Become #UNCCDLandHeroes

Land Heroes
UNCCD News

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The contest is now closed. The winner will be announced on 17 June: Desertification and Drought Day

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UNCCD invites you to mobilize the youth to take care of land as part of the solution to climate change.

The incredible power and deep concern of young people for the climate emergency is evident. We have witnessed youth in action during protests and strikes (Fridays for Climate movement is going strong and growing, after nearly 100 weeks) and similar movements are born all around the world, following the same purpose: to ensure a sustainable future for all.

You are already making a difference. Let’s take it further !

How is land connected to climate change?

  • Land degradation is a driver of climate change, because it increases emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and reduces carbon uptake
  • Desertification exacerbates climate change in many ways: loss of vegetation, sand and dust storms and greenhouse gas emissions
  • In turn, climate change worsens desertification
  • Land degradation can be avoided, reduced or reversed by managing land sustainably and applying land restoration and rehabilitation measures
  • Healthy land acts as a powerful carbon sink, becoming an effective solution to climate change
  • Land restoration is one of the cheapest solutions to climate change and biodiversity loss
  • Indigenous and local knowledge in managing land sustainably (women are often the guardians of this knowledge) is invaluable for building resilience against climate change and desertification

In short:

Good land stewardship plays a critical role in achieving international commitments for climate, biodiversity and sustainable development. Effective land management is important to meet all of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Desertification and Drought Day 2020

This year, Desertification and Drought Day focuses on changing public attitudes to the leading driver of desertification and land degradation: humanity’s relentless production and consumption. This year's slogan is "Food. Feed. Fibre.”

As populations become larger, wealthier and more urban, there is far greater pressure on land to provide food, animal feed and fibre for clothing. Meanwhile, the health and productivity of existing arable land are declining, worsened by climate change. This Desertification and Drought Day we want to draw attention to the consumer behaviors as the leading driver of desertification and land degradation. Everyday actions of individual consumers and producers are key to the rapid turnaround that is urgently needed to protect the land, preserve biodiversity and address climate change.

Who can participate

The campaign “Become #UNCCDLandHeroes” appeals to the youth (15-30 years old) worldwide. It is a social media campaign “by the youth for the youth” that will trend under #UNCCDLandHeroes and #FoodFeedFibre.

By entering the contest, you are automatically considered a UNCCD Land Hero.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, large gatherings are not longer permitted on the streets and in public spaces. But we still have the possibility, the will and power to create a large virtual crowd standing for land.

Please read the Application Rules carefully to ensure that you are eligible to apply and that your submission follows the rules.

Ways to participate

Participants are invited to submit a short text with a photo or video where they propose a specific solution to limit the footprint that our production and consumption of food, feed and fibre leave on the land.

  • Examples of individual actions can vary from swapping clothes with friends, composting or using a fabric handkerchief instead of disposable tissues
  • Example of existing projects to make a difference can include planting a community garden, a school campaign to become plastic-free or mobilizing people to ban food waste, a school club that meets to mend and repair clothes to donate to a local shelter or resell to raise school funds
  • Share your story on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram), tagging UNCCD and using the official hashtags of the contest #UNCCDLandHeroes and #FoodFeedFibre

We welcome submissions in any of the six official UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish). If your original post is not in one of these because your followers are more likely to be reached through another language, please send us the translation, so we can consider your entry.

UNCCD will monitor daily all the posts featuring the official hashtags of the contest and share some inspiring and impactful ideas suggested by participants worldwide.

What makes a strong Land Hero

  • Believe in your message
  • Know your audience and how to relate to them
  • Deliver your message with passion
  • Propose solutions to the issues and challenges that you are bringing up
  • Lead by example since actions speak louder than words
  • Rally your audience around your cause by showing that it has a direct impact on their lives
  • Empower your audience, make them feel they can play a role and be part of the change
  • Engage with your audience and keep the dialog going

A prize to boost your initiative

A USD500 cash price will be awarded to one of participating UNCCD Land Heroes for an outstanding project with significant outreach capacity, to invest in the impactful and scalable action to be implemented by the end of 2021.

The winner will be selected by the UNCCD secretariat, and the project widely promoted on social media and shared with UNCCD Land Ambassadors for them to support through their channels. The winning project will also be showcased at UNCCD major events, such as Desertification and Drought Day global observance event.

Contest rules

Participants are invited to submit a short text with a photo or video where they propose a specific solution to limit the footprint that our production and consumption of food, feed and fibre leave on the land.

If you submit a video:

  • a) Horizontal
  • b) Formats : 16:9 / 720p / 1080p / 1440p

If you submit a photo:

  • Horizontal or vertical
  • Ideally 300 dpi

Your video and text accompanying your post should be in one of the six official UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish). If your post is in another language, please provide us the translation in one of the languages listed above. You can provide the translation by sending an email to L4L@unccd.int

You can participate more than once during the contest period.

The deadline to be considered to win the cash prize is 15 May 2020, at 23:59 Bonn time (GMT +2)

Eligibility of participants:

  1. Participation is free
  2. Participants have to be between 15 and 30 years old on the day of their participation. A proof of age could be asked to the finalists in May
  3. Only entries with #UNCCDLandHeroes AND #FoodFeedFibre will be considered
  4. Current and former staff, consultants, and interns of the United Nations, as well as first degree relatives of the aforementioned individuals, can participate but are not eligible to receive the monetary prize
  5. 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, the right to publish the photos, videos and texts, and to promote the projects and initiatives shared through this context, mentioning the name of the participant
  6. The UNCCD reserves the right to modify the videos and photos in order to include the corporative elements of the UNCCD, such as, but not limited to, the UNCCD Logo
  7. Competition submissions must not include any endorsements of products or services, or any obscene, violent, racist, religious intolerance or defamatory content. Entries that do not comply with the formal specifications will be automatically disqualified
  8. 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

Important dates

  • Launch of the contest 25 March 2020
  • Deadline to send submissions 15 May 2020
  • Announcement of the winner and promotion of project 17 June 2020

If participants have any questions or comments or if they need assistance, they should send an email to L4L@unccd.int