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Monique Barbut, secretaria ejecutiva de la CLD, reclama soluciones a largo plazo contra la sequía y no sólo respuestas inmediatas

Bonn, Alemania, 22 Febrero 2016 – “Protejamos el planeta. Recuperemos la tierra. Involucremos a la gente´ es el eslogan para el Día Mundial de Lucha contra la Desertificación de este año, que se celebrará el 17 de junio. Hago un llamamiento a la solidaridad de la comunidad internacional hacia todos aquéllos que están luchando contra los estragos causados por la sequía y las inundaciones. Busquemos soluciones a largo plazo, no sólo respuestas inmediatas a desastres que están destruyendo comunidades enteras”, instó Monique Barbut, secretaria ejecutiva de la Convención de las Naciones Unidas de Lucha contra la Desertificación (CLD). Las sequías y las inundaciones que golpean a las comunidades de muchas partes del mundo están vinculadas con El Niño, que  se espera afecte hasta a 60 millones de personas de aquí a julio. En algunas áreas, incluidas la zona nororiental de Brasil, Somalia, Etiopía, Kenia y Namibia, los efectos de El Niño están desembocando en severas y recurrentes sequías en los últimos años. A los hogares que dependen de la tierra para cubrir sus necesidades alimenticias y agrícolas les resulta imposible recuperarse, especialmente cuando esta tierra está degradada.  Y lo que es más. Estas condiciones no sólo devastan familias sino que desestabilizan comunidades enteras. Los casos que no se atienden de manera urgente pueden convertirse en factores que empujen a la migración y desembocar en graves abusos contra los derechos humanos así como en amenazas contra la seguridad a largo plazo.  “Hemos visto esto antes  –en Darfur, tras cuatro décadas de sequías y desertificación y, más recientemente, en Siria, tras la larga sequía que duró desde 2007 hasta 2010–. Resulta trágico ver a una sociedad destruirse cuando podemos reducir la vulnerabilidad de las comunidades con actos simples y asequibles como restaurar las tierras degradadas que habitan y ayudar a las comunidades a establecer mejores sistemas de alerta temprana contra la sequía y a gestionar y prepararse para la sequía y las inundaciones”, dijo Barbut.  Barbut hizo estas declaraciones cuando anunció los planes para el Día Mundial de Lucha contra la Desertificación, que se celebrará el 17 de junio.  “Espero que el Día Mundial de Lucha contra la Desertificación de este año marque un punto y aparte para cada país. Necesitamos mostrar, gracias a la acción práctica y a la cooperación, cómo cada país está abordando o apoyando estos desafíos desde el principio para evitar o minimizar los potenciales impactos de los desastres, no sólo en el último momento, cuando los desastres han ocurrido”, afirmó. La Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas designó el 17 de junio como un día conmemorativo para concienciar a la ciudadanía sobre los esfuerzos internacionales para combatir la desertificación y los efectos de la sequía.  Barbut agradeció al Gobierno y la población de China su ofrecimiento para albergar el evento conmemorativo a escala mundial, que se celebrará en el Gran Salón del Pueblo, en Pekín.  “China tiene una gran experiencia restaurando tierra degradada y desiertos provocados por la acción humana. Este conocimiento puede y debe beneficiar a iniciativas como la Gran Muralla Verde africana, el reverdecimiento del sur de África y la iniciativa 20x20, en Latinoamérica. Podemos crear un mundo más igualitario y resistente al cambio climático”, dijo.  “También hago un llamamiento a los países, al sector privado, a las fundaciones y a la gente de buena voluntad para que apoyen a África cuando sus países se reúnan este año para desarrollar políticas y planes concretos para preveer, monitorear y gestionar las sequías”, afirmó Barbut.  La campaña del Día Mundial en 2016 también promocionará los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible adoptados en septiembre del año pasado. Los Objetivos incluyen alcanzar la neutralidad en la degradación de la tierra para el 2030. Es decir, un mundo en el que la tierra restaurada sea igual o mayor a la degradada al cabo del año.  Para más información sobre el Día y eventos previos, visite: https://www2.unccd.int/actions/17-june-desertification-and-drought-day Contacto para el Día Mundial de Lucha contra la Desertificación: Yhori@unccd.int Para información para los medios: wwischnewski@unccd.int

