Representatives of 15 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and 5 international partner agencies met in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 20-21 July to discuss and jointly launch the land degradation neutrality (LDN) target setting process in LAC.
Facilitated by the Global Mechanism and the Secretariat of the UNCCD, co-hosted by the governments of Argentina and of Trinidad and Tobago, and supported by a significant number of bilateral and multilateral partners, the workshop enabled Latin American and Caribbean countries to discuss a practical methodology for defining national voluntary LDN targets and the elements needed to implement this methodology at national level, as part of the process to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular the SDG goal 15.
In their opening remarks, both Mr. Moreno, Secretary of Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Sustainable Development of Argentina, and Mr. Repnik, Managing Director of the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD, agreed that “As a new vehicle for UNCCD implementation, the LDN vision provides countries an innovative approach to address multiple Sustainable Development Goals in an effective manner, bringing together different national development agendas – from agricultural policy to climate action – and offering countries the possibility of tapping into unprecedented climate finance opportunities”.
Through engagement in the articulation of LDN targets and associated land restoration measures, and the promotion of operational synergies with the national UNFCCC and CBD processes, as well as with relevant land restoration efforts such as Initiative 20x20, “the LAC region is in a particularly advantageous position to implement bold LDN actions against climate change, considering that the land sector alone is responsible for approximately 58% of the GHGs emissions of the entire LAC region”, Mr. Vergara, Coordinator of the World Research Institute’s Initiative 20x20, declared.
Highlighting three key elements on which a successful LDN target setting process should be based , Ms. Polanco, National Focal Point of Dominican Republic, referred to: “(i) a political decision making process that is based on a solid LDN baseline elaborated upon the best available data and a sound methodology; (ii) a collaborative effort that meaningfully involves a broad range of stakeholder that participate in the stewardship and use of land resources; and (iii) a strong political commitment with clear country leadership in order to effectively streamline the LDN vision into the national SDG agendas.”
This regional workshop was followed by the first LDN national stakeholder consultation meeting for Argentina, on 22 July. At the opening, Mr. Ravine Bergman Argentina’s newly appointed Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, highlighted the importance of the LDN vision, recalling “the ethical obligation that we all have, both individually and as a society, to ensure that our land-based natural capital is well managed for future generations”, and arguing that “nothing is profitable if it is not sustainable”. He also tweeted his commitment to achieving LDN in Argentina.
This is the fourth in a series of regional inception workshops, following those in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and Asia, under a global initiative led by the Global Mechanism and the Secretariat of the UNCCD to support countries in achieving the LDN vision – as of today 95 countries have committed to this challenge. The next workshop on LDN target setting will take place from 14 to 15 October 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya, for new countries expressing their interest in joining this global effort to achieve a Land Degradation Neutral word by 2030.
Download the Workshop Report (1.2 MB