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UNISDR Asia Partnership Forum shares updates in disaster risk reduction

Bangkok, Thailand – 14 - 15 December 2017 – The UNISDR Asia Partneship Forum (IAP), attended by participants from the Asia region, UN agencies, CSOs, international organizations, inter-regional institutions and private sectors, focused on sharing global and regional updates in disaster risk reduction. The IAP was initiated in 2004 as an informal multi-stakeholder forum to facilitate the implementation of disaster risk reduction, and the subsequent Hyogo Framework for Action in Asia. Since then, the Forum has evolved into the support mechanism for the biennial Asia Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR).  The discussions included the assessment of progress made in the implementation of the Asia Regional Plan and stakeholders commitments, update on the plans and status of preparations for the AMCDRR in Mongolia in July 2018 and the ways to enhance the understanding of the Sendai Framework Monitor. The representative of the Government of India chaired the first session on the progress in the Implementation of the Sendai Framework and the Asia Regional Plan for Implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The representatives of UNISDR and UNESCAP briefly introduced the Regional Plan and Road Map for Disaster Risk Reduction in line with the SDGs.   The second session on Progress in Disaster Risk Reduction was moderated by the Mongolian representatives during which delegates from participating governments delivered their reports on the progress made at national level. At the third session, the representatives of intergovernmental and regional organizations, other stakeholders and UN agencies provided updates on the progress made in disaster risk reduction.  Mr. Yang Youlin, Coordinator of the UNCCD Asia Regional Coordination Unit in meeting with some delegates and representatives of UN agencies proposed that the forum should consider the dust/sand storms and drought issues for inclusion on the agenda of AMCDRR 2018 which will take place 16-19 July 2019, in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.  The Sendai Priorities discussed by the Forum working groups included: •    Understanding disaster risk •    Disaster risk governance •    Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience •    Preparedness and build-back-better •    Sendai Framework Monitoring •    Coherence of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development The session also reviewed brief reports on three main developments and key challenges in the implementation of the Asia Regional Plan. The Asia-Pacific region is among the most disaster-prone regions in the world. In the last ten years, the region faced over 2 600 disasters causing around 385 000 deaths and affecting over 1.7 billion people.  

UNISDR Asia Partnership Forum shares updates in disaster risk reduction
First Asia-Pacific Climate Week held in Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand – 13 -15 December 2017 – ministers and high-level officials from the departments of finance, the private sector and leaders from the Asia-Pacific countries participated in the First Climate Week, which identified ways to scale up climate action and find innovative financing solutions for the transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient economies.   The First Asia-Pacific Climate Week (APCW 2017) culminated with the consideration of a Regional Climate Action Agenda which focuses on  strengthening regional cooperation among state and non-state stakeholders to promote greater achievement in key economic sectors by 2020.   The three-day event was co-organized by UNESCAP, UNFCCC, UNDP, UNEP-DTU, ADB, IETA, IGES, and TGO.  The UNCCD Secretariat Asia RCU staff participated in the Asia Pacific Carbon Forum, Plenary Sessions, workshop sessions, High Level Ministerial Segment and side events.    Addressing the ministerial segment on 15th December, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP emphasized that enabling vulnerable countries to gain access to international capital markets to finance the green transition can be one of the most effective ways to finance climate action, and every dollar invested will leverage many more.   In his remarks, Mr. Inia Seruiratu, High-level Champion for Global Climate Action and Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Risk Management and Meteorological Services of Fiji, stressed that meaningful discussions shared during this High-Level Segment will help move key stakeholders in the region toward a clear Regional Climate Action Agenda, which unifies the region’s climate ambitions with the need to ensure that financial flows are consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.   In his address Mr. Dirk Forrister, CEO and President of IETA stated that improving the quality of data and transparency are two key goals towards the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement. Achieving these goals will help finance to flow and results to be verified, and would also clear the path to market-based solutions that can vastly scale up the reductions Paris calls for.   Mr. James Grabert, Director of the Sustainable Development Mechanisms Programme at UNFCCC underlined that success in achieving the Paris Agreement objectives will require an ‘all-hands- on-deck’ approach, bringing together the private sector, cities, civil society and other non-state actors.    For more information visit the event page.   

First Asia-Pacific Climate Week held in Bangkok
Unlocking the Investment Potential of Forest & Landscape Restoration

“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

Unlocking the Investment Potential of Forest & Landscape Restoration
The Global Mechanism supports forest and landscape restoration processes

“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.”

The Global Mechanism supports forest and landscape restoration processes