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Welcome back, Canada

Canada Deposits its Instrument of Ratification to Re-Join the UNCCD Statement of Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD Yesterday, the Government of Canada communicated to the Secretary-General of the United Nations its accession to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). We welcome the action Canada has taken to rejoin the Convention, which will become a full party after 90 days, on 21 March 2017. The international community is facing new and growing challenges to its peace and security, wealth and sustainable development. No country is immune. No country can face these challenges alone. Many of these challenges stem in large part from the crises poor rural people are facing in meeting their daily needs of food, water, energy and income, and made worse by climate change. Canada’s contribution will take us further and faster in ensuring that the 2.8 billion people affected by land degradation today have the means and knowledge to avoid further degradation of their land and to recover what they have lost. Canada’s scientific expertise and practical experience in combatting desertification and drought can benefit rural households to improve their food and water security, and ensure every child has a fighting chance for a better life.  Further information About the Convention List of ratification Media release by the Government of Canada (external link)English  Français

Welcome back, Canada
Colombia advances on the SDG 15 agenda on “life on land” through the implementation of the National Policy for Sustainable Soil Management

According to the National Institute for Hydrometheorological and Environmental Studies (IDEAM), 40% of the national territory presents some degree of soil degradation by erosion. Additionally, it is estimated that 24% of land in Colombia is susceptible to degradation by aridity. Within the affected areas are the Colombian main cities, irrigation districts and regions with the highest population density. “Sustainable land management is a responsibility that concerns all sectors of society, so I invite you to join efforts and create joint actions aimed at protecting this natural resource that fulfills vital functions for human survival" said the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Luis Gilberto Murillo during a national event to celebrate World Soil Day, held on December 5th. In order to address this issue, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, together with other national and regional actors, are working in the implementation of the National Policy for Sustainable Soil Management. This policy seeks to promote sustainable soil management in a context in which biodiversity, water and air protection, land and disaster risk management converge, contributing to the sustainable development and the well-being of all Colombians. This policy proposes the implementation of a plan of action and the development of six strategic lines such as institutional strengthening and harmonization of standards and policies; education, training and awareness; strengthening of environmental and sectoral planning tools; monitoring of soil quality; research, innovation and technology transfer and preservation, restoration and sustainable use of the soil. Moreover, Colombia has been advancing in the assessment of soils, through the development of soil inventories, assessment of land use conflicts and degradation by erosion and salinization, among other aspects. The promotion of sustainable soil management in the region will contribute to addressing the global challenges and the fulfillment of Colombian international commitments, including: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Commitments to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought, especially efforts to achieve the national Land Degradation Neutrality targets (currently under preparation) Eradication of hunger and malnutrition and ensuring food security for a growing population Adaptation and mitigation to climate change, especially in the light of the Paris Agreement, which contains a firm commitment to address climate change and at the same time attributes to the agriculture sector a leading role in this process The Aichi Targets, which highlight an important agenda for preserving biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services.

Colombia advances on the SDG 15 agenda on “life on land” through the implementation of the National Policy for Sustainable Soil Management
Be inspired by the 15 amazing young activists!

The UNCCD Land for Life Youth Social Media Activists Challenge semi finalists' result is out. 15 semi finalists were selected to be considered for the finals. Check here  to find out more about their activism.  The Challenge aims to recognize young people efforts in protecting natural resources and promoting environmental/ land resources justice. The selected finalists will be  recognized by UNCCD secretariat for their work and will be tasked to spread the UNCCD messages, in particular, creating awareness on land related issues among young people through social media. Currently, we are launching a public voting / polling to select the finalist candidates from 9 Dec - 22 December 2016. You are invited to have your say on who qualifies for the finals by casting their vote here :  http://woobox.com/6avg72. The public votes will be counted as part of the final decision of the winners. Related link: Land for Life programme

Be inspired by the 15 amazing young activists!
UNCCD Marketplace Writers Competition winner meets Monique Barbut

Russian national and one of the winners in the recently concluded Marketplace Writers Competition, Ms. Olga Sazonova paid a visit to the UNCCD Secretariat where she was welcomed by the Executive Secretary, Mrs. Monique Barbut.  Mrs. Barbut presented to Ms. Sazonova the prizes she won for placing third in the Competition with her story “Бесценные «услуги» природы” which is loosely translated in English as, “Invaluable services of nature.” Mr. Sazonova received a certificate, a UNCCD package and a cash prize for her efforts. In presenting the prizes, the Executive Secretary expressed hearty congratulations to Ms. Sazonova and thanked her for participating in the competition. She encouraged her to help promote the UNCCD in her own country and in particularly to do her part to educate Russian speaking peoples on the concept and importance of Land Degradation Neutrality. Mrs. Barbut recalled Ms. Sazonova’s academic achievements thus far, impressing upon her that she could use her skills in both English and Russian to help people have a clearer understanding of the issues of desertification, land degradation and drought. In her response, Ms. Sazonova thanked the Executive Secretary for the opportunity to meet with her and remarked how happy and excited she was to be among the winners of this international competition. She assured the Executive Secretary that she was wholly committed to the issues of sustainability; explain that it was one reason why she is in pursuit of a second Master’s in the subject. She promised not only to participate in future Marketplace competitions, but to spread the word among her friends and colleagues. She underlined that this was indeed a special occasion for her as she considers it a great honor and privilege to meet the Executive Secretary of the UNCCD. Attending the presentation were Ms. Yoon-kyoung Cho, who organized and administered the competition; Mr. Jijo Karthikeyan who provided technical assistance; and Dr. Richard Byron-Cox, Head of the Marketplace, who conceived the idea of the Marketplace Writers Competition. They too thanked Ms. Sazonova for participating in the completion, and in congratulating her reminded that the Capacity Building Marketplace is always open to the world free of cost!

