Bonn/New York, 18 May 2023 – This year’s Desertification and Drought Day, marked on 17 June, will put the global spotlight on women’s land rights with events taking place in New York and around the world. The global observance event, titled “Her Land. Her Rights: Advancing Gender Equality and Land Restoration Goals” will take place at the United Nations Headquarters’ General Assembly Hall on Friday, 16 June 2023. The event will be opened by the President of the 77th General Assembly, and will convene high-level policymakers, women leaders, renowned scientists, land activists, and youth representatives from around the world to discuss policies and actions needed to advance women’s land rights and promote stronger female leadership and decision-making power in sustainable land management. UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw said: “Of all the gender inequalities we experience in the world, the imbalance in women’s access to fertile land remains arguably the most shocking. In every corner of the world, filling this particular gender gap remains an unfinished business. That’s why on this year’s Desertification and Drought Day we are mobilizing the international community in support of women’s land rights.” Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland and UNCCD Land Ambassador, who is among women leaders attending the high-level event, said: “Solving gender inequalities is not just the right thing to do. If we ensure that women are fully able to use their abilities, knowledge, talents, and leadership potential, our societies are simply better off.” Inna Modja, Malian singer and UNCCD Goodwill Ambassador, who will be performing at the high-level event, said: “As a woman, artist, and climate and social justice activist, I believe it’s vital to empower women and youth and promote gender equality in the fight against desertification and land degradation. Together, we can create a brighter, sustainable future.” In addition to the global observance event in New York, events to mark Desertification and Drought Day 2023 will be taking place in all parts of the world, including Fiji, Hungary, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Serbia and Vietnam. Ahead of this year’s Desertification and Drought Day, UNCCD launched #HerLand, a public-awareness campaign to promote successful examples of women and girls’ contributions to sustainable land management, and mobilize support to advance land rights for women and girls around the world. Women, who comprise nearly half of the world's agricultural workforce hold a vital stake in the health of the land and suffer most when land is degraded. Yet, discriminatory practices related to land tenure, credit access, equal pay, and decision-making often impede their active participation in sustaining land health. Today, less than one-in-five landholders worldwide are women. This represents a missed opportunity: when they are given equal access to land, women and girls can increase agricultural productivity, restore land and build resilience to drought. Women invest more in nutrition, health and education which benefits their families, and wider society. ### Confirmed details Event title Her Land. Her Rights. Advancing Gender Equality and Land Restoration Goals High-level event to mark Desertification and Drought Day 2023 Venue General Assembly Hall, United Nations Headquarters, New York Webcast Link: UN webTV Streaming through Twitter and Facebook: @unccd Dates and time Friday, 16 June 2023 10:00 hrs –13:00 hrs (EDT) / 14:00 hrs- 17:00 hrs (GMT/UTC) / 15:00 hrs– 18:00 hrs BST/ 16:00 hrs – 19:00 hrs (CEST) Speakers Organized jointly by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), UN Women, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the UN Human Rights Office, the high-level event will focus on policies and actions needed to advance women’s land rights and role sustainable land management. Notable speakers are expected to be in attendance, including: Csaba Kőrösi, President of the General Assembly António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations (via recorded video message) Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General Tarja Halonen, Former President of Finland and UNCCD Land Ambassador Sima Sami Bahous, Executive Director, UN Women Alain-Richard Donwahi, UNCCD COP15 President Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, President, Association des Femmes Peuples Autochtones du Tchad (AFPAT) Rex Molapo, Co-founder, Conservation Music, Lesotho The programme of the high-level event will feature musical performances by UNCCD Goodwill Ambassadors, Malian singer, and artist Inna Modja who executive-produced the Great Green Wall documentary, and Senegalese musician Baaba Maal who composed music for the latest instalment of Marvel’s film Black Panther, as well as Ricky Kej, 3 times Grammy Award-winner, Indian Composer. It will also offer an immersive experience, including the launch of a metaverse game demo and a photo exhibition entitled Her Land. Notes to Editors For preview interviews and media related inquires please contact: UNCCD Press Office: email@example.com and Portland Communications: firstname.lastname@example.org Journalists wishing to cover the event who don’t hold valid press accreditation for the United Nations Headquarters in New York need to be registered, and should email: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. A copy of your valid press card and passport will be required to pick up your access badge. Video and multimedia assets Video and multimedia assets from the event will be made available immediately afterwards. Existing videos and assets from Her Land Campaign – https://trello.com/b/AuQjCPfN/unccd-herland-campaign. Credit: UNCCD Human interest stories showcasing vital contribution of women to sustainable land management will be available nearer the time. Social Media Twitter: @UNCCD