Monique Barbut, secretaria ejecutiva de la CLD, reclama soluciones a largo plazo contra la sequía y no sólo respuestas inmediatas
Monique Barbut, secrétaire exécutive de la CNULCD, appelle à trouver des solutions à long terme et non de simples expédients pour lutter contre la sécheresse

Bonn, Allemagne, 22 Février 2016 – « Protégeons la planète. Restaurons les terres. Mobilisons-nous. Tel est », rappela Monique Barbut, secrétaire exécutive de la Convention des Nations Unies sur la lutte contre la désertification (CNULCD), « le thème adopté cette année pour la Journée mondiale de lutte contre la désertification célébrée le 17 juin. J’en appelle à la solidarité de la communauté internationale avec les populations qui luttent contre les ravages de la sécheresse et des inondations. Trouvons des solutions à long terme au lieu de simples expédients pour remédier aux catastrophes qui détruisent les communautés ». Les sécheresses et les inondations qui s’abattent sur les communautés de nombreuses parties du monde sont liées au phénomène El Niño, qui devrait affecter jusqu’à 60 millions de personnes d'ici au mois de juillet. Dans certaines régions, dont le nord-est du Brésil, la Somalie, l’Éthiopie, le Kenya et la Namibie, les effets d’El Niño viennent s'ajouter à des années de sécheresses sévères et récurrentes. Les ménages et les petits agriculteurs qui dépendent de la terre pour leur subsistance et leu nourriture  sont dans l’impossibilité de s’en remettre, en particulier lorsque les terres sont dégradées. Qui plus est, cette situation n’a pas pour seul effet de dévaster les familles et de déstabiliser les communautés. Si l’on ne tente pas d’y remédier dans les meilleurs délais, elle peut devenir un facteur favorisant les migrations et se solder par de graves violations des droits de l'homme et des menaces à long terme pour la sécurité. « Nous avons déjà vu cela au Darfour à la suite de quatre décennies de sécheresses et de désertification », poursuivit Monique Barbut, « et plus récemment en Syrie, après la longue sécheresse des années 2007-2010. Il est dramatique de voir s'effondrer une société, alors qu’il nous serait possible de réduire la vulnérabilité des communautés par des actions simples et peu dispendieuses consistant par exemple à restaurer les terres dégradées sur lesquelles elles vivent et à aider les pays à mettre en place de meilleurs systèmes d'alerte précoce en cas de sécheresse ainsi qu’à prévoir et gérer sécheresses et inondations. » Madame Barbut faisait ces remarques en annonçant les plans prévus cette année pour la Journée mondiale de lutte contre la désertification, qui se célèbre le 17 juin. « J’espère que cette année, » déclara-t-elle encore, « la Journée mondiale de lutte contre la désertification marquera un tournant pour tous les pays. Nous devons montrer, par des actions concrètes et par la coopération, que chaque pays aborde ou relève ces défis en amont afin d’anticiper ou de minimiser les impacts potentiels des catastrophes, et non pas seulement en aval et après que ces dernières se soient produites ». L'Assemblée générale des Nations Unies a désigné la journée du 17 juin pour sensibiliser l'opinion publique aux efforts internationaux de lutte contre la désertification et les effets de la sécheresse. Madame Barbut remercia le gouvernement et le peuple chinois pour avoir offert d'accueillir l’événement international organisé pour de célébrer cette journée, lequel se déroulera dans le Grand Hall du Peuple à Pékin. « La Chine », remarqua-t-elle, « dispose d’une expérience considérable en matière de remise en état des terres dégradées et des déserts engendrés par l'homme. Ces connaissances peuvent et doivent profiter à des initiatives telles que la Grande muraille verte africaine, le reverdissement en Afrique du Sud et l’Initiative 20 X 20 en Amérique latine. Nous pouvons créer un monde meilleur, plus équitable et résilient au changement climatique. J’appelle en outre les pays, le secteur privé, les fondations et les gens de bonne volonté à soutenir l’Afrique lorsque les pays se réuniront plus tard dans l'année pour élaborer des politiques et des plans concrets visant à anticiper, surveiller et gérer les sécheresses ». La campagne de sensibilisation de la Journée mondiale 2016 favorise par ailleurs la réalisation des objectifs de développement durable adoptés en septembre dernier. L’une des cibles de ces derniers consiste à atteindre d’ici à 2030 un monde neutre en termes de dégradation des terres. C’est-à-dire un monde où la quantité des terres remises en état serait égale ou supérieure à celle des terres dégradées chaque année. Pour de plus amples informations sur la Journée et les événements précédents : https://www2.unccd.int/actions/17-june-desertification-and-drought-day Personne à contacter pour la Journée mondiale de lutte contre la désertification : Yhori@unccd.int Informations à l'intention des médias : wwischnewski@unccd.int

