UNCCD and CCAD sign an agreement to advance land restoration in Central America and the Caribbean
Central American Committee on Environment and Development (CCAD) and the UNCCD signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at a virtual ceremony on 27 November to promote cooperation in combating desertification between the convention and the countries in Central America and the Caribbean, including Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic.
The new agreement will establish a joint framework for action to combat land degradation and address drought and water scarcity problems through a bottom-up and gender-sensitive approach while promoting land degradation neutrality in national and subregional strategies and programmes as an accelerator to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Welcoming the new agreement, the Minister of Environment of Nicaragua and President Pro-tempore of the CCAD Sumaya Castillo highlighted that despite recent natural disasters such as hurricanes and drought putting a heavy toll on Central America, there is an indestructible sense of strength and unity in the region, where measures to assess funds in support of vulnerable populations are already underway. She also mentioned the important contribution from the LDN Fund that supports an innovative programme in Nicaragua to plant cocoa and coffee trees on degraded areas to restore land. The enterprise will plant 2000 hectares to reforest a severely degraded area, adding hardwood species to restore the forest canopy for soil protection and better water retention.
The UNCCD Executive Secretary Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw expressed solidarity with those affected by the recent hurricanes Iota and Eta in Central America. He noted that the new MoU stresses the need for governments, civil society, private sector and citizens to anticipate and mitigate future extreme events by easing the pressure on the land and collectively implementing concrete actions for ecosystem protection.
The signing ceremony also featured a video about actions to combat desertification implemented in Nicaragua, prepared by the Ministry of the Environment.