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Hosted by the European Investment Bank (EIB), the second meeting of the LDN Fund Advisory Group took place on 28 September 2016 in Luxembourg. The meeting reviewed progress made in the LDN Fund project since the first meeting, held in April 2016 at WWF International in Gland, Switzerland. AG Members noted the considerable progress made in all structural aspects of the LDN Fund construction and acknowledged the transition from a design to implementation phase, renewing their support to the project. Furthermore, all AG Members gave expert advice and valuable guidance to the joint GM/Mirova project team on the following aspects: Environmental and Social Standards Technical Assistance Facility Outreach at UNFCCC COP22 Next steps (e.g. fundraising) Concerning the Environmental and Social Standards document, it was agreed that an online public consultation process will be opened in mid- October on the Global Mechanism’s website. For more information: Simone Quatrini The Global Mechanism Tel. +49 228 815 2860 squatrini (at) unccd.int
The exhibition entitled “Save the Earth, Save the Land” was opened at UN Headquarters on 28 September 2016. In his opening remarks, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stressed the urgent need to address the causes and consequences of drought, desertification, and land degradation (DLDD) which impede efforts to eradicate poverty and the promise to leave no one behind, which is the main goal of the sustainable development goals. “As population grows, we will need more land and more productivity, not less”, he stressed. “We must do so in a way that is climate resilient and sustainable. SDG 15 aims to protect restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems. That means we must sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, reverse land degradation, and end the loss of biodiversity in the world,” he emphasized. The Secretary-General commended the more than 100 countries that had already agreed to set voluntary targets and emphasized that “the 2030 agenda for sustainable development was a road map for peace, dignity, and prosperity. But that vision depends on maintaining a healthy planet.” Melchiade Bukuru, Chief of the UNCCD liaison office, then addressed the audience on behalf of the UNCCD Executive Secretary, Monique Barbut. In his statement, Bukuru reminded the audience that the the poorest and most vulnerable people were those living under the scourges of desertification, land degradation and drought. Achieving land degradation neutrality would empower those populations to join others in the enjoyment of prosperity and in this context, he stressed that “addressing DLDD issues through the target of land degradation neutrality therefore appeared to be an SDG accelerator.” H.E Mr. Kwon Byong–Hyon, President of the Future Forest, and UNCCD drylands Ambassador also spoke on the occasion. He indicated that he had created the Green Corps with the belief that the Earth is Land, and that” our entire habitation would be lost when we lose our fight against land degradation”. Ambassador Kwon indicated that through the 16 years of work with Future Forest, he had not only realized the importance of preserving land, but that countering desertification was indeed possible. The exhibition is co-hosted by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), The Future Forest, the Korea Foundation, and the World Federation of the United Nations Association. The exhibition and event attracted high level participation from Ambassadors, delegates, civil society and the business sector, including high level representatives of Samsonite and Subaru (China) and included a group of Chinese artists from the Forest-China organization, who presented artwork to the Chief of the UNCCD Liaison office.
The milestone of 100 participating countries in the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) target setting process is cause for celebration! In 2015, 14 pioneer countries completed a LDN pilot project. Today, 100 countries are engaged in the process. This milestone on the LDN target setting journey is a cause for celebration as it reflects growing political interest of UNCCD country Parties in the LDN vision contained in SDG target 15.3. It embodies a bold and global ambition to shift the world to a more sustainable and resilient trajectory. It signals a new and more holistic approach to promoting the implementation of the UNCCD and effectively links UNCCD issues with national sustainable development agendas, illustrating that it is not, in fact, impossible to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality with sound planning and country-specific targets and actions. Thanks to the financial, technical and operational support provided by many donors and partners along with the coordinated efforts of the Secretariat and the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD, the LDN TSP is being implemented in a rapidly growing number of countries around the world. Land degradation has become a global issue. The multiple benefits of LDN are also global: climate change mitigation and adaptation; zero hunger; access to clean water; decent work and green jobs. In the words of Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, “We are beginning to see that with vision and bold action at the local and national levels, we can change the way we interact with nature. When we achieve land degradation neutrality, we can stabilize our natural resource base. We can revitalize landscapes and in doing so, entire communities.” This is why we encourage all countries, and particularly developed country Parties, to join this global movement, to see for themselves how the LDN vision can improve their land-based natural capital for current and future generations. We would like to take this opportunity to thank those donors and partners, who are already contributing to making the LDN vision a reality.
Stockholm, Sweden, 1 September 2016 – On the occasion of the world water week in Stockholm, the UNCCD coordinated a panel discussion event together with the German Development Institute (DIE), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). The event was attended by approximately 50 participants. The UNCCD’s presentation focused on the importance of leveraging drought as a ‘connector’ and as an ‘opportunity’ to harness synergies and minimizing tradeoffs. It was highlighted that in order to reduce society’s vulnerability to drought hazards and conflicts, we need to create a mechanism that links drought, food security, climate, water, migration and conflict. This will require the involvement of various actors from different strands of governments, civil society, international organizations and - more importantly- the affected people themselves. The need for policy coherence, capacity development and multi-sectoral approach was also highlighted. Read the event summary.
