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Systematic monitoring and evaluation of activities carried out under the UNCCD started in 2014. It is intended to strengthen the external credibility and accountability of the secretariat and the Global Mechanism, and to enhance their internal culture of learning. The evaluation of the GM activities in developing the LDN Fund with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation was recently completed. The evaluation report and the related management response can be accessed from the following links: Evaluation report Management response
Mediterranean countries commit to restore at least 8 million hectares of degraded forest ecosystems by 2030. An important target for achieving Land Degradation Neutrality Through a series of thematic discussions on all aspects of forest and landscape restoration, including governance and intersectoral coordination, monitoring and evaluation, restoration techniques and good practices, the Silva Mediterranea partner countries confirmed their willingness to achieve a common restoration objective, hence the Agadir Commitment to restore at least 8 million hectares of degraded forest ecosystems by 2030. Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) has been part of the key issues discussed in the framework of the 5th Mediterranean Forest Week (MFW 5), gathering representatives from more than 20 countries in the Mediterranean region. Under the theme, “Towards an enhanced regional cooperation to restore Mediterranean landscapes: improving resilience for the benefit of people and environment”, the main objective of the event was to discuss the launch of a Regional Mediterranean Restoration Initiative. In a speech delivered in the high level panel of the MFW 5 closing ceremony, Pradeep Monga, Deputy UNCCD Executive Secretary, confirmed support of the UNCCD to this regional initiative and highlighted how the UNCCD efforts will also accelerate achievement of the Mediterranean ambition to achieve the SDG 15 to “protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”. Chaired by the facilitator of the Global Partnership for Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR), Peter Besseau, the high level panel highlighted the importance of the Mediterranean pledge in the framework of the Bonn Challenge. The Global Mechanism of the UNCCD (GM) played a key role as an international partner involved in the organizing committee of the event. In an introductory presentation Ludwig Liagre, Programme Officer of the GM, stressed the important role of LDN to achieve forest and landscape restoration, stating, “The LDN Target Setting process in particular can deliver sound data to better quantify the restoration targets and define realistic pledges”. Further, he highlighted the role of the GM in supporting partner countries in developing LDN Transformative Projects which will deliver contributions in terms of climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation, food, water, energy and green jobs, among potential co-benefits. The GM organized a session on sustainable financing for forest and landscape restoration and land degradation neutrality, which addressed the diversity of existing financing solutions and discussed relevant innovations. Boris Spassky, Investment manager at the Fund Management Company Mirova, explained the importance of mobilizing private investments for FLR at scale. He presented the LDN Fund project as an innovative solution for public private partnerships. A European Investment Bank (EIB) representative, James Ranaivoson, also emphasized the importance to support LDN finance. More information: The Agadir Commitment Mediterranean Forest Week 5 (external website) Silva Mediterranea (external website) (Photos: Forest Communicator Network MED NE)
A Call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) in the co-development and future management of the LDN Fund Technical Assistance Facility has been launched by Mirova. The LDN Fund Technical Assistance Facility (TA Facility) will be established in parallel with the LDN Fund to support projects seeking investment from the Fund. The TA Facility will provide grants and/or loans to project developers for project preparation or technical assistance in the structuring of projects with a proven/attractive business model. The LDN Fund team is looking for an organisation to assist in the development and management of the TA Facility. Interested candidates should submit their applications by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or email@example.com at the latest by 5th April 2017 at 5:00 pm CET. Best regards, The LDN Fund Team Download the Terms of Reference - LDN Fund Expressions of Interest TAF Manager LDN Fund Brochure
The Mali singer and actress, Fatoumata Diawara visited the UNCCD Executive Secretary Monique Barbut at the UNCCD headquarters on 22 March. Fatoumata came to Bonn, Germany, to perform at the opening of the “Over the Border Music Diversity Festival”. Fatoumata is also known as a strong advocator for gender and environment issues. Her powerful performance at the Festival opening transmitted the reality of life in Africa, highlighting problems that vulnerable people and communities face in the continent. Her lyrics about war and conflict, the role of women and youth remind the audience of the importance of tackling the root causes of such problems, many of them stemmed from desertification and land degradation. During her visit to the UNCCD secretariat, she discussed with the Executive Secretary some ongoing activities to combat desertification and land degradation, such as the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative. They also talked about the role that artists can play as messengers of the people who do not have means to appeal their hardships. UNCCD is supporting the “Over the Border Music Diversity Festival”. The festival will end on 2 April.
By 2025, 1.8 billion people will experience absolute water scarcity, and 2/3 of the world will be living under water-stressed conditions. In the meanwhile, we continuously waste precious natural resources like land and water. A number of statistics indicate that we are wasting our natural capital at an accelerating pace. Poorly-managed natural capital is not only an ecological liability but also a social and economic threat. The overexploitation of natural capital can be disastrous, and not just in terms of land degradation and water scarcity. The loss of ecosystem productivity and resilience makes many regions more prone to extreme weather events such as floods, landslides and droughts. Drought and water scarcity are considered to be the most far-reaching of all natural disasters, causing short and long-term economic and ecological losses as well as significant secondary and tertiary impacts. In the coming decades, drought is projected to increase in frequency, severity, duration and spatial extent. More and more people will suffer, and even fight, because of water scarcity. This year, the World Water Day sends a message to everyone for taking action on reducing and reusing wastewater under the theme, “Why waste water?” Think about this. Collectively, women from Sub-Saharan Africa spend about 40 billion hours a year collecting water. How much water do you waste a day? Why waste water? Further readings: World Water Development Report 2017, “Wastewater, The Untapped Resource”Factsheet World Water Day 2017Issues: Land and Drought
In 2013, the Conference of the Parties decided to establish a Science–Policy Interface (SPI) to facilitate a two‐way science–policy dialogue and ensure the delivery of policy‐relevant information, knowledge and advice on desertification/land degradation and drought (DLDD). The SPI is composed of 20 members and three observers, who are mostly scientific experts. The SPI is currently pursuing its work programme assigned for the biennium 2016‐2017. In 2015, the COP decided that the work conducted by the SPI and its overall achievements since its establishment will be reviewed at COP 13 in order to decide on the future functioning of the SPI. In this context, the UNCCD secretariat, with advice from the CST Bureau, commissioned an assessment that will serve as a background for the SPI review at COP 13. Part of the data collection for the assessment consists of an online survey targeting all UNCCD stakeholders. It is now open for responses in three languages (English, French and Spanish) and can be accessed through the links below. Time that is needed to answering the survey questions is estimated at 5-10 minutes. https://www.surveymonkey.de/r/About_the_SPI https://www.surveymonkey.de/r/A_propos_de_l_interface_science-politique https://www.surveymonkey.de/r/Acerca_de_la_ICP