Media advisory: Press kit for Desertification and Drought Day 2021

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Desertification and Drought Day is celebrated every 17 June in every United Nations Member to keep the public informed about the state of the land, nationally and globally. Media are invited to cover the celebrations, among them:

  • The High-Level Forum convened by Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada to rally world leaders to ramp up efforts to finance restoration of 1 billion degraded hectares pledged for restoration by 2030
  • The launch of the first Global Assessment Report on Drought on 17 June. A pre-launch media briefing will take place on Tuesday, 15 June.
  • The winners of the Land for Life will be announced from the shortlist of 12 finalists from 11 countries - Australia, Colombia, Ecuador, Eritrea, India, Mozambique, Niger, Republic of Korea, Trinidad & Tobago, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

This advisory provides detailed information about these events, multimedia materials sourced from different regions of the world and background documents, with data and facts.

NOTE: The events are not listed by date and time of occurrence. This page will be updated regularly on events we receive for media coverage.

Theme and focus of the 2021 observance

Across the globe, calls have been growing for a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The message of Desertification and Drought Day (DDD) is that investing in activities that protect and restore natural ecosystems will boost the recovery from COVID-19 for communities, countries and economies worldwide.

Resources

Press contacts for international media

Ms. Wagaki Wischnewski | email: wwischnewski@unccd.int | Phone +49 173 268 7593

Ms. Katheryn Jimenez | email: kjimenez@unccd.int

For interviews with UNCCD experts, fill and email this form to: press1@unccd.int and copy the press contacts above.

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High Level Forum Hosted by Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada

What: Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada and Minister of the Environment and Energy Andrea Meza Murillo will lead an international event to rally up a global high ambition to restore degrading land to hasten the post-COVID-19 recovery.

Who: Hosted by Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada and Minister of the Environment and Energy Andrea Meza Murillo

  • Heads of States and Government
  • President of the General Assembly
  •  UN Secretary General
  • Ministers and UN heads of Agencies
  • Representatives of Civil Society

Why: Opportunities for land restoration globally could generate economic benefits of up to USD 1.4 trillion every year. Costa Rica will present the actions, practices, and public policies that enabled it to increase its forests that benefit thousands of households.

When: Thursday, 17 June 2021, 15:00-16:00 CEST

Where: Webcast will be available here https://www.unccd.int/actions17-june-desertification-and-drought-day/2021-desertification-and-drought-day

Key facts:

  • As of 2018, 170 countries were affected by desertification, land degradation and/or drought.
  • Countries have pledged to restore 1 billion hectares of degrading land by 2030 at an estimated maximum cost of US1.67 trillion dollars
  • Half of these pledges are commitments by 115 countries under the Convention
  • COVID-19 stimulus packages have dedicated about 2.5 percent, on average, to green activities
  • Costa Rica, which is hosting the global observance event this year, once faced the threat of desertification, but turned the situation around and became the first tropical country to halt and reverse its deforestation and forest degradation.

Background resources:

Press contacts for Costa Rica

Ms. Karla Alfaro | Email: kalfaro@minae.go.cr | Phone: +506 8455 7695

Mr. Josué Paniagua | Email: josuepaniagua@nexopr.com | Phone: +506 8887 8946

Mr. Diego Arguedas Ortiz | Phone: +506 8449 8301

Press contacts for international media

Ms. Wagaki Wischnewski | email: wwischnewski@unccd.int | Phone +49 173 268 7593

Ms. Katheryn Jimenez | email: kjimenez@unccd.int

 

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Media briefing

UNDRR and UNCCD Launch of the Global Assessment of Report on Drought

What: Media Briefing by UNDRR on the first ever global assessment report on drought. The report will be launched 48 days later.

Who: Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction
Roger Pulwarty, Senior Scientist, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Why: Droughts and their impacts are getting worse and climate change projections show extreme events will make droughts more frequent, widespread and severe. The report is the most comprehensive assessment on the subject yet.

When: Tuesday, 17 June, 15:00-16:00 CEST

Where: You are also invited to join the launch event on 17 June at 1500 via Zoom. Registration and more information can be found online.

Key facts:

  • 70 countries are affected by drought regularly, costing lives.
  • In 2015, only 3 countries had comprehensive national plans to respond to drought effectively
  • Today, 73 countries are working with the UNCCD to develop plan to ensure drought is survivable, not a disaster

Background resources:

  • Register online for the briefing to access the materials, including an EMBARGOED version of the Summary for Policy Makers.