Monique Barbut, secrétaire exécutive de la CNULCD, appelle à trouver des solutions à long terme et non de simples expédients pour lutter contre la sécheresse
UNCCD ES Monique Barbut Calls for Long-Term Solutions Not Just Quick Fixes To Drought

Bonn, Germany, 22 February 2016 – “Protect Earth. Restore Land. Engage People. This is the slogan for this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification to be held on 17 June. I am calling for solidarity from the international community with the people who are battling the ravages of drought and flood. Let us find long-term solutions, not just quick fixes, to disasters that are destroying communities,” urged Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The droughts and floods beating down on communities in many parts of the world are linked to the current El Niño, which is expected to affect up 60 million people by July. In some areas, including in North Eastern Brazil, Somali, Ethiopia, Kenya and Namibia, the El Niño effects are coming on the back of years of severe and recurrent droughts. It is impossible for households that rely on the land for food and farm labor to recover, especially when the land is degraded. What’s more, these conditions do not just devastate families and destabilize communities. When they are not attended to urgently, they can become a push factor for migration, and end with gross human rights abuses and long-term security threats.  “We have seen this before – in Darfur following four decades of droughts and desertification and, more recently, in Syria, following the long drought of 2007-2010. It is tragic to see a society breaking down when we can reduce the vulnerability of communities through simple and affordable acts such as restoring the degraded lands they live on, and helping countries to set up better systems for drought early warning and to prepare for and manage drought and floods,” Barbut said. Ms Barbut made the remarks when announcing the plans for this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification, which will take place on 17 June. “I hope that World Day to Combat Desertification this year marks a turning point for every country. We need to show, through practical action and cooperation, how every country is tacking or supporting these challenges at the front-end to preempt or minimize the potential impacts of the disasters, not just at the back-end after the disasters happen,” she stated. The United Nations General Assembly designated 17 June as the observance Day to raise public awareness about international efforts to combat desertification and the effects of drought. Ms Barbut thanked the Government and People of China, for offering to host the global observance event, which will take place at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.  “China has vast experience in nursing degraded lands and man-made deserts back to health. This knowledge can and should benefit initiatives such as Africa’s Great Green Wall, the re-greening in southern Africa and the 20 X 20 Initiative in Latin America. We can create a better, more equal and climate change-resilient world,” she noted. “I also call on countries, the private sector, foundations and people of goodwill to support Africa  when the countries meet later in the year to develop concrete plans and policies to pre-empt, monitor and manage droughts,” Ms Barbut stated. The 2016 World Day campaign is also advancing the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in September last year. The Goals include a target to achieve a land degradation-neutral world by 2030. That is, a world where the land restored back to health equals to, or is more than, the amount degraded every year. For more information on the Day and previous events, visit: https://www2.unccd.int/actions/17-june-desertification-and-drought-day Contact for World Day to Combat Desertification: Yhori@unccd.int For Media information: wwischnewski@unccd.int

UNCCD ES Monique Barbut Calls for Long-Term Solutions Not Just Quick Fixes To Drought
Drylands must not be ‘deserts’ of investment, top UNCCD official urges

