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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
UN Secretary General: Governments need to adopt a target of no more land degradation by 2020

New York, USA, 22 September 2011 – A historic United Nations General Assembly meeting on desertification and drought, the first times heads of state and government have met to discuss the issue, concluded in New York yesterday. Closing the high-level meeting attended by over 100 heads of state and government, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President of the current session of the General Assembly said "unless desertification, land degradation and drought are addressed urgently wherever they occur, the three pillars of sustainable development would be corroded." In his summary, Al-Nasser said many leaders supported the establishment of an advisory panel to strengthen the scientific basis of the work. They also stressed making the UN Convention to Combat Desertification a global policy and monitoring framework to address the issues of soil and land degradation, building a land degradation neutral world and improving funding activities to recover degraded land. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the meeting, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, said, "recent studies show that land degradation is occurring in humid, tropical areas at a faster rate than ever before. It is a phenomenon that now affects every region of the world. Let us resolve today to adopt a target of no more land degradation by the end of this decade. Let us make sustainable land-use a cornerstone of the green economy for poverty eradication and sustainable development." More than 100 Heads of State and Government and other high-ranking officials, attended the meeting three weeks before the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) at its tenth session (COP 10), to be held in Changwon, Republic of Korea, from 10 to 21 October 2011. The UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja said "to sustain life on Earth we must build a land degradation neutral world. If we do not take bold actions to protect, restore and manage land and soils sustainably, we will miss climate change, biodiversity, forests and MDG targets. We will not alleviate rural poverty and hunger, ensure long-term food security, build resilience to drought and water stress. This will lead to consequences including more political conflicts over scarce resources and continued forced migrations." "Our most significant non-renewable geo resource is fertile land and soil. Nevertheless each year, an estimated 24 billion tons of fertile soil are lost. Arable land loss is estimated at 30 to 35 times the historical rate. In the drylands, due to drought and desertification 12 million ha are transformed in new man-made deserts each year. The world has continued building towards 'a soil peak' which will have far-worse consequences than the current 'oil peak'," he said. Land degradation is a global phenomenon, with 78% of the degrading land taking place in the non-drylands. A recent report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations shows states that 900 million hectares of degraded land still offer opportunities for restoration, which is an opportunity for investment. During the opening Plenary, the UNCCD COP President, on behalf of the G77 and China and the incoming UNCCD COP10 President, Republic of Korea, as well as the representatives of the African States, the European Union and the United States of America echoed urgent calls for greater international awareness of the issue and concerted action to address it. At the beginning of the event, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, French photographer and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador previewed his new film 'Desertification'. It shows the impact the world's people have on the planet. At the launch of an earlier film he remarked, "It's too late to be pessimistic." At the press conference, Hifikenye Pohambo, President of Namibia, said "land degradation is a global problem, thus it must be addressed through joint efforts and cooperation." About the 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. The Convention focuses on all the world's drylands, home to over 2 billion people, 50% of the world's livestock and accounting for 44% of all cultivated ecosystems. The Convention's 194 Parties are dedicated to combating land degradation and mitigating the effects of drought in the drylands by improving the living conditions of the affected populations and ecosystems. Contact UNCCD Secretariat: Wagaki Mwangi, +49 228 8152820, mobile +49 173 2687593, email: wmwangi@unccd.int Yukie Hori, +49 228 8152829, mobile +49 173 2687590, email: yhori@unccd.int  

UN Secretary General: Governments need to adopt a target of no more land degradation by 2020
Actions to reverse increasing loss of productive lands in world's dry regions the focus of UN high-level meeting

