UNCCD welcomes Switzerland’s new contribution to sustainable land management
10 May 2023
Sustainable land management & restoration
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: press [at] unccd.int
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.
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.
Produced jointly by the secretariats of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), with…