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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 Conference on Desertification Concludes with Success

Bonn, Germany, 19 April 2013 – A major conference of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), convened onto assess progress in the implementation of the Convention’s 10-Year Strategy and to find ways to enable affected countries to better address desertification and drought, concluded today with success. The eleventh session of the Committee for the Review of Implementation of the Convention (CRIC11), one of the Convention’s subsidiary bodies, took place from 15-19 April in Bonn, Germany. “This has been a very constructive discussion, where we’ve looked at what really works and where the roadblocks are. We have heard clearly from the Parties that there are too many indicators and some of them need to be revised,” Chair of CRIC 11 Mary Rowen said. “As someone, who has been involved with this Convention since 1998, I see great progress in making our efforts sustainable economically, ecologically and socially.” “The latest reporting has showed that 168 countries have declared themselves affected by desertification, whereas in the 1990s the number was 110 countries. This means that either desertification is spreading or our understanding of being affected has increased,” UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja said. Mr. Gnacadja highlighted the key achievements by the Parties, noting they have already met the overall target in awareness raising and there is a very positive trend in the number of countries that have established their financing strategies. One of the remaining challenges, he said, is translating the increased awareness into national polices through the alignment of national action programmes with The Strategy. “There has been an interactive and theme and action-oriented exchange of experiences and we can expect the impact in the years to come. We look forward to seeing how the Conference of Parties in Namibia in mid-September will take all the discussions into consideration and make informed decisions,” Gnacadja said. CRIC11 reviewed the first four operational objectives, of The Strategy, namely, advocacy, awareness raising and education; the alignment of national policy frameworks with the 10- Year Strategy; science, technology and knowledge; and capacity building. It also reviewed investments at country-level and ways to engage with the private sector and civil society organizations. In 2007, Parties to the Convention adopted the 10-Year strategy and framework for the implementation of the Convention (2008-2018) to streamline their work. They also agreed to apply the Results Based Management (RBM) approach to measure and assess progress. The approach obliges all stakeholders, from the secretariat, to Parties and civil society organizations, to report their achievements every two years using qualitative and quantitative data built on a standardized template for a better assessment of what progress is made overall. In 2009, Parties also agreed to use the indicators on poverty and land cover to assess the impact of their sustainable land management activities on affected populations and ecosystems. The 2012 reports reviewed at CRIC11 are the first to contain this data. CRIC11 Chair Rowen stated that the Committee on Science and Technology will provide guidance on the recommendations to the Parties with regard to the impact indicators and the challenges faced by affected countries in their implementation. The final report from CRIC11 with recommendations will be transferred for consideration and decision to the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP), which will take place in Windhoek, Namibia, from 16 to 27 September 2013. The announcement of hosting the COP was made at the conference by Deputy Minister for Environment and Tourism of Namibia, Mr. Pohamba Shifeta, at the opening of the CRIC11. For more information please contact: Wagaki Mwangi UNCCD Press and Media Officer Email: wmwangi@unccd.int, Telephone: +49-228 8152820 +49 173 268 7593 (mobile)

UN Conference on Desertification Concludes with Success
IAEA and UNCCD Join Forces to Strengthen Good Soil Management Practices in Dryland Areas

Bonn, Germany, 18 April 2013 – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) today signed an agreement to collaborate in the nuclear technologies to strengthen the assessment of soil erosion and monitor improvements over time. The Practical Arrangement, as it is known, was signed by Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of UNCCD, and Ana Claudia Raffo-Caiado, Director of the IAEA’s Division of Technical Cooperation Programme Support and Coordination (TCPC), during the eleventh session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention under way in Bonn, Germany. “Land degradation threatens over 1.5 billion people in over 168 countries,” Raffo-Caiado, Director of the IAEA’s Division for Technical Cooperation Programme Support and Coordination, said during the signing ceremony. “IAEA builds country capacities to use radionuclide and stable isotopic techniques to study soil erosion and land degradation problems. These capacities are essential for soil conservation, land use planning and decision making,” she added. Gnacadja said “this practical cooperation with IAEA will help Parties to the Convention to gain access to technical support on the application of isotopic and nuclear techniques to assess the soil and water status and identify hot spots of land degradation.” “And it is a timely cooperation. Last week, scientists lamented the lack of bio-physical data on the status of soil and water. This week, representatives of the Parties have shared the capacity challenges they faced in measuring the impact of their activities on change in the land cover. This technology enables willing Parties to transcend such challenges,” he said. The Practical Arrangement, which runs until 31 December 2017, aims to, at once, enhance conservation of land and soil resources for poverty reduction and environmental sustainability and support the health and productivity of drylands for the well-being of present and future generations. Studies suggest that over 20 billion hectares of fertile soil is lost through the erosion of cropland every year and that every 10 years, in the drylands, an area the size of South Africa becomes unproductive just from desertification and drought. Many of the 195 Parties to the UNCCD have elaborated their national action programmes in order to reverse these trends. Last year, world leaders agreed to strive for a land-degradation neutral world so that further land degradation is avoided. Where it is inevitable, degrading land would be offset by restoring an equivalent amount of degraded land, ideally in the same ecosystem and the same timeframe. The leaders also mandated the UNCCD to monitor, globally, land degradation and land restoration in the drylands. “With the help of IAEA and these nuclear techniques, we can improve our understanding of and access to high quality data on land and soil dynamics. By preventing degradation and rehabilitating degraded land we are protecting one of the world’s most vital, almost non-renewable, natural resources, and building the resilience of populations and ecosystems,” Gnacadja said. The Arrangement enables UNCCD Parties willing to participate in IAEA soil management projects to strengthen the scientific basis of the Convention and advocacy by applying the science of radionuclides in efforts to improve land productivity and minimize the impacts of drought. “The IAEA technical cooperation programme in soil and water management uses radionuclides to assess the extent and amount of soil erosion, the effectiveness of soil and water conservation strategies in retaining water and applied nutrients for food production under both rainfed and irrigated agricultural systems,” Raffo-Caiado stated. “IAEA projects also use environmentally friendly tracer elements to determine optimal placement and timing of fertilizers and water, to identify crop residue management practices and to determine how much nitrogen plants can capture from the atmosphere,” she added. Cooperation is foreseen in the exchange and dissemination of information, participation in relevant scientific networks and activities, and in joint educational and training courses. For further information, on the Arrangement contact: International Atomic Energy Agency: Rick Kastens, Section Head, Strategic Partnerships, Department of Technical Cooperation, IAEA. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification:  Louise Baker, Senior Adviser – Partnerships UNCCD.  For media interviews, contact: Komila Nabiyeva, Knabiyeva@unccd.int