Bonn, Germany, 17 June 2011 – “Yesterday, the ‘First Africa Drylands Week’ ended with a simple, yet new, message: the drylands are areas with great potential for the development and sustainable growth of its populations and nations. We must translate this into reality in economic terms with regard to the costs of inaction in relation to the costs and benefits of action in order to convince treasuries that the drylands should no longer be ‘deserts’ of investment,” Mr. Luc Gnacadja, the UN’s top advisor on land degradation, desertification and drought, said this morning. “I am certain that the discussions and field trips this week [in Senegal] have clarified much better than I could ever do in words, that the challenges of desertification, land degradation and drought while real, are solvable,” he added. Mr Gnacadja was speaking in Dakar, Senegal, at the global observance of the World Day to Combat Desertification, which also ended today. At a parallel event, taking place in Madrid, Spain, world football star Mr Carlos Marchena was designated a Drylands Ambassador of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The events in Dakar brought together over 100 participants, including scientists, policy-makers and representatives of the international and civil society organizations and community groups, to consider ways to ensure the long-term sustainable management of the forests in the drylands. The Government of Senegal hosted both events, which were organized with the leadership of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in cooperation with the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF). In its joint press release dispatched from the events, the CPF said the First Africa Drylands Week “demonstrated renewed solidarity and unity throughout the Circum-Saharan region. Scientific and operational partnership, based on comprehensive consultation and inclusive approaches and methodologies between the development and cooperation partners, countries and civil society will reinforce governance systems, including sustainable land management, land tenure and secure livelihoods. Under this framework, individual countries, or groups of countries will be able to develop their own initiatives that will together contribute to successful land management, combat effects of climate change, prevent and combat desertification, conserve biodiversity and mitigate the vulnerability of rural and urban societies and ensure food security for the tens of millions of families, across the Sahara and the Sahel.” The CPF’s 27 partners are among the largest international organizations that focus on forest issues. About UNCCD Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development issues to the land agenda. It focuses on drylands, which cover 41% of the Earth and are in habited by over 2 billion people. Drylands account for 44% of the world’s cultivated ecosystems and have provided 30% of all the world’s cultivated plants. However, eight of the world’s 25 biodiversity ‘hotspots’ are in the drylands and up to one fifth of the drylands have been steadily degraded since the 1980s. The Convention’s 193 Parties are dedicated to improving the living conditions of the world’s poorest 1.2 billion resident in the drylands, to maintaining and restoring the land’s productivity, and to mitigating the effects of drought.

Drylands must not be ‘deserts’ of investment, top UNCCD official urges
Qatar to champion food security issues in the drylands

Bonn, Germany, 9 June 2011 – A special event expected to establish a Global Drylands Land Alliance (GDLA) is planned for the eve of the UN High level meeting to be held on 20 September 2011. The special event, to be co-hosted by the Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP) and the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), was one of the outcomes of meetings held by the chief executives of the two institutions on 15-17 May 2011 in Doha, Qatar. During his meeting in Doha at the invitation of the QNFSP, Mr. Luc Gnacadja, UNCCD Executive Secretary, recalled that the Convention’s aim for the future is “to forge a global partnership to reverse and prevent desertification/land degradation and provide a global framework to support the development and implementation of national and regional policies, programmes and measures through scientific and technology excellence. The vision and mission of the GDLA would be to achieve food security and sustainable development in the world’s drylands at national, regional and global levels. Building a global alliance of governments, research and development institutions, NGOs and the private sector to partner in the sustainable development of the drylands and food security worldwide is a step in that direction.” Mr. Fahad Al-Attiya, Chairman of the QNFSP, with Mr Gnacadja, UNCCD. Mr. Fahad Al-Attiya, Chairman of the QNFSP, said the Global Drylands Land Alliance is a partnership “to catalyze the UNCCD process and implementation” and demonstrate the shared vision and mission of the Alliance and the Convention’s Ten-Year Strategy. He concurred that the alliance can constitute a tool to achieve the UNCCD vision and mission. Mr. Gnacadja and Mr. Al-Attiya committed to work hand-in-hand to ensure that drylands issues receive the required attention from the world leaders. Mr. Gnacadja also met with Mr. Ahmad Bin Abdullah Bin Z. Al-Mahmoud, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar. Mr. Gnacadja commended the leadership of the Government of Qatar in championing the dryland issues, including those related to food security. Minister Al-Mahmoud expressed Qatar’s commitment to play its role in these respects, stressing that the world has become a global village. Mr Al-Mahmoud and Mr. Gnacadja underscored the historic nature of the upcoming High level meeting on desertification and discussed the future role that Qatar could play in UNCCD processes. Minister Al-Mahmoud said his Government was committed to playing a leadership role on these matters. Mr. Gnacadja visited other Qatari institutions, particularly those involved in environment and energy resources, including the Qatar Foundation, where he held exchanges on the Qatar Sustainable Water and Energy Utilization Initiative (QWE), the Qatar Energy and Environment Research Institute (QEERI) and the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP). He urged them to advance the agenda of the GDLA by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by five upcoming milestones, namely, the UN General Assembly’s High level meeting (20 September 2011), the UNCCD tenth session of the Conference of the Parties (Changwon, South Korea, 11-20 October 2011), the Rio Plus 20 Summit (Rio de Janeiro, 4-6 June 2012), the Food Security Summit (Doha, November 2012) and the eleventh session of the UNCCD COP (September 2013). In September 2010, the Office of the Heir Apparent of Qatar hosted a similar side event on the margins of the General Assembly meeting on the Millennium Development Goals. For more information on the UNGA High level meeting contact: Melchiade Bukuru UNCCD New York Liaison Office Email: bukuru@un.org Tel: +1 917 367 4081 For all other media-related inquiries, contact: Wagaki Mwangi UNCCD Secretariat Email: wmwangi@unccd.int Tel: +49 228 815 2820

