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Worldwide land degradation undermines well-being of 3.2 billion people, IPBES report warns

26 March 2018 – Medellín, Colombia – A landmark 3-year assessment report produced by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and approved at the 6th session of the IPBES Plenary, identifies land degradation as the main cause of species loss and the driver of mass migration. Worsening land degradation caused by human activities is undermining the well-being of two fifths of humanity, driving species extinction and intensifying climate change. It is also a major contributor to mass human migration and increased conflict, according to the world’s first comprehensive evidence-based assessment of land degradation and restoration. Providing the best-available evidence for policymakers to make better-informed decisions, the report draws on more than 3,000 scientific, government, indigenous and local knowledge sources. Learn more: UNCCD Lead Scientist Barron Joseph Orr welcomes IPBES thematic assessment on land degradation and restoration Read the full press release from IPBES   Photo credit: Popsuievych/Shutterstock.com 

Worldwide land degradation undermines well-being of 3.2 billion people, IPBES report warns
A Better World with Goal 15 on Life on Land

A Better World – Actions and Commitments to the Sustainable Goals, Goal 15: Life on Land, is a joint publication of Tudor Rose, a prominent UK book publisher, and UNCCD. It will show why it is smart and strategic to focus on the land degradation neutrality target of avoiding, reducing and reversing land degradation in the race to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. First, it offers solutions to most of the Goals and, therefore, would help to accelerate the achievement the Goals. Second, it brings together different actors and sectors, saving money and effort. Electronic copies will be ready for High Level Political Forum in July 2018 where governments will report progress their achievement of Goal 15, Life on Land. A limited number of hard copies will be available in September during the United Nations General Assembly. Click on the pdf attachment for more information about the publication A Better World, Actions and Commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals - Goal 15: Life on Land. This page has been updated. The pdf attachment contains proposed content for the book and the background image showing land restoration is new and provided by the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs of Turkey. For information about the UNCCD partnership with Tudor Rose contact: Wagaki Wischnewski, wwischnewski@unccd.int For information about the publication, production and distribution of the product, contact: Sean Nicklin, sean.nicklin@humandevelopmentforum.org.

A Better World with Goal 15 on Life on Land
Global innovators unite in Bonn to tell the story of SDGs

23 March 2018 – For the second time, the city of Bonn welcomes the Global Festival of Action, serving as a testing ground for fresh ideas and daring ways to spread the message of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  While SDGs provide a blueprint for a better world, in the words of Deputy Secretary-General of the UN Amina Mohammad, they cannot be achieved by governments alone. SDG actors worldwide, including business, academia, indigenous groups, women and young people need to find new outlets for translating great ideas into global action.   Exploring extended reality as a way to engage people in the global sustainable movement, UNCCD's Global Mechanism presented the film about the Great Green Wall Initiative at the festival's Virtual Reality Zone. The movie, which puts the viewers in the middle of the desert experience, has premiered at the Paris Climate Change Conference and has been exhibited at events and public spaces around the world, generating funding and new partnerships. To invite young festival goers to become a part of the sustainable development process, the dynamic Capacity Building Marketplace (CBM) team offered a quiz on the importance of achieving Land Degradation Neutrality for the realization of the SDGs. Visitors to the UNCCD festival booth explored learning, funding and career opportunities available through the capacity-building platform created for young people and by young people, and many expressed interest in establishing partnerships between the CBM and their own capacity-development initiatives. The festival celebrated outstanding achievements in advancing SDGs throughout the world by giving the first United Nations SDG Action Awards in the categories of communicator, connector, includer, innovator, mobilizer, storyteller, and visualizer. The UNCCD Deputy Executive Secretary  Mr. Pradeep Monga presented the "Visualizer Award" for the most innovative or impactful use of citizen voices to communicate with governments and the public. Read more: Land and the SDGs Land degradation neutrality

Global innovators unite in Bonn to tell the story of SDGs
The first regional workshop on PRAIS reporting takes place in Turkey

Antalya, Turkey – 15 March, 2018 – 62 experts from 22 countries of Northern Mediterranean, Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia attended the first regional training workshop on the new UNCCD reporting process. Participants included UNCCD national focal points, representatives of the National Statistic Offices, as well as GIS and land management experts. The series of five training workshops on PRAIS reporting is an important capacity-building initiative funded by UNEP/GEF Global Support Programme. The training in Antalya was organized in close collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs of Turkey, the Directorate of Combating Desertification and Erosion Control, and the FAO sub-regional office.  Participants were introduced to the new reporting requirements, including bio-physical progress indicators and linkages to the SDGs reporting. Due to its highly technical nature, the new UNCCD reporting process presents new challenges, creating the need to enhance the national capacity to generate, analyze, interpret and use Earth observation data. During the training, country teams received a chance to familiarize themselves with the default data available through the UNCCD secretariat to facilitate reporting and enhance harmonization and comparability among reporting countries. Attendees have also explored the option to use additional national data sources as a way to strengthen national ownership of the reporting process and increase the capacity for data production and use at the country level. As part of the training, representatives of Conservation International demonstrated technical tools that help explore, analyze and integrate geo-spatial data to derive estimates of the proportion of degraded land. The training also provided an opportunity for the UNCCD country parties to learn from each other and share national experiences in land monitoring.  The workshop in Turkey will be followed by regional trainings in Ethiopia (19 – 22 March), Brazil (9 – 12 April), India (24 – 27 April), and Egypt (6 – 9 May). Read more: 2017-2018 reporting process Online reporting tutorials        

The first regional workshop on PRAIS reporting takes place in Turkey
The memorandum signed by UNCCD and KFS confirms support of the Changwon Initiative

Bonn, Germany – 13 March, 2018 – A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed by the UNCCD Executive Secretary Ms. Monique Barbut and the Korea Forest Service (KFS) Director General Mr. Ki Yeon Ko, will serve as a commitment to continued support by the Republic of Korea for the implementation of the Convention through the Changwon Initiative. The Initiative, launched at the UNCCD COP 10 in 2011 in Changwon, Republic of Korea, has advocated for land degradation neutrality (LDN) and played a key role in the implementation of the first UNCCD 10-year Strategy (2008-2018) and the transition to the new UNCCD 2018-2030 Strategic Framework. The full impact of this support will become even more apparent as LDN, now integrated into the Strategic Framework and the Sustainable Development Goals, is implemented at national level.

The memorandum signed by UNCCD and KFS confirms support of the Changwon Initiative
International Women’s Day celebration in Thailand calls for urgent action to ensure women’s equal rights

Bangkok, Thailand – 8 March, 2018 – To commemorate the International Women’s Day, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), UN Women and the UN RCM Thematic Working Group on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women held a joint event to discuss the progress made in ensuring women’s rights, empowerment and equality.  The dialogue centered around the need for urgent action to guarantee that women across Asia and the Pacific, in towns and in the countryside, have equal access to opportunities and resources at all levels of society and the economy. Recently launched UN Women global flagship report “Turning Promises into Action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” highlights stark gender inequalities that still exist. To answer the call of the 2030 Agenda and ensure that no one is left behind, it is imperative to move from promises to action, using innovative financing models that can sustain the advancement of gender equality, and to produce additional data that can support gender-responsive policy-making and programming.  

International Women’s Day celebration in Thailand calls for urgent action to ensure women’s equal rights