Press contacts

Ms. Jeanette Elsworth email: jeanette.elsworth@un.org

 

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UNDRR and UNCCD Launch of the GAR Special Report on Drought

What: Launch of the GAR Special Report on Drought by UN Disaster Risk Reduction and UN Convention to Combat Desertification. The GAR Special Report on Drought 2021 explores the systemic nature of drought and its impacts on achievement of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the SDGs and human and ecosystems health and wellbeing.

Speakers

  • Moderator: Loretta Hieber Girardet, Chief of the Risk Knowledge Branch, UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Opening remarks: Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)
  • Opening remarks: Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
  • Keynote speaker: TBC
  • Video message: Stephen Quest, Director General, Joint Research Centre, European Commission
  • Presentation of the key findings of the report: Dr. Roger Pulwarty, Senior Scientist National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Presentation of case study: Advancing Drought Risk Management in the Caribbean: A Multi-Sectoral Perspective: Adrian Trotman, Chief of Applied Meteorology and Climatology (AMC) at the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH)
  • Presentation of case study: East Africa - The IGAD Case: Mr. Gerald Kairu, Regional Project Manager, the Global Water Partnership

Why: Global assessment reports on disasters are published every two years by UN Disaster Risk Reduction. The last Special Report on Drought was published in 2019.

When: Thursday, 17 June, 14:00-14:45 CEST

Where: Register here: Webinar Registration - Zoom

Background Resources:

EMBARGOED materials, including the Summary for Policy Makers and press release are available in advanced to journalists participating.

Additional materials will be posted here: Launch of the GAR Special Report on Drought 2021 | UNDRR

Press Contacts

Ms. Jeanette Elsworth | Email: jeanette.elsworth@un.org

Ms. Wagaki Wischnewski | Email: wwischnewski@unccd.int. | Phone +49 173 268 7593

 

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Winner of the Land for Life Award

What: Announcement of the winner of the Land for Life Award

Who:  Wanjira Maathai, Vice President and Regional Director for Africa at the World Resources Institute

  • Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary

Why: This global award recognizes changemakers running innovative land restoration and conservation projects that promote the well-being of communities and improve their relationship with nature. The theme this year is “Healthy Land, Healthy Lives”.

When: Thursday, 17 June 2021. During the global observance online programme starting at 09:00 CEST

Where: Webcast: The link will be posted here https://www.unccd.int/actions17-june-desertification-and-drought-day/20…

Key Facts: The finalists

  • Cassinia, Australia
  • Dr. Samuel Francke-Campaña, Chile
  • Mr Arcenio Honorato Castillo Vera, Ecuador
  • Mr Okbay Tela Bayreu, Eritrea
  • Cauvery Calling - Rally for Rivers, Ishafoundation, India
  • Familial Forestry, Rajasthan, India
  • Quelimane City Municipality, Mozambique
  • Sahara Sahel Foods Niger, Niger
  • Yuhan Kimberly Ltd "Keep Mongolia Green project", Republic of Korea
  • WHYFARM, Trindad & Tobago
  • Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO), Zambia
  • IGugu Trust, Zimbabwe

 

Resources: Press Release

Land for Life Award Finalists Unveiled

Bonn, 11/06/21 - The secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is delighted to announce the 12 finalists of this year’s Land for Life Award.

The finalists are from 11 countries. Australia, Colombia, Ecuador, Eritrea, India, Mozambique, Niger, Republic of Korea, Trinidad & Tobago, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The winner will be announced on 17 June, at the global observance of the Desertification and Drought Day.

An independent jury of experts and personalities from government, civil society, international organizations and the UNCCD is selecting the winner.

The Land for Life Award recognizes changemakers running innovative land restoration and conservation projects that promote the well-being of communities and improve their relationship with nature. This year, the theme of the Award is “Healthy Land, Healthy Lives”. The theme emphasizes the vital role land must play as part of the solution for communities worldwide to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and build back better, by restoring balance with nature.

The submissions for the award came from 27 countries. The Award is open to individuals, NGOs, governments, business, media, and others contributing to sustainable land management.

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Information about the finalists is available here: https://www.unccd.int/actionsland-life-programme/land-life-award-2021-healthy-land-healthy-lives

Press Contacts for the Land for Life Award

Ms. Yukie Hori | Email: yhori@unccd.int. | Phone +49 173 268 7593

Ms. Sarah Banda-Genchev | Email: sbanda-genchev@unccd.int