More than two billion people are affected by desertification, which leads to poverty, drought, famine, demographic pressures New York, United States, 19 September 2011 – The United Nations will convene a high-level meeting on Tuesday, 20 September to focus on actions to protect the drylands, home to two billion people. Productive lands in dry regions around the world are under increasing threat due to poor land management practices and climate change. More than 12 million hectares of productive land are lost due to desertification every year, the equivalent of losing an area the size of South Africa every decade. While productive land becomes scarcer, providing food for the 9 billion people predicted to live on Earth in 2050 will require a 70 per cent increase in global food production. The UN high-level meeting aims to spur actions to reverse desertification. To develop better policies for sustainable land management with a firmer scientific basis, one of the meeting's main discussion points will be the establishment of a global scientific panel to foster stronger connections between the scientific community and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). More than 100 Heads of State and Government, or Heads of Delegation, will participate in the high-level meeting, which will open with a 9:30am plenary, followed by interactive panels and a closing plenary at 5:45pm. A short film, "Desertification", by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, cinematographer and Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme, will be screened at the meeting. "The people who live in the arid lands, which occupy more than 40 per cent of our planet's land area, are among the world's poorest and most vulnerable to hunger," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. "Frequently, they depend on land that is degraded and where productivity has shrunk to below subsistence levels." While the term desertification often conjures up visions of land turning into barren tracts of sand, it actually refers to a less dramatic but equally destructive process - the loss of the capacity to grow crops or raise livestock in arid, semi-arid or dry sub-humid areas, so-called drylands, where some 2.3 billion people live in nearly 100 countries. "This high-level meeting will provide a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the global land degradation threat and the urgent need for stronger action," UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja said. "We are all at risk. Just 6-10 inches of top soil stand between us and extinction." By controlling and reversing desertification, curbing the effects of drought and restoring productive lands, there is an opportunity to make a direct positive contribution to reducing poverty, improving people's lives and meeting the targets of the Millennium Development Goals. Addressing desertification ensures that reducing poverty and improving development are sustainable over the long term, especially with an expanding global population. After the meeting's conclusion, the President of the General Assembly will present a summary of the discussions to the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification at its tenth session (COP 10), to be held in Changwon, Republic of Korea, from 10 to 21 October 2011, and to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, often referred to as Rio +20, to be held in Rio de Janeiro from 4 to 6 June 2012. About the UNCCD Desertification, along with climate change and the loss of biodiversity, were identified as the greatest challenges to sustainable development during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Established in 1994, UNCCD is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment, development and the promotion of healthy soils. The Convention's 194 signatory countries, or Parties, work to alleviate poverty in the drylands, maintain and restore the land's productivity, and mitigate the effects of drought. More information on the UN General Assembly High-level Meeting: /meetings/global/unga/menu.php For media information, contact: UN Department of Public Information: Dan Shepard, 1 212 9639495, shepard@un.org Wynne Boelt 1 212 9638264, boelt@un.org UNCCD Secretariat: Wagaki Mwangi, +49 228 8152820, wmwangi@unccd.int Issued by the UN Department of Public Information and UNCCD

Actions to reverse increasing loss of productive lands in world's dry regions the focus of UN high-level meeting
UNCCD Executive Secretary: Governments need to set a goal of a land degradation neutral world if Millennium Development Goals are to be met

Bonn, Germany, 13 September 2011 – Speaking at a Press Briefing in Bonn ahead of the special UN High-level meeting in New York on 20 September, UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja said world leaders must put a cap on land degradation. He said every year some 12 million hectares of land are degraded. 'We should work towards a land degradation neutral world through a target of zero net land degradation. The first priority is to prevent degradation. Where the land has already been degraded, we should reclaim and rehabilitate an equivalent area of land as an offset.' The historic meeting to take place at the UN Headquarters next week will provide an opportunity for world leaders to provide political impetus and guidance for a sustained global response to the world's desertification/land degradation challenges. It will provide a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the global land degradation threat and the urgent need for stronger action to implement the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). 'There is a vaccine for the disease of land degradation. It has already been tried and tested. Now we need to roll it out worldwide. We need to invest heavily in sustainable land management globally.' 'The vaccine is being used in parts of south east Asia through agroforestry schemes, in Queensland, Australia through drought management programmes, and in Africa where Evergreen Agricultural systems have been adopted on more than six million hectares. However in many areas it is not happening fast enough.' 'We are only four years away from the Millennium Development Goal to eradicate poverty. But poverty persists in areas affected by desertification. More than a billion people are the victims of this. But it is not just the billion directly affected. We are all at risk. Yet there is gross underinvestment in these regions largely due to misperception. The remote location of drylands, political marginalization and associated lack of infrastructure have partly led to a limited access to markets, education and health facilities.' UN General Assembly Resolution 65/160 expressed concern over the increasing vulnerability of poor communities in Latin America, Caribbean, Asia, Northern Mediterranean, and Central and Eastern European Regions. He said governments need to raise this as a priority national policy issue. "Just 6-10 inches of top soil stand between us and extinction," he said. 'Productive land is a finite resource like our oceans and forests.' Looking ahead to the tenth Session of the Parties to the Convention which begins on 10 October in Changwon, the Republic of Korea, he urged Parties to continue rapid progress on strengthening the scientific basis of the Convention. He also called for major progress towards meeting the objectives of the UNCCD 10 year strategy (2008-2018) and a clear plan to rapidly integrate National Action Programmes into national policies for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. About the UNCCD Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment, development and the promotion of healthy soils. The UNCCD focuses on the drylands, which cover 41% of the Earth and are inhabited 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, up to one fifth of the surface area is steadily degrading. The Convention's 194 signatory countries, or Parties, work to alleviate poverty in the drylands, maintain and restore the land's productivity, and mitigate the effects of drought.

UNCCD Executive Secretary: Governments need to set a goal of a land degradation neutral world if Millennium Development Goals are to be met