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Monique Barbut, secretaria ejecutiva de la CLD, reclama soluciones a largo plazo contra la sequía y no sólo respuestas inmediatas

Bonn, Alemania, 22 Febrero 2016 – “Protejamos el planeta. Recuperemos la tierra. Involucremos a la gente´ es el eslogan para el Día Mundial de Lucha contra la Desertificación de este año, que se celebrará el 17 de junio. Hago un llamamiento a la solidaridad de la comunidad internacional hacia todos aquéllos que están luchando contra los estragos causados por la sequía y las inundaciones. Busquemos soluciones a largo plazo, no sólo respuestas inmediatas a desastres que están destruyendo comunidades enteras”, instó Monique Barbut, secretaria ejecutiva de la Convención de las Naciones Unidas de Lucha contra la Desertificación (CLD). Las sequías y las inundaciones que golpean a las comunidades de muchas partes del mundo están vinculadas con El Niño, que  se espera afecte hasta a 60 millones de personas de aquí a julio. En algunas áreas, incluidas la zona nororiental de Brasil, Somalia, Etiopía, Kenia y Namibia, los efectos de El Niño están desembocando en severas y recurrentes sequías en los últimos años. A los hogares que dependen de la tierra para cubrir sus necesidades alimenticias y agrícolas les resulta imposible recuperarse, especialmente cuando esta tierra está degradada.  Y lo que es más. Estas condiciones no sólo devastan familias sino que desestabilizan comunidades enteras. Los casos que no se atienden de manera urgente pueden convertirse en factores que empujen a la migración y desembocar en graves abusos contra los derechos humanos así como en amenazas contra la seguridad a largo plazo.  “Hemos visto esto antes  –en Darfur, tras cuatro décadas de sequías y desertificación y, más recientemente, en Siria, tras la larga sequía que duró desde 2007 hasta 2010–. Resulta trágico ver a una sociedad destruirse cuando podemos reducir la vulnerabilidad de las comunidades con actos simples y asequibles como restaurar las tierras degradadas que habitan y ayudar a las comunidades a establecer mejores sistemas de alerta temprana contra la sequía y a gestionar y prepararse para la sequía y las inundaciones”, dijo Barbut.  Barbut hizo estas declaraciones cuando anunció los planes para el Día Mundial de Lucha contra la Desertificación, que se celebrará el 17 de junio.  “Espero que el Día Mundial de Lucha contra la Desertificación de este año marque un punto y aparte para cada país. Necesitamos mostrar, gracias a la acción práctica y a la cooperación, cómo cada país está abordando o apoyando estos desafíos desde el principio para evitar o minimizar los potenciales impactos de los desastres, no sólo en el último momento, cuando los desastres han ocurrido”, afirmó. La Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas designó el 17 de junio como un día conmemorativo para concienciar a la ciudadanía sobre los esfuerzos internacionales para combatir la desertificación y los efectos de la sequía.  Barbut agradeció al Gobierno y la población de China su ofrecimiento para albergar el evento conmemorativo a escala mundial, que se celebrará en el Gran Salón del Pueblo, en Pekín.  “China tiene una gran experiencia restaurando tierra degradada y desiertos provocados por la acción humana. Este conocimiento puede y debe beneficiar a iniciativas como la Gran Muralla Verde africana, el reverdecimiento del sur de África y la iniciativa 20x20, en Latinoamérica. Podemos crear un mundo más igualitario y resistente al cambio climático”, dijo.  “También hago un llamamiento a los países, al sector privado, a las fundaciones y a la gente de buena voluntad para que apoyen a África cuando sus países se reúnan este año para desarrollar políticas y planes concretos para preveer, monitorear y gestionar las sequías”, afirmó Barbut.  La campaña del Día Mundial en 2016 también promocionará los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible adoptados en septiembre del año pasado. Los Objetivos incluyen alcanzar la neutralidad en la degradación de la tierra para el 2030. Es decir, un mundo en el que la tierra restaurada sea igual o mayor a la degradada al cabo del año.  Para más información sobre el Día y eventos previos, visite: https://www2.unccd.int/actions/17-june-desertification-and-drought-day Contacto para el Día Mundial de Lucha contra la Desertificación: Yhori@unccd.int Para información para los medios: wwischnewski@unccd.int

