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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.