAPs with the 10-year Strategy
- Generating a roadmap for further developing Annex IV regional action programme (RAP)
- Exploring options for regional projects
- Regional testing of the impact indicators adopted by the Conference of the Parties (COP)
- Exploring the possibilities for cooperation with other countries of the Mediterranean Basin and with the Central and Eastern European countries
Contact Regional Liaison Office for Northern Mediterranean (Annex IV)
Tarım ve Orman Bakanlığı 1. Bölge Müdürlüğü
Büyükdere Caddesi No: 265
Fatih Ormanı Kampüsü Maslak / Sarıyer ,
Istanbul - Türkiye
Mr. Mustafa Yurtoglu
- Regional Liaison Officer
- myurtoglu [at] unccd.int (myurtogluatunccddotint)
- 00 90 212 262 57 56 / 1444
As the international cooperation to address the growing threat of drought projected to affect over ¾ of the world population by 2050 gains momentum, the recent workshop in Istanbul on building negotiation skills and developing action plans became a fitting tribute to the successes of the Ankara Initiative that supported capacity-building under the UNCCD for many years. In his message to the participants, UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw remarked that the support provided by the Government of Türkiye since 2016 resulted in key contributions to national policy recommendations on issues such as land tenure, gender equality and land degradation neutrality (LDN). As an arid and semi-arid country that made outstanding progress in land rehabilitation and restoration, Turkiye has been uniquely positioned to share its experience, providing a number of capacity-building and knowledge-sharing initiatives for UNCCD Parties working toward achieving LDN. The General Manager of Combating Desertification and Erosion Nurettin Taş presented a decision support system developed by Türkiye to realize the national LDN targets and confirmed the country’s commitment to sharing its expertise with other countries facing desertification, land degradation and drought. The practical part of the workshop for over 30 Parties from Africa and CEE included interactive trainings on building the knowledge base and developing an effective skill set for multilateral negotiations on drought resilience and LDN implementation, which will be an important asset for national delegates at the UNCCD CRIC21 in October 2023 and the COP16 in 2024.
This project, “Children vs Desertification” is part of the UNCCD Capacity Development and Innovation Office’s (CDIO) series ‘‘Children and the UNCCD.’’ It was designed and managed by Giorgio Falchi as part of his internship with support from the CDIO Team. The aim of the project was to raise awareness of desertification and land degradation among younger generations in two Italian primary schools located in the municipality of Montespertoli (25 km far from Florence). 40 children ages 10 to 11, pupils of the schools "Don Lorenzo Milani" and “Rita Levi Montalcini” were involved in 2-hours of exercises on ways of combatting desertification and land degradation. Planning and development The efforts and spirit of our multicultural/international Team were central to the development and realization of this project. First School: Istituto Comprensivo Statale "Don Lorenzo Milani" Second School: Scuola Primaria "Rita Levi Montalcini". Giorgio's experience As I walked through the front door of the school that had shaped my childhood mindset for five years, I was overwhelmed by a flood of memories and emotions. Since taking the final examination, I had not set foot in primary school again. Why? I would like to say it was because of lack of time, but perhaps it would be more correct to say lack of will. It was as if I wanted to consign all the moments and memories I had experienced there, both the good and the bad, to that yellow and grey building, so that I would never have to deal with them again. While I was explaining to the caretaker the reason for my presence, I looked around me: the entrance, the stairs, the large mosaic in front of the door, the lockers, the colors had not changed one bit. Even the arrangement of the benches seemed the same. After shaking the teacher's hand, we entered the classroom assigned to me. It was strange to occupy the place that for five years, as a child, had been occupied by people to whom we, or at least I, attributed absolute authority. As I laid out the materials I had prepared for the exercise, I kept asking myself: "Will I be able to get the message across to them? Will I be interesting? Will I be able to make them learn and enjoy themselves?”. The answers to these questions I hoped to gage from their smiles and their happy faces at the end of the exercise. Description of the simulation The idea of preparing an exercise in which the children had to combat the advance of desertification came from the CDIO Team's passion for resource management board games. The training activity was then studied and approved together with the councillor for the culture of the municipality of Montespertoli, Daniela Di Lorenzo, and Professor Barbara Papini. After a brief introduction to the United Nations and the role played by the Convention to Combat Desertification in particular, the children were immersed in the fantastic world of Alkubra, the imaginary place where a simulation would take place. The world of Alkubra consists of four billboards, each corresponding to a district controlled by a city that is very proud of its past and traditions. In the centre, there is the Great Desert, which, to the misfortune of the inhabitants, is expanding in all directions. The children's ultimate goal is to make the right decisions in order to stop the advance of desertification. First, the children were divided into four teams, each representing a city council. Next, each team was given one of the four cardboards to draw their city in the white space and give it a name. Each city council was then assigned 16 resources to be placed in the yellow space between the city and the desert. Ponds represented water, trees represented forests, houses with fields represented agriculture and rabbits represented fauna. Finally, each team had to elect its own representative, who would report back with the answers during the simulation. The simulation consisted of a quiz with six multiple-choice questions. The aim was to stimulate the children's intuition and try to get them to understand how they could help combat and possibly prevent desertification. Each question had 4 possible answers: each city had to choose an answer and declare this through their representative. To make the simulation more challenging, as soon as one of the answers was chosen by one of the cities, the others had no further access to that answer. Each answer meant an increase or decrease in resources depending on whether the right decision was made, i.e. one which will help in combatting desertification. These were not abstract or theoretical questions or decisions but had a clear educational purpose. For example, one of the questions was about water consumption: the right answers included turning off the tap when brushing one's teeth and the wrong answers included increasing meat consumption. At the end of each question, the children themselves tried to explain why some decisions were right and others wrong in combatting desertification and in using natural resources in a sustainable way. The winning team at the end of the game was the one with the most resources, namely the one that made the right decisions to combat desertification in the shortest possible time. In class 5a A at the "Don Lorenzo Milani" school the winners were the "Fantastic City" city council, while in class 5a C at the "Rita Levi Montalcini" school the "Bonus" city won. Outcome / Feedback Preparing all the materials needed to carry out the simulation was not easy; in fact, we had to work under pressure, mainly due to a very tight time schedule. However, thanks to organization and teamwork we managed to prepare the simulation in time. The children showed a great interest in the exercise and in the need to combat desertification; they intervened very often and, in some cases, provided more than comprehensive explanations of phenomena that are not easy to understand. Finally, some children talked of their dreams and/or their difficulties. One girl said that her dream was to bring peace to the world. Another said that, due to financial difficulties, she could not afford to take a shower every day. Smiling, she added that she was glad that at least she could not waste water. Intern in charge of the project As an intern at the UNCCD - CDIO, I feel extremely grateful for the opportunity I have been given. Through this project, I have been able to contribute, albeit in a small way, to combating climate change by raising awareness in schools, the place where future generations are educated. Moreover, preparing for this project has allowed me to grow on a personal level: being in an environment that values creativity and team spirit in favor of sustainability is a unique opportunity. Finally, being surrounded by people who believe in you and your work has allowed me to gain more confidence in myself. Children and UNCCD The CDIO launched the - project “Children and the UNCCD” aiming to raise awareness amongst children of the world about the importance of the preservation of our environment and the land in particular. Would you like your school to be part of this exciting and important project -? Kindly let us know soonest.