Monique Barbut, secretaria ejecutiva de la CLD, reclama soluciones a largo plazo contra la sequía y no sólo respuestas inmediatas
Monique Barbut, secrétaire exécutive de la CNULCD, appelle à trouver des solutions à long terme et non de simples expédients pour lutter contre la sécheresse

Bonn, Allemagne, 22 Février 2016 – « Protégeons la planète. Restaurons les terres. Mobilisons-nous. Tel est », rappela Monique Barbut, secrétaire exécutive de la Convention des Nations Unies sur la lutte contre la désertification (CNULCD), « le thème adopté cette année pour la Journée mondiale de lutte contre la désertification célébrée le 17 juin. J’en appelle à la solidarité de la communauté internationale avec les populations qui luttent contre les ravages de la sécheresse et des inondations. Trouvons des solutions à long terme au lieu de simples expédients pour remédier aux catastrophes qui détruisent les communautés ». Les sécheresses et les inondations qui s’abattent sur les communautés de nombreuses parties du monde sont liées au phénomène El Niño, qui devrait affecter jusqu’à 60 millions de personnes d'ici au mois de juillet. Dans certaines régions, dont le nord-est du Brésil, la Somalie, l’Éthiopie, le Kenya et la Namibie, les effets d’El Niño viennent s'ajouter à des années de sécheresses sévères et récurrentes. Les ménages et les petits agriculteurs qui dépendent de la terre pour leur subsistance et leu nourriture  sont dans l’impossibilité de s’en remettre, en particulier lorsque les terres sont dégradées. Qui plus est, cette situation n’a pas pour seul effet de dévaster les familles et de déstabiliser les communautés. Si l’on ne tente pas d’y remédier dans les meilleurs délais, elle peut devenir un facteur favorisant les migrations et se solder par de graves violations des droits de l'homme et des menaces à long terme pour la sécurité. « Nous avons déjà vu cela au Darfour à la suite de quatre décennies de sécheresses et de désertification », poursuivit Monique Barbut, « et plus récemment en Syrie, après la longue sécheresse des années 2007-2010. Il est dramatique de voir s'effondrer une société, alors qu’il nous serait possible de réduire la vulnérabilité des communautés par des actions simples et peu dispendieuses consistant par exemple à restaurer les terres dégradées sur lesquelles elles vivent et à aider les pays à mettre en place de meilleurs systèmes d'alerte précoce en cas de sécheresse ainsi qu’à prévoir et gérer sécheresses et inondations. » Madame Barbut faisait ces remarques en annonçant les plans prévus cette année pour la Journée mondiale de lutte contre la désertification, qui se célèbre le 17 juin. « J’espère que cette année, » déclara-t-elle encore, « la Journée mondiale de lutte contre la désertification marquera un tournant pour tous les pays. Nous devons montrer, par des actions concrètes et par la coopération, que chaque pays aborde ou relève ces défis en amont afin d’anticiper ou de minimiser les impacts potentiels des catastrophes, et non pas seulement en aval et après que ces dernières se soient produites ». L'Assemblée générale des Nations Unies a désigné la journée du 17 juin pour sensibiliser l'opinion publique aux efforts internationaux de lutte contre la désertification et les effets de la sécheresse. Madame Barbut remercia le gouvernement et le peuple chinois pour avoir offert d'accueillir l’événement international organisé pour de célébrer cette journée, lequel se déroulera dans le Grand Hall du Peuple à Pékin. « La Chine », remarqua-t-elle, « dispose d’une expérience considérable en matière de remise en état des terres dégradées et des déserts engendrés par l'homme. Ces connaissances peuvent et doivent profiter à des initiatives telles que la Grande muraille verte africaine, le reverdissement en Afrique du Sud et l’Initiative 20 X 20 en Amérique latine. Nous pouvons créer un monde meilleur, plus équitable et résilient au changement climatique. J’appelle en outre les pays, le secteur privé, les fondations et les gens de bonne volonté à soutenir l’Afrique lorsque les pays se réuniront plus tard dans l'année pour élaborer des politiques et des plans concrets visant à anticiper, surveiller et gérer les sécheresses ». La campagne de sensibilisation de la Journée mondiale 2016 favorise par ailleurs la réalisation des objectifs de développement durable adoptés en septembre dernier. L’une des cibles de ces derniers consiste à atteindre d’ici à 2030 un monde neutre en termes de dégradation des terres. C’est-à-dire un monde où la quantité des terres remises en état serait égale ou supérieure à celle des terres dégradées chaque année. Pour de plus amples informations sur la Journée et les événements précédents : https://www2.unccd.int/actions/17-june-desertification-and-drought-day Personne à contacter pour la Journée mondiale de lutte contre la désertification : Yhori@unccd.int Informations à l'intention des médias : wwischnewski@unccd.int