Instagram: @unccd Hashtags: #HerLand #UNited4Land Download relevant social media assets here: https://trello.com/b/AuQjCPfN/unccd-herland-campaign Learn more about the campaign: https://www.unccd.int/land-and-life/gender/herland For information about Desertification and Drought Day visit: https://www.unccd.int/events/desertification-drought-day/2023 For information about Desertification and Drought Day 2023 events in New York and around the world visit: https://www.unccd.int/events/desertification-drought-day/2023/events-around-world About UNCCD The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the global vision and voice for land. We unite governments, scientists, policymakers, private sector and communities around a shared vision and global action to restore and manage the world’s land for the sustainability of humanity and the planet. Much more than an international treaty signed by 197 parties, UNCCD is a multilateral commitment to mitigating today’s impacts of land degradation and advancing tomorrow’s land stewardship in order to provide food, water, shelter and economic opportunity to all people in an equitable and inclusive manner.
French | German Bern, Switzerland, 10 May 2023 – Today, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) signed a new voluntary contribution agreement for 2023-2024. Switzerland has committed 400,000 Swiss Francs to further support sustainable land management and ensure that all stakeholders, especially those representing the most vulnerable populations, can be fully involved in global decision-making on land and drought issues. Welcoming the agreement, UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw said: “I commend Switzerland for its leadership and commitment to UNCCD’s efforts to ensure a sustainable future for our land. Switzerland’s generous support will be vital to improve land tenure systems and invest in solutions that put people—especially the most vulnerable—first.” During the signing ceremony, Ms. Patricia Danzi, Director General of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation said: “Soil is the foundation on which is based our food security and livelihoods. We are happy to collaborate with the UNCCD for global sustainable land management contributing to resilient food systems.” UNCCD was set up in 1994 in response to the global challenges of desertification, land degradation and drought and is one of the three global Conventions that emerged from the Rio Earth Summit, alongside climate and biodiversity treaties. UNCCD works with its 197 signatories to achieve land degradation neutrality by 2030, a global target enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals. Up to 40 per cent of land worldwide is currently degraded, with dire consequences for our climate, biodiversity and livelihoods. Droughts are up 29 per cent since 2000, driven by both climate change and land degradation. One of the key areas of the new agreement is to support women’s involvement in land management, advancing legitimate and secure land tenure for all, and collecting gender-disaggregated data on the impacts of desertification, land degradation and drought. Women’s land rights is the focus of the 2023 Desertification and Drought Day marked worldwide on 17 June under the slogan “Her Land. Her Rights.” “Women are major actors in the global efforts to reduce and reverse land degradation. However, in the vast majority of countries, women have unequal and limited access to and control over land. We cannot achieve land degradation neutrality without gender equality, and we cannot exclude half the population from land management decisions because of their gender," UNCCD Executive Secretary Thiaw added. Switzerland joined UNCCD in 1996 and since then has provided long-standing support to UNCCD through core funding and voluntary contributions. For example, Switzerland’s support was essential to ensure the participation of least developed countries and civil society organizations (CSOs) during the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UNCCD held in 2022 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The new agreement will support the implementation of the decisions adopted at the Conference and ensure a diversity of voices in future negotiations under the Convention. In addition, it will reinforce the synergies among the three Rio Conventions, including through nature-based solutions and target-setting at the national level for a more resilient, sustainable future for all. For more information, contact: UNCCD: Ms. Xenya Scanlon Chief, Communications, External Relations and Partnerships T: +49 152 5454 0492 E: email@example.com Notes to Editors The contribution from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation for 2023-2024 has four objectives: helping advance the policy work of the Secretariat, in particular with regards to land tenure; fostering land-based opportunities through the CSO Panel; ensuring that technologies and information on sustainable land management practices are in line with the UNCCD 2018-2030 Strategic Framework, also with regards to drought and gender; and facilitating the participation of vulnerable groups at UNCCD meetings and processes —this includes least developed country parties, CSOs, women, youth and indigenous peoples’ groups. About UNCCD The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the global vision and voice for land. We unite governments, scientists, policymakers, private sector and communities around a shared vision and global action to restore and manage the world’s land for the sustainability of humanity and the planet. Much more than an international treaty signed by 197 Parties, UNCCD is a multilateral commitment to mitigating today’s impacts of land degradation and advancing tomorrow’s land stewardship to provide food, water, shelter and economic opportunity to all people in an equitable and inclusive manner.