Qatar to champion food security issues in the drylands
World Environment Day 2011: Message from UNCCD ES Luc Gnacadja

Bonn , Germany, 5 June 2011 – The arid zone forests are the quintessence of ‘Nature at Humanity’s Service’, the theme of this year’s World Environment Day. These forests are the “invisible” backbone of the humanity’s food security today. One in every three plants under cultivation originated here and now provides the globally-consumed crops like wheat, barley, sorghum, corn, cabbage, potatoes and olives. Half of the world’s livestock lives off the arid zone forests. And a significant proportion of the 2 billion people who live in the drylands directly depend on these forests for their day-to-day sustenance, energy and wood needs. The services rendered by the arid zone forests go beyond this food provisioning service. The arid zone forests play a critical ecosystem service. They are a key part of the climate regulating system and sustain valuable global biological diversity. They are inhabited by the world’s largest concentration of mammals, and over 50,000 plant and 1,500 bird species. And so, just as they have done for many generations in the past, the resources from the arid zone forests continue to sustain humanity. But for how long? Two policy failures, in particular, undermine the long-term sustainability of the arid zone forests. First, largely due to an underestimation of their value, the arid zone forests remain “invisible” to policy-makers. Consequently, the policy incentives required to sustainably conserve and use the arid zone forests are underdeveloped. Second, whereas the forest, land and water resources are naturally interdependent and function as a trilogy, the prevalent policy approach to their conservation is to focus on each resource singularly. The consequent policy imbalance in resource prioritization undermines the sustainability of all. For us to ensure that the future generations enjoy equal, if not better, utility of these resources, policy-makers and practitioners alike must think outside the box in the management of the drylands forests. This means, first, focusing on the causes, not symptoms, of their degradation. Second, it calls for a careful and coordinated calibration of the land, forest and water policies for the drylands. Third, it makes the payment for ecosystems in the drylands a requirement, not an option. Lastly, it underscores the need to mainstream soil improvement in all sustainable development frameworks. The 10-year Strategy of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (2008-2018) is designed with the kind of vision we are called to adopt today; where the nature in and from the drylands serves humanity now, and into perpetuity. One strategic objective is to improve the conditions of the drylands ecosystems affected by land degradation. Another is to improve the livelihoods of the populations in the drylands regions affected by land degradation or desertification, as the phenomenon is commonly referred to in respect of the drylands. As a measure of progress, the reports submitted during each second reporting cycle will quantify two aspects, starting in 2012. First, they will quantify the proportion of the population living above the poverty line, and second, the status of the land cover. The change in direction signals an increase or decrease of poverty or deforestation as the case may be. If the land cover is increasing, we can expect its forests and vegetation to continue servicing humanity. Similarly, if relatively more people are exiting poverty, then poverty as a cause of forest degradation is addressed, and the services provided by the drylands are more assured. In order for the real economic value of the services rendered by the drylands, including its arid zone forests to be correctly determined, the 2nd UNCCD Scientific Conference will be held in 2012, under the theme, ‘Economic assessment of desertification, sustainable land management and resilience of arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas’. Arid zone forests are the prototype of nature at humanity’s service, but are an incredibly taken for granted resource. Let this year’s World Environment Day be the year of an unequivocal commitment to the protection of the arid zone forest, land and water resources. Together we can improve the livelihoods of the communities affected by poverty, and eliminate a major cause of the degradation of the forest, water and land resources. Doing so, would enhance food security and secure the resources in the drylands for posterity. I applaud the United Nations Environment Programme for its unceasing quest for environmental sustainability, and congratulate India and UNEP, on this auspicious occasion, for reminding us that nature is not to be taken for granted. We abuse it at our peril.

World Environment Day 2011: Message from UNCCD ES Luc Gnacadja