Monique Barbut, secrétaire exécutive de la CNULCD, appelle à trouver des solutions à long terme et non de simples expédients pour lutter contre la sécheresse
UNCCD ES Monique Barbut Calls for Long-Term Solutions Not Just Quick Fixes To Drought

Bonn, Germany, 22 February 2016 – “Protect Earth. Restore Land. Engage People. This is the slogan for this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification to be held on 17 June. I am calling for solidarity from the international community with the people who are battling the ravages of drought and flood. Let us find long-term solutions, not just quick fixes, to disasters that are destroying communities,” urged Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The droughts and floods beating down on communities in many parts of the world are linked to the current El Niño, which is expected to affect up 60 million people by July. In some areas, including in North Eastern Brazil, Somali, Ethiopia, Kenya and Namibia, the El Niño effects are coming on the back of years of severe and recurrent droughts. It is impossible for households that rely on the land for food and farm labor to recover, especially when the land is degraded. What’s more, these conditions do not just devastate families and destabilize communities. When they are not attended to urgently, they can become a push factor for migration, and end with gross human rights abuses and long-term security threats.  “We have seen this before – in Darfur following four decades of droughts and desertification and, more recently, in Syria, following the long drought of 2007-2010. It is tragic to see a society breaking down when we can reduce the vulnerability of communities through simple and affordable acts such as restoring the degraded lands they live on, and helping countries to set up better systems for drought early warning and to prepare for and manage drought and floods,” Barbut said. Ms Barbut made the remarks when announcing the plans for this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification, which will take place on 17 June. “I hope that World Day to Combat Desertification this year marks a turning point for every country. We need to show, through practical action and cooperation, how every country is tacking or supporting these challenges at the front-end to preempt or minimize the potential impacts of the disasters, not just at the back-end after the disasters happen,” she stated. The United Nations General Assembly designated 17 June as the observance Day to raise public awareness about international efforts to combat desertification and the effects of drought. Ms Barbut thanked the Government and People of China, for offering to host the global observance event, which will take place at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.  “China has vast experience in nursing degraded lands and man-made deserts back to health. This knowledge can and should benefit initiatives such as Africa’s Great Green Wall, the re-greening in southern Africa and the 20 X 20 Initiative in Latin America. We can create a better, more equal and climate change-resilient world,” she noted. “I also call on countries, the private sector, foundations and people of goodwill to support Africa  when the countries meet later in the year to develop concrete plans and policies to pre-empt, monitor and manage droughts,” Ms Barbut stated. The 2016 World Day campaign is also advancing the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in September last year. The Goals include a target to achieve a land degradation-neutral world by 2030. That is, a world where the land restored back to health equals to, or is more than, the amount degraded every year. For more information on the Day and previous events, visit: https://www2.unccd.int/actions/17-june-desertification-and-drought-day Contact for World Day to Combat Desertification: Yhori@unccd.int For Media information: wwischnewski@unccd.int

UNCCD ES Monique Barbut Calls for Long-Term Solutions Not Just Quick Fixes To Drought
UNCCD Announces 2015 Winners of Land for Life Award