The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is proud to announce that Baaba Maal and Inna Modja have been appointed as its Goodwill Ambassadors.
Mobilizing political will, resources and tools to help countries, cities and communities better prepare and respond to the growing impacts of droughts is critical as global freshwater demand is projected to outstrip available supply by 40% by 2030, leaders urged at the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York.
Under the theme “Her Land. Her Rights,” the focus of this year’s Desertification and Drought Day, marked worldwide on 17 June, is on women’s land rights as a key element of achieving the connected global goals of gender equality and land degradation neutrality by 2030. While land is the most critical economic resource for most rural poor, women around the world are less likely to own or control land than men, which exposes them to poverty, hunger, gender-based violence and displacement. “Women are major actors in the global efforts to reduce and reverse land degradation. They restore land, they protect land, they cherish, nourish and care for the land, while also caring for others. However, in the vast majority of countries, women have unequal and limited access to and control over land. We cannot achieve land degradation neutrality without gender equality, and we cannot exclude half the population from land management decisions because of their gender." – Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary Investing in women’s equal access to land and associated assets is a direct investment in their future and the future of humanity. UNCCD will reaffirm its commitment to gender equality with these Desertification and Drought Day 2023 objectives: Raise awareness of the disproportionate impact of desertification, land degradation and drought on women and girls and the barriers they face in decision-making on land issues Highlight women's contributions to sustainable land management and broader SDGs Mobilize global support to advance land rights for women and girls around the world “Solving gender inequalities is not just the right thing to do. If we ensure that women are fully able to use their abilities, knowledge, talents, and leadership potential, our societies are simply better off.” – Former President of Finland, Tarja Halonen UNCCD Land Ambassador This year’s global observance of Desertification and Drought Day will be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, with events taking place in all parts of the world. Together with UN partners, civil society activists and influencers, we are launching the campaign #HerLand to recognize excellence and leadership in sustainable land management by women and girls; amplify the voices of women and girls living on the frontlines of desertification, land degradation and drought and call to action for stronger women’s leadership and decision-making power to advocate for issues affecting women in the context of desertification, land degradation and drought. You too can lend your support by reaching out to your communities and advocating the key role of gender equality in empowering women and girls to be at the forefront of global land restoration and drought resilience efforts. We invite you to discover more and join: https://www.unccd.int/land-and-life/gender/herland
Bonn, Germany, 10 February 2023 – Today, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Korea Forest Service of the Republic of Korea signed a new Memorandum of Understanding to further support Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN). Welcoming the new agreement, UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw said: “I take this opportunity to thank Korea Forest Service and the Republic of Korea for their leadership and commitment to the work of the UNCCD in restoring balance with nature and advancing the global target of net zero land loss. Your continued political and financial support through the Changwon Initiative will be essential for consolidating partnerships and accelerating the achievement of a land-degradation neutral world.” Speaking at the signing ceremony, Sang Seop Lim, Deputy Minister of the Korea Forest Service, commented: “I hope that we will not only expand cooperation but also deliver greater results and that thereby we will be able to develop a strong partnership and best practices that will benefit the international community.” The Changwon Initiative, which was a major outcome of UNCCD COP10 that took place in the Republic of Korea in 2011, has inspired and catalyzed the global target of “a land-degradation neutral world” enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals. Activities supported through the initiative turned the vision of LDN into a concrete concept known as the "net zero land loss” to stabilize the quantity and quality of land resources and the ecosystems it supports. The Changwon Initiative has been an important success factor for some of the most significant results achieved by the UNCCD over the past decade. The second phase of the Initiative focuses on enhancing the scientific process to support the Convention’s implementation, promoting partnerships at all levels to improve livelihoods of