UNCCD Marketplace Writers Competition winner meets Monique Barbut
Rio Conventions Join Forces for Sustainable Development and the Future We Want

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 13 June 2012 – At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the secretariats of the biodiversity, climate change and desertification conventions and the Global Environment Facility are joining forces under the Rio Conventions Pavilion to promote implementation of these three multilateral environmental agreements on sustainable development. The 1992 Rio Earth Summit gave rise to the three Rio Conventions:  the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Twenty years on, partners from around the world are back in Rio de Janeiro to take stock of the ways these agreements have enabled the world to address the interrelated challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and combating desertification and land degradation. Running from 13 to 22 June in a dedicated space in Athletes Park adjacent to the conference centre, the Pavilion comprises daily events highlighting themes and cross-cutting issues relevant to the Rio+20 Conference and to achieving synergies between the three conventions. The Pavilion opens on 13 June with the Earth Negotiations Bulletin’s (ENB) “curtain-raiser” for the Rio+20 conference. A new mobile application designed for smartphones will be launched at the Pavilion that evening.  During the Pavilion, ENB will provide daily coverage of its events at: http://www.iisd.ca/uncsd/rio20/pavilion/?utm_source=www.iisd.org&utm_medium=web&utm_content=events&utm_campaign=uncsd2012  Themes will focus on Africa, Indigenous and Local Communities (both on 14 June), Oceans (16 June), global celebration of the World Day on Desertification (17 June), business and sustainable development (18 June), mainstreaming the issue of gender in the implementation of the Conventions (20 June), and the role of cities (22 June). A series of high-level events will be held on 21 June to mark the twentieth anniversary of the three conventions. As one of many highlights of the ten-day programme, on 20 June Lord Nicholas Stern, Pavan Sukhdev and Jeffrey Sachs, the study leaders of ground breaking economic assessments on the issues addressed by each of the three conventions, will, for the first time, meet in a joint panel moderated by Caroline Spelman, UK Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary to the Convention on Biological Diversity said:  “We cannot afford to wait any longer to tackle the interlinked challenges of climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss through concerted action at global, national and local levels. Rio+20 is an historic opportunity to learn what has worked well, and what has not, and to redouble our efforts to build the Future We Want. The Rio Conventions Pavilion is a key space to support this dialogue.” Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary said: "Global efforts to combat climate change, along with those to slow desertification and biodiversity loss, are pointing in the right direction, and governments are in many cases designing increasingly ambitious national policies. But we urgently need to accelerate the pace and scope of what is being done today to safeguard the future we want. All areas of society have crucial roles to play. At the pavilion, we will for example be showcasing the potential of business to act and demonstrate how momentum for change is building via public- private partnerships. And we will address the crucial role women play in making their societies more climate-resilient."  Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary to the UNCCD said: “Efforts to combat desertification by fostering sustainable land management practices have potential co-benefits for climate change adaptation, biodiversity conservation and sustainable use through protecting and restoring the productive potential in drylands.” GEF CEO and Chairperson, Monique Barbut said: “The GEF came into being the year before the first Earth Summit but it was here that we really got our mission as the financing mechanism for the three Rio Conventions. In becoming the largest public funder of projects to protect the global environment, we have moved far along the path of scaling up projects and developing synergies linking biodiversity conservation, climate change and sustainable land management. The GEF’s solid relationships with donor and developing nations, NGOS and local communities have helped make us both a provider and a catalyst of investment in the environment. The leverage generated by these relationships is what helps the GEF make such a significant contribution to sustainable development.” The Pavilion will host presentations, discussions and panels covering the successes of integrating climate change, biodiversity and sustainable land management into sustainable development policies.  The Pavilion at the Rio + 20 conference has been made possible by the strong support of the Government of Brazil, along with substantial contributions from the UK, Germany, the Republic of Korea, Norway and other partners. The Programme for the Pavilion at Rio + 20 can be found at: www.riopavilion.org/programme/ Follow the Pavilion on twitter at: https://twitter.com/#!/RioPavilion Notes for editors The Rio Conventions Pavilion is a platform for raising awareness and sharing information about the latest practices and scientific findings on the co-benefits that can be realized through implementation of the three Rio Conventions. The Pavilion is a collaborative effort between the Secretariats of the three Rio Conventions and the Global Environment Facility, in addition to a growing list of other global and local partners.  It was launched during the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010 at the margins of the CBD Conference of the Parties (CBD COP10) in Nagoya, Japan. It was subsequently held at the UNFCCC COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico. In 2011, at the UNCCD COP 10 in Changwon, Republic of Korea, and the UNFCCC COP 17 in Durban, South Africa. For more information contact:  David Ainsworth, information officer, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity david.ainsworth@cbd.int or +1 514 561 2720.

Rio Conventions Join Forces for Sustainable Development and the Future We Want