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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
Minister Calls on Africans to Find the Political Will to Rehabilitate Land

Maseru, Lesotho. 4 March 2014 – “Too often in the past, we have exploited, ignored and come into conflict with the needs of our environment,” said Khotso Matla, Minister of Forestry and Land Reclamation of the Kingdom of Lesotho during the observance of African Environment Day/Wangari Maathai Day which was held yesterday. This year, Lesotho in Southern Africa hosted the Day which is celebrated across Africa. The host country for the continent-wide event is held on a rotational basis by the five sub-regions. Matla concluded his remarks by saying that our challenges is “to find the political will, the vision and the common sense to get together for the radical changes that will be essential and are crucial if we really mean business. If we do not see the urgency for such changes, our independence, our sovereignty as Africans, and integrity will  be in danger of becoming just hollow words.” Attended by dignitaries and journalists from all regions of Africa, the observance event was highly symbolic. The event and addresses were delivered by the Fika-le-Mohala rock, the historic venue where King Moshoeshoe 1 (pronounced moo-shwe-shwe), Lesotho’s founding father, addressed his people on national matters, including the founding of the nation. During the celebrations, the tree planting was held in memory of Nobel Peace Prize winner the late Wangari Maathai, a renowned environmental activist and crusader for tree planting in Africa. The African Union re-titled Africa Environment Day in her honor following her demise in 2011. Addressing the Day’s theme, Combatting Desertification in Africa: Enhancing Agricultural Productivity and Food Security, Rhoda Tumusiime, Africa Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture said, “it is undeniable that agriculture cannot thrive in Africa if we do not pay due attention to the rational utilization of natural resources, including water and land.” “As other regions of the world turn to Africa looking for the energy, water and food resources need to generate and power their economies, we must ensure that the continent’s abundant natural resources, are by priority, harnessed to catalyze our sustainable development,” Tumusiime added. Lesotho, a country of 2 million people is land-locked, where only 8% of the land is highly productive. The rest is a mountainous plateau, of which nearly 70% are rangelands with thin and fragile soils whose productivity is threatened by overgrazing. Leaders of various international organizations, underscored the critical nature of combating land degradation in Africa, marked the Day as the starting point of the global campaign towards the World Day to Combat Desertification to be held on 17 June. Globally, over half of all agricultural land is moderately and severely degraded, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). And climate stresses account for 62.5% of all stresses on land degradation in Africa, according to the Natural Resources conservation Service of the US Department of Agriculture. National Reports submitted by Parties to the UNCCD show that all the countries in Africa claim they are affected by desertification. In her address at the celebrations, Cecilia Kinuthia-Njenga, Head of UNEP’s Southern African Office, said “the world has witnessed an unprecedented sharp decline in terrestrial ecosystems services and functions during the last few decades. Forests and wetlands have been converted to agricultural land to feed a growing population, but at a cost that is not sustainable” by quoting a recent UNEP report. “We need to be more efficient, in the way we produce, consume and supply our land-based products,” she said. Over 300 people, including local schools and communities in the Ha Masana area, where the historic natural rock is located, attended the celebrations and planted the trees. Some 2,000 tree seedlings were delivered for the event. Africa Environment Day was established in 2002, by a decision of the African Union Summit to raise awareness about the benefits of the environment to the lives of the African people, and the threats possible by desertification and drought, among others.     About the UNCCD Emerging from the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment, development and the promotion of sustainable land management. The Convention’s 195 signatory Parties work to alleviate poverty in the drylands by promoting a specific global response to desertification, land gradation and drought. Each Party is expected to agree and deliver against explicit commitments according to the Convention. For more information contact: Wagaki Wischnewski External Relations, Policy and Advocacy Unit Email: wwischnewski@unccd.int Tel:  +49 173 268 7593 (mobile) For interviews contact: Yukie Hori Spokesperson, UNCCD Secretariat Email: yhori@unccd.int Tel:  +49 228 815 2829 +49 173 268 7590 (mobile)

Minister Calls on Africans to Find the Political Will to Rehabilitate Land
Tackling Desertification Critical for Our Security Warn UN leaders on Africa Environment Day