affected populations, addressing sub-regional and regional challenges through land restoration and reforestation, and promoting synergies with other relevant conventions and international organizations. The Changwon Initiative continued support for the LDN Target-Setting Programme is helping countries set their voluntary national LDN targets and define measures for achieving them. To date, some 130 countries have joined the programme and more than 100 of those have already committed themselves not to degrade more land than they restore. The Initiative’s contribution has also been essential to the secretariat’s work on sand and dust storms (SDS), with a number of knowledge and guidance products launched to date: the SDS Compendium and the Global SDS Source Base-Map. Connecting researchers and policymakers through the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface, the Initiative has been key to providing a strong scientific foundation to the development of policy decisions and ensuring that the latest knowledge on drought and land restoration are reflected in national policies. This expert guidance, packaged in the Global Land Outlook, as well as its regional and thematic editions, delivers relevant and current information to practitioners and policymakers, enabling UNCCD Parties to effectively plan, implement and monitor their commitments to healthy land. Showcasing good practices in sustainable land management is another key objective for the Changwon Initiative. For over ten years, the Land for Life Award has brought to light over 20 outstanding projects in more than a dozen countries worldwide, proving that land restoration can be an effective solution to climate change and biodiversity loss while contributing to job creation and food security. The ongoing support through the Changwon Initiative toward action-oriented UNCCD programmes will enable the Convention to continue and scale up its efforts to provide collaborative and evidence-based support to country Parties who strive to end land degradation and safeguard land resources. For more information, contact: UNCCD: Ms. Xenya Scanlon Chief, Communications, External Relations and Partnerships T: +49 152 5454 0492 E: firstname.lastname@example.org About The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the global vision and voice for land. We unite governments, scientists, policymakers, private sector and communities around a shared vision and global action to restore and manage the world’s land for the sustainability of humanity and the planet. Much more than an international treaty signed by 197 parties, UNCCD is a multilateral commitment to mitigating today’s impacts of land degradation and advancing tomorrow’s land stewardship to provide food, water, shelter and economic opportunity to all people in an equitable and inclusive manner. https://www.unccd.int/ The Korea Forest Service (KFS) is an independent agency specializing in forestry that is overseen by the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea. The KFS has the overall responsibility for establishment and implementation of forest policies and laws and delivers projects based on rehabilitation technologies in collaboration between the government and the private sector. The agency is actively involved with all three UN Rio Conventions: UNCCD, CBD and UNFCCC, contributing to global environmental issues. To take the leading role in both bilateral and regional cooperation for mitigating desertification and drought, the KFS is promoting closer cooperation through bilateral forestry cooperation arrangements and establishment of the Northeast Asia Forest Network. https://www.forest.go.kr/
Drought is one of nature's costliest disasters – across the globe, more frequent and prolonged droughts are up nearly by a third since 2000. No country or region is immune to their impacts, which cost the global economy billions of dollars each year and range from the loss of life, livelihoods and biodiversity to water and food insecurity, disruption in the energy, transportation and tourism sectors, as well as forced migration, displacement and conflicts over scarce resources. As the drought resilience and preparedness are taking the center stage in the global efforts to bolster the economies and communities against natural disasters, the new collaboration launched today between the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is particularly timely. According to the cooperation agreement signed by the UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Michael Boehm and NDMC Director and Associate Professor Mark Svoboda, the NDMC will be tasked with recommending approaches to integrated drought risk management focused on drought-smart land-based solutions. The Center will also serve as a think tank on emerging drought policy issues, convening independent scientific debate on drought resilience and providing methodological guidance on knowledge management related to SDG targets of building disaster resilience, mitigating water scarcity and achieving land degradation neutrality. The UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw welcomed the new agreement by saying that it “will help to foster better collaboration between