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Brasília, Brazil – Progress towards land degradation neutrality (LDN) became the focus of the recent national conference organized in partnership with UNCCD and UNDP on 26–27 November to discuss strategies, challenges and results of combating desertification, recovering degraded areas and reducing climate vulnerability. The Minister of Environment Mr. Edson Duarte opened the conference, stressing the importance of mobilizing communities and local governments for strategic land restoration projects that rebuild the productive capacity of soil and provide multiple economic, social and environmental benefits. The representative of UNCCD at the conference highlighted the success of Brazil in making LDN a reality through the Degraded Area Recovery Units Strategy that fully embraces LDN principles and works to restore the land while improving water quality, preserving biodiversity and promoting sustainable rural development. The delegates also discussed ways to achieve LDN by 2030 in the areas where the strategy is implemented through sustainable environmental and production practices. During the conference, the beneficiaries of the strategy shared they experience of working together as Degraded Area Recovery Units and how this experience benefits their communities. Each unit gathers 30 families who work together to recover water sources and build water and soil conservation structures. The integrated approach enables beneficiaries to improve their subsistence agriculture practices, productivity and living conditions – for example, through the construction of water cisterns, bathrooms and fuel efficient ovens. During the conference, the Ministry of Environment also presented the MapBiomas Áridas, an interactive platform that will support both the monitoring of LDN indicators and impacts of the Degraded Area Recovery Units Strategy at watershed level. Read more: Outcomes of the conference (in Portuguese) Achieving land degradation neutrality Photo: Ministry of the Environment of Brazil
Lomé, Togo – A workshop on achieving land degradation neutrality (LDN) targets through transformative projects and programmes (TPP) was delivered by the Global Mechanism of UNCCD (GM) team at the West African Development Bank (BOAD) offices on 27– 28 November 2018. The objective of the training was to familiarize participants with the concept of LDN and its implementation through TPPs and the role that the LDN TPP checklist can play in project development. Workshop also included presentations on the LDN national targets set by the BOAD country members, followed by interactive sessions that explored financial opportunities for LDN TPPs, with the focus on relevant investment sectors and funding sources. Building on the feedback from the training, the GM staff is currently at work on a practical guide for the development of LDN TPPs that will be delivered to the UNCCD national focal points at the upcoming CRIC17 in Georgetown, Guyana. Read more: LDN TPP checklist on the UNCCD Knowledge Hub Achieving land degradation neutrality The Global Mechanism of UNCCD UNCCD CRIC17
At the invitation of the Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, the seventeenth session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 17) will take place in Georgetown, Guyana on 28-30 January 2019. The meeting will take place at Guyana International Conference Centre/Arthur Chung Conference Centre. The UNCCD secretariat invites applications from environmental journalists from the Caribbean region with an interest in covering the issues of land degradation, desertification and drought to participate in the meeting. For details, see https://bit.ly/2P3xefp. Prior to the conference, UNCCD in collaboration with the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission will conduct a two-day media training on 26-27 January 2019 for ALL journalists covering the conference. Through a competitive selection process, the UNCCD will award scholarships for the participation of talented journalists from CARICOM who have demonstrated interest in covering the subject. The application deadline is midnight, Central Standard Time, 10 December 2018. Applications should be emailed to: email@example.com with the subject: CRIC17 Sponsorship. You can access the terms and conditions here. Read more: UNCCD CRIC17
Brussels, Belgium – The third edition of the World Atlas of Desertification (WAD3), developed in partnership by UNCCD, the European Commission and its Joint Research Center, was presented at the European Commission headquarters on 27 November 2018. Juan Carlos Mendoza, the Managing Director of the Global Mechanism of UNCCD, welcomed the Atlas as an essential source that can enable evidence-based policy-making and help the Convention's country Parties' to find environmental solutions based on sound science. Mr. Mendoza congratulated the Atlas team on their work of "the highest analytical caliber" and emphasized that at the time when policy makers and the general public demand a clear rationale for the use of scarce resources in taking policy action, the Atlas provides a comprehensive overview of sustainable land management examples and the economics of land degradation, presenting the analytics for quantifying the cost of inaction and analyzing potential solutions. The data and analysis in the Atlas will become integral tools that countries can use in their work towards achieving land degradation neutrality (LDN). So far, 120 countries are working to establish targets to achieve LDN by 2030 as part of their Sustainable Development Goals. Read more about WAD3 on the UNCCD Knowledge Hub.
Santiago de Chile – The UNCCD presented its work at the Rotary Club Vitacura on 21 November, 2018 to discuss the threats, causes and impacts of desertification with the local members of the organization that has over 1 200 000 across five continents. The president of the club Mr. Marcelo Canobra welcomed the head of the UNCCD Regional Coordination Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean Mr. Jose Miguel Torrico and emphasized how important it is for the club members to stay informed on environmental issues and become involved in activities that can help address land degradation in the region, such as reforestation and awareness raising. The meeting concluded with a round of questions and answers on the role that UNCCD plays in the fight against desertification. The participants also proposed that the Rotary Club be accredited as a civil society organization (CSO) to the UNCCD, becoming an advocate for the key UNCCD issues. Read more: Achieving land degradation neutrality UNCCD and CSOs Policy making and sustainable land management in Latin America World Day to Combat Desertification celebrated in Ecuador
Ebène, Mauritius – Recognizing the urgent need to address pressing environmental challenges, the representatives of the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and the Seychelles gathered for a workshop on 21-22 November 2018 to develop a joint game plan to increase the resilience to natural disasters and ensure food security. The participating Indian Ocean nations have already committed to achieving land degradation neutrality (LDN) and take bold steps to avoid, reduce and reverse land degradation by combating deforestation, soil erosion and soil sealing. Together, the workshop participants have developed steps to sustainably manage the impact of urban agglomerations on the islands’ landscape, reduce the pressure on forest ecosystems by upscaling sustainable agriculture practices and mainstream LDN principles into land use planning. The workshop, hosted by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) secretariat and co-organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD, has also given momentum to the “Neutral Island Initiative” (Neutral-is), which will address the land–water–ocean nexus when building resilience and food security in the region. Read more: Achieving land degradation neutrality Land and SDGs Land and climate change