Maseru, Lesotho, 3 March 2014 – To mark Africa Environment Day, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has issued Desertification: The invisible frontline, a publication showing the link between desertification, climate change and the growing threats to national and international security. There is no systematic research to date showing that desertification, climate change and conflict interact. Scholars, leading security organizations and practitioners have often alluded to this possibility, but this is one of the first initiatives from the UNCCD recently to highlight possible relations among these dynamics. The study shows an overlap in the regions in Africa that are highly vulnerable to desertification and where seasonal temperatures as well as incidences of drought and erratic rainfall have risen over the last 40 years, with areas that had high incidences of terrorist attacks in 2012 and of conflict and food riots in 2007-2008. Food insecurity, water conflicts, migration, internal displacement, political radicalization and state failure are increasingly evident in countries where large poor populations that depend on fragile or desertified lands are increasingly exposed to extraordinary weather events, according to the report. “Climate change is bringing more extreme weather like prolonged droughts and flash floods to more communities – the communities, who are most vulnerable to desertification... World Day to Combat Desertification on the 17th of June is a unique opportunity to remind everyone that land degradation can be effectively tackled and that solutions exist,” according to Monique Barbut, UNCCD Executive Secretary. Barbut delivered the remarks in Maseru, the Kingdom of Lesotho in Southern Africa, via a video-recorded message, at an event organized to kick-start the global campaign leading up to the 17 June World Day. The campaign promotes an ecosystem-based approach as a way to climate-proof land and secure its productivity for present and future generations. It is spearheaded by the UN and intergovernmental organizations behind the 2010-2020 UN Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification (UNDDD), including the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). “The loss of arable land to desertification is a huge obstacle to eradicating poverty and hunger,” said Kanayo Nwanze, President of IFAD. “Every day at IFAD, we are confronted with the human cost of this. Subsistence farmers, nomadic herders and other people who depend on land and rain for their survival are hit the hardest. Their land is less productive and their soil is less resilient." "For millions of people, halting desertification is a matter of life and death. When people cannot earn an income from the land or feed themselves, they must migrate or starve. If we are going to eliminate rural poverty and make communities more resilient to climate change, we have to address how land and natural resources are managed,” continued Nwanze. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Biodiveristy (CBD) emphasized the importance of the conservation, effective management, restoration and sustainable use of biodiversity for ensuring the maintenance of ecosystem services in times of climate variability and change. “As sister Rio Conventions, the CBD and the UNCCD have many areas of convergence, the most significant being the work to conserve, restore and sustainably utilize dryland ecosystems,” Braulio said. “In particular, I would like to highlight Aichi Biodiversity Target 15 which calls for the enhancement of the resilience of ecosystems and the restoration of at least 15 per cent of degraded ecosystems, thereby contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation and to combating desertification.” Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson said "Nowhere else in the world are the threats of desertification more inextricably linked to food security and political and economic stability than in the drylands of Africa. Since its inception, the GEF has been working with all African nations in overcoming these threats by investing in natural resource management innovations that are transformational at scale." "The GEF commitment is based on the recognition that having farmable land means engaging in good land management practices to fight desertification; making water available to support agriculture keeps rural economies strong; and supporting local livelihoods helps people not to simply survive, but thrive. From the oases of North Africa to the Sahelian region of West Africa and highlands of Eastern Africa, GEF investments have demonstrated time and again that these approaches can make a difference. Let's expand, scale up, do more, and do it better." A campaign guide with infographics, facts, data and examples of land degradation and sustainable land management were also released at the event that took place during the celebrations of the annual African Environment Day/Wangari Maathai Day being observed today across Africa. The campaign will peak on 17 June with the observance of the World Day to Combat Desertification in all countries. Resources are available here About the UNCCD Emerging from the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment, development and the promotion of sustainable land management. The Convention’s 195 signatory Parties work to alleviate poverty in the drylands by promoting a specific global response to desertification, land gradation and drought. Each Party is expected to agree and deliver against explicit commitments according to the Convention. For more information contact: Wagaki Wischnewski External Relations, Policy and Advocacy Unit Email: wwischnewski@unccd.int Tel:  +49-173-268 7593 (mobile) For interviews contact: Yukie Hori Spokesperson, UNCCD Secretariat Email: yhori@unccd.int Tel:  +49 228 815 2829 +49 173 268 7590 (mobile)

Tackling Desertification Critical for Our Security Warn UN leaders on Africa Environment Day