Bonn, Germany – A tree planting ceremony to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of UNCCD took place at the UN Campus in Bonn, attended by the Mayor of Bonn and many other distinguished guests.
UN staff members, visitors and media gathered in front of the Langer Eugen building, where a young Liquidambar (sweetgum) tree was planted, symbolizing friendship and cooperation between the UN and its host city of Bonn as well as longevity, vision and ambition for a better future for all.
"It is twenty five years since the UNCCD was adopted. So, this is a year of celebration. We celebrate what has been achieved. We think more about land now; there is an increasing realization that land feeds us and provides us with much of what we really need. It can help us mitigate and adapt to climate change and stem the loss of biodiversity. We know more about land now; our data and science on land use are now cutting edge and increasingly space-based. We can take smarter decisions, so land use in our 197 Parties gets back into balance." – said UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw during the ceremony.
"Wherever the climate changes, our land will degrade, and our biodiversity will die. Where trees grow, our land will stay healthy and nourishing, offering habitats and preserving life. So there is no better way to mark the anniversary of the Convention dedicated to combating land degradation than planting a tree." – emphasized Mayor of Bonn Ashok Sridharan.
"Look how the world has changed in twenty five years. Now climate is a global issue, it is on the global agenda, everyone is striving for it." – said Mr. Stefan Schmitz of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The initiative is part of the celebrations that mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of UNCCD and the 2019 World Day to Combat Desertification.
You can access the Executive Secretary's full speech here.