“From Pilots to Scale – Supporting Countries to Translate the Convention into Action”, was the theme of the evening reception hosted by the Global Mechanism on 14 October on the occasion of COP12.
Opening the event, Markus Repnik, the Global Mechanism’s newly appointed Managing Director stated “the adoption of Land Degradation Neutrality as a Sustainable Development Goal provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to create a new momentum for the implementation of our Convention.”
Pedro Lara Almuedo explained how the Global Mechanism is “on the move” - making Land Degradation Neutrality action a top priority. It will also assist countries both in Land Degradation Neutrality target setting and implementation. The GM will assist countries to tap into financial resources for land restoration and sustainable land management.
Samson Awopeju made a passionate intervention on the intrinsic linkages between land, resilience and security as an avenue to safeguarding individual livelihoods and collective security. Land degradation and insecurity hot spots frequently overlap and without adaptation strategies and resilience building geared to responsibly managing and restoring our natural capital, land degradation will continue to be a significant factor that threatens rural livelihoods, triggers forced migration and aggravates conflicts over limited natural resources.
He illustrated how the Global Mechanism is supporting local communities to build resilience by focusing on disaster risk reduction, drought management, and forest and landscape restoration. During the evening, the team highlighted the GM’s work to support communities across the Sahel in climate resilient development, as part of the Great Green Wall initiative and its efforts to scale up the Great Green Wall Initiative, to jointly “Grow a World Wonder", since the Great Green Wall is part of the solution to many global challenges, including food security, conflict prevention and environmental migration.
Nevena Bakalar explained that the private sector plays a pivotal role in land use and management. To halt and reverse the current rate of land degradation, there is an urgent need for a paradigm shift in land stewardship from “degrade-abandon-migrate” to “restore-sustain-protect”. The Global Mechanism is assisting countries and businesses through economic valuation of natural capital and land use change, including carbon accounting and demonstrating examples of successful business opportunities in land restoration and sustainable land management.
The event also marked the launch of the Global Mechanism’s new website, celebrated on the rooftop of the Rio Convention Pavilion, under the stars.