UNCCD, and local and national institutions, and to develop and share best practices on drought resilience and adaptation. Through this partnership, we will increase access to information and knowledge and will be able to provide technical guidance and support to countries and communities to build their capacity to manage drought risk and vulnerability.” “This is the next step in formalizing the collaboration on drought risk management between the UNCCD and the NDMC," said Mark Svoboda, Director of the National Drought Mitigation Center. “We look forward to this next stage, building on the NDMC’s long track record with international drought planning.” Today’s signing builds on the successful cooperation between NDMC and UNCCD over the past decade. The Center, whose mission is to reduce the effects of drought on people, the environment and the economy by researching the science of drought monitoring and the practice of drought planning, is an active participant in several drought-related initiatives spearheaded by the Convention, including the Intergovernmental Working Group on Drought, the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface and the UNCCD-led Drought Toolbox. These platforms are focused on supporting decision-makers and practitioners in adopting timely, proactive and coordinated approach to drought risk management. “For more than 25 years, the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has provided invaluable guidance to communities and other entities across the United States and around the world seeking to understand drought, plan for drought events and ultimately reduce the negative effects of such events,” said Mike Boehm, NU Vice President and Harlan Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at UNL. “It is an honor to work with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification to offer these essential tools more broadly to combat drought and improve lives worldwide.” The future collaboration between UNCCD and NDMC is envisioned as a working partnership that will utilize the latest science to help reduce the high human, social and economic costs of drought and water scarcity. The partnership will focus on recommending methods for integrated drought risk management that prioritize a strategic shift from emergency response to building long-term resilience through early warning, vulnerability assessment and risk mitigation. Catalyzing political will and accelerating action to enable such a shift is the ambition of the International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA) launched last November at the UN Climate Summit that brings together 30 countries and over 20 entities. At the forefront of these efforts is the drought-smart sustainable land management: adapted to the national and regional contexts, it has the potential to buffer ecosystems and communities against drought so that periods of water scarcity do not escalate to humanitarian or ecological disasters. For more information, contact: UNCCD: Ms. Xenya Scanlon Chief, Communications, External Relations and Partnerships T: +49 152 5454 0492 E: email@example.com NDMC: Ms. Leah Campbell Communications Specialist National Drought Mitigation Center University of Nebraska-Lincoln T: +1 402 472 8121 E: firstname.lastname@example.org About The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the global vision and voice for land. We unite governments, scientists, policymakers, private sector and communities around a shared vision and global action to restore and manage the world’s land for the sustainability of humanity and the planet. Much more than an international treaty signed by 197 parties, UNCCD is a multilateral commitment to mitigating today’s impacts of land degradation and advancing tomorrow’s land stewardship in order to provide food, water, shelter and economic opportunity to all people in an equitable and inclusive manner. https://www.unccd.int/ The National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln helps people, organizations and institutions build resilience to drought. Our mission is to reduce the effects of drought on people, the environment and the economy by researching the science of drought monitoring and the practice of drought planning. We collaborate with and learn from decision-makers at all levels across the U.S. and around the world. https://drought.unl.edu/
At the initiative of the Presidents of Senegal, Macky Sall, and Spain, Pedro Sánchez, leaders from over 25 countries and 20 organizations today launched the International Drought Resilience Alliance to accelerate action and help countries to be better prepared for future droughts.
The 114 member governments and 144 participating organisations of the Group on Earth Observations launched GEO Land Degradation Neutrality as a flagship initiative, seeking to accelerate land restoration for global environmental sustainability.
World leaders will launch a new alliance to boost drought resilience on Monday, 7 November 2022, at the Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference in Egypt. The high-level launch event, jointly convened by Senegal and Spain, titled, International Drought Resilience Alliance, will take place from 17:00-18:00hrs local time.