“Eighty percent of the potential land suitable for forest and landscape restoration (FLR) can be found in drylands”, said Eduardo Rojas, Assistant Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), during the closing session of a two-days expert consultation on Private investments in Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR), co-organized by FAO and the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD on 30 June and 1 July 2015 in Rome, Italy. Rojas also underlined that FLR contributes to the provision of livelihood opportunities for communities in rural areas and the reduction of forced migration. The workshop brought together some 30 international experts from multilateral, bilateral and non-governmental organizations, research institutes and the private sector to identify ways for increasing private sector investments in FLR. Currently, it is estimated that 12 million hectares of land are degraded every year, resulting in a total stock of more than two billion hectares of degraded land that offer opportunities for restoration, and three quarters of this area being suitable for mosaic restoration. Initiatives around the world aim at up-scaling FLR in order to contribute to global ecosystem restoration goals and promote land degradation neutrality. Impact investors like the Moringa Fund invest in agroforestry systems such as coffee plantations in order to promote sound and viable management strategies at landscape level. Private companies such as EcoPlanet Bamboo promote largescale bamboo restoration for the production of fibre. At the same time, regional initiatives such as TerrAfrica in Africa and “Initiative 20 by 20” in Latin America, as well as national initiatives such as Payment for Environmental Services for sustainable cork oak production in Portugal, supported by WWF and Coca Cola, offer a variety of mechanisms to upscale investments in FLR. The workshop identified concrete opportunities to upscale FLR, for example through aggregating financial resources at landscape level, bringing together different stakeholders and sectors involved, thus preventing inter-sectoral or resource-use conflicts. However, participants also highlighted that certain key conditions must be in place in order to tap into increased finance for FLR, including an adequate enabling investment environment, the existence of local champions with the necessary skills, and the availability of bankable investment proposals that focus on promising value chains within landscapes. Missing information on possible returns on investments (e.g. ex-ante cost benefit analysis) as well as investment risk assessment and mitigation mechanisms, unclear tenure situation, and lack of coherence among possible investors and landowners/users have been highlighted among the key barriers that need to be overcome for increased investments in FLR. In order to identify key action required to upscale FLR, FAO and the GM of the UNCCD – through its Rome Liaison Office - established a partnership to deliver a Discussion Paper on “Sustainable Finance for FLR”. The paper will review best available information, discuss issues and success stories related to FLR funding, and assess opportunities to increase access to financing in support to FLR implementation at scale. The workshop report and the Discussion Paper will be made available soon on the FAO and GM websites. All the material from the workshop, including background papers and presentations, is also available via at the links below. Related links: Workshop materials and presentations The FAO FLR Mechanism The Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration The Bonn Challenge
“The UNCCD and its 195 country Parties work with a broad range of stakeholders not only to protect and sustainably manage land resources, but also to rehabilitate degraded land. On 20 and 21 March, the Bonn Challenge 2.0 – a high level summit – brought together governments and international organizations committed to achieving a clear vision: to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2020. Of the 2 billion hectares with restoration potential, identified by the Bonn Challenge, 75% are considered mixed-use or “working” landscapes, in which people manage the land as a mosaic of multiple uses, increasing productivity in a sustainable manner while protecting natural capital for future generations. With the Bonn Challenge as a backdrop, the Global Mechanism (GM) of the UNCCD hosted two meetings which contributed to this process and also promoted relevant operational synergies between UNCCD priorities and those of relevant partner institutions working on forest and landscape restoration efforts at the country level: On 19 and 20 March, the GM hosted a meeting of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR), of which it is a member. This technical meeting brought together representatives from IUCN, UNEP, WRI, USDA Forest Service, the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, IUFRO, FAO, UNEP-WCMC, CIFOR, the CBD secretariat, ICRAF, and the GM/UNCCD. It took stock of the work of GPFLR members to date, and discussed how this partnership could evolve in the near future in order to best mobilize the knowledge and expertise of its members in support of forest and landscape restoration activities on the ground. On 21 March, the GM also hosted a meeting of the Forest Ecosystem Restoration Initiative (FERI), bringing together representatives from the CBD secretariat, the Republic of Korea’s Forest Service, Biodiversity International, UNEP-WCMC, IUFRO, FAO, CIFOR, ICRAF, ITTO, IUCN, the GEF, WRI, and the GM/UNCCD. Following the official launch of FERI at the CBD COP 12 in Korea in October 2014, this was its first operational meeting, which further defined the involvement of relevant partner organizations and the scope of upcoming activities, including the organization of relevant capacity building workshops, the assessment of degradation and restoration potential at (sub)national level, and the provision and coordination of technical support.”