On 17 June, the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund Project was presented in Beijing on the occasion of the official celebration of the World Day to Combat Desertification.
The event was organized by the government of the People’s Republic of China, hosted by the State Forestry Administration (SFA). Mr. Wang Yang, Vice Premier of China chaired the opening of the ceremony at the People’s Congress Hall. Ms. Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) emphasized the importance of China in spearheading work to achieve land degradation neutrality and ensuring that it becomes humanity’s defining achievement of the 21st Century.
The keynote addresses and dialogue sessions were held by high-level speakers and attended by nine Ministers and Vice Ministers from seven countries, along with 400 participants. The event also included an afternoon session which addressed thematic dialogues such as the launch of the Joint Action Initiative, the report titled “Unlocking the Sustainable Potential of Land Resources: Evaluation Systems, Strategies and Tools”, which was produced by the International Resource Panel of UNEP, and an award ceremony.
This year’s event theme emphasized the importance of coordination and cooperation to restore and rehabilitate land, while significantly contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Land Degradation Neutrality became a global headline in 2015. The same year, the achievement of LDN by year 2030 was officially set under target 15.3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The LDN Fund project was presented by Mr. Simone Quatrini, Coordinator and Team Leader of the UNCCD Global Mechanism, as an introduction to Thematic Dialogue 2, entitled “Role of Innovative Investment for Technical Cooperation”. The session was moderated by Mr. Wu Zhimin, Director General of International Forestry Cooperation Center, State Forestry Administration (SFA). The session panelists included Mr. Byong Hyon Kwon, UNCCD Drylands Ambassador and Founder of Korea Future Forest, Mr.Chen Peng, Deputy Director General, China Green Foundation (CGF), Mr. Frank Radstake, Principle Environment Specialist, Asian Development Bank, Mr. Xi Shusen, Director, Inner Mongolia Society of Ecology and Entrepreneurs, Mr. Romano De Vivo, Head Environmental Policy Representative, Syngenta, and Mr. Zhao Yong, Executive Secretary of Kubuqi Desert Forum, Elion Group. Mr. Quatrini presented the emerging features of the LDN Fund, including the investment strategy and investment opportunities identified to date.
This stimulated a rich debate on the potential of blended finance to scale up successful business cases in land restoration and sustainable land management in China and the whole Asian region. A number of promising initiatives that contribute to LDN and could potentially attract foreign investments were showcased in the ensuing session, entitled “Unlocking the Sustainable Potential of Land Resources: Evaluation Systems, Strategies and Tools”.
For more information:
Nevena Bakalar Rakocija
The Global Mechanism
Tel. +49 228 815 2841
nrakocija (at) unccd.int