IAEA and UNCCD Join Forces to Strengthen Good Soil Management Practices in Dryland Areas
Cost of Inaction on Desertification Higher than Cost of Action, Scientists Conclude

Bonn, Germany, 14 April 2013 – Desertification, the degradation of the land in the world’s dryland areas, now affects 168 countries that are Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the latest reports submitted by the Parties show. This is much higher than previous estimations of 110 countries. Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD made the revelation today during the opening of the eleventh session of the Convention’s subsidiary body that reviews progress in the Convention’s implementation – the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC). CRIC 11 is meeting from 15-19 April in Bonn, Germany. “We are at the half-way point of implementing the 10-year strategy for 2008-2018. Preliminary results from the latest reporting shows that some of the targets have been met, but the policy-related targets are far from being achieved,” Gnacadja said. “This interssessional meeting of the CRIC is vitally important. It gives Parties and observers a chance to discuss and learn from each other about what works and what needs more work in terms of addressing drought and land degradation in drylands,” said Mary Rowen, Chair of CRIC 11. “We are at a point where we are examining our impact indicators and are also looking at progress on some of our process indicators. We are looking forward to a robust and lively exchange of views on implementation of the first four operational objectives of the 10-year strategy,” she added. These first four operational objectives are advocacy, awareness raising and education, the alignment of national policy frameworks with the 10-Year Strategy, science, technology and knowledge, and, lastly, capacity building. “We will also be discussing investments at the country implementation level and look forward to gaining a better understanding of national and multi-national financial flows. In addition, we will discuss how best to engage the private sector as we move forward,” she said. In 2007, Parties to the Convention adopted the 10-Year strategy and framework for the implementation of the Convention (2008-2018) to streamline their work. They also agreed to apply the Results Based Management (RBM) approach to measure and assess progress. The approach obliges all stakeholders, from the secretariat, Parties to civil society organizations, to report their achievements every two years using qualitative and quantitative data built on a standardized template for a better assessment of what progress is made overall. In 2009, Parties also agreed to use the indicators on poverty and land cover to assess the impact of their sustainable land management activities on affected populations and ecosystems. The most recent reports are the first to contain this data. In the first reporting cycle, 2010-2011, 112 countries submitted the reports by the deadline. In the 2012-2013 cycle, a total of 80 reports were submitted by Parties. “This is the second reporting cycle using performance indicators. With these reports we can now carry out a trend analysis that tells us how we are doing,” Gnacadja said. “This is also the first time that Parties have provided data on the impact of their activities on poverty and change in the land cover in the areas affected by desertification. Less than half of the Parties submitted this information by the deadline for submission, but it is still a good start. It provides a baseline from which to assess improvements” he said. CRIC11 Chair Rowen said the session “will strive to encourage exchange of information and ideas among participants so that at the forthcoming Conference of the Parties to be convened later this year, Parties can take decisions based on the information gained that will support measures to enhance the implementation at national, sub-regional and regional level in line with the Convention's strategic framework.” CRIC 11 will end Friday, 19 April, with recommendations for action by the Conference of the Parties. During the opening session, Hon. Pohamba Shifeta, Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Namibia, made the offer to host the next meeting of the Conference of the Parties in September 2013. For more information contact: Wagaki Mwangi UNCCD Press and Media Officer Email: wmwangi@unccd.int +49 228 8152820 +49 173 2687593 (mobile)

Cost of Inaction on Desertification Higher than Cost of Action, Scientists Conclude