Two business corporations from Egypt and China are recognized as true influencers in combating land degradation. Erdos, Inner Mongolia, China, 28 July 2015 – The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has announced the two winners of the prestigious Land for Life Award, who showed tangible evidence of combating desertification, land degradation and drought. The announcement was made in Erdos, China during the 5th Kubuqi International Desert Forum. SEKEM from Egypt and Elion Resources Group from China won the 2015 Land for Life Award. Unlike in previous years, this year’s, now in its fourth year, Award carries no monetary prize. The UNCCD secretariat will profile winners’ initiatives and show-case their outstanding works on sustainable land management at national and international events such as the 12th session of the Conference of Parties (COP12) to be held from 12-23 October 2015 in Ankara , Turkey. “We recognize the champions of sustainable land management in a variety of ways. Land for Life Award is one way that is dedicated to recognizing individuals, groups, institutions and businesses for their innovations and efforts towards land degradation neutrality,” Ms Barbut, Executive secretary of UNCCD, said. “These two winners exemplify the type of leadership and initiatives that business corporations could undertake in contributing to sustainable land management. Their work has not only benefitted the local communities by improving their livelihoods and creating local job opportunities, but has also contributed to conserving nature. What we need now are policies at international and national levels that recognize sustainable land management as part of the solution to climate change and other global issues,” she added. Notes to Editors:  Below are summaries about the winners accompanied by a quote from the winners and the Executive Secretary. SEKEM, Egypt SEKEM, founded by Ibrahim Abouleish in 1977, has been adopting biodynamic agricultural methods to rehabilitate more than 2,000 hectares desert land in Egypt. SEKEM has successfully developed into a thriving agricultural business and was a world pioneer in developing organic cotton cultivation. It has helped to reduce 90% of chemical use in the textile industry in Egypt. SEKEM has also created 1,500 jobs through its subsidiary groups. Today, its work not only covers sustainable land management, but extends to social human development. Through SEKEM Development Foundation (SDF), SEKEM has established the Waldorf kindergarten, schools, vocational training centre and also the Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development which started its operation in 2012.      Quote from SEKEM: "Land for Life – this is what Egypt needs very urgently. The growing desertification causes big troubles in many dimensions. Egypt is depending on imports, the country is living below the water poverty line and the nutrition of the population can’t be secured. For 38 years, SEKEM has been committed to reclaiming desert land, turning it into fertile soil for Biodynamic agriculture. Thus, we not only maintain, but also build soil fertility, which is the basis for sustainable agriculture, especially in an arid country like Egypt. SEKEM is very honored to receive the prestigious Land for Life Award, which encourages us even more to continue our efforts towards a sustainable future. SEKEM is a miracle in the desert, which would not have been possible without our partners, friends and supporters from all over the world and the international recognition. We take this Award with deep gratitude and as a motivation for our future efforts in keeping and building land for life in Egypt – not only for ecologic reasons but also to continue with our mission of promoting sustainable development that includes societal and cultural life and an economy of love." Helmy Abouleish, Chief Executive Officer of SEKEM Quote by Monique Barbut: “SEKEM’s sustainable land practice through biodynamic agriculture has successfully turned unproductive land into productivity, and benefited the locals. Their ecological and social approach business model can transform vast areas of degraded areas if replicated in other parts of world that are combating desertification.” Elion Resources Group Elion Resource Group was established 27 years ago, with a focus on eco-environmental restoration and rehabilitation work in desert land and also degraded land in the city. The Group has carried out works based on Elion’s greening ecosystem model, which has improved the livelihoods of 100,000 farmers and herdsmen in Kubuqi Desert. Elion has turned over 11,000 km2 of degraded land into productive land and has been promoting the production of green energy. It has developed a “micro-coal atomization” technology that aims to minimize coal pollutants in the generation of energy. The group also launched the “Green Silk Road Equity Investment Fund”, together with other private enterprises, for the eco-environmental restoration project along the Silk Road. Quote from Elion Resources Group: We are greatly thankful to the UNCCD for its recognition of Elion’s efforts in ecological construction and green development, as well as our spirit, experience and practice of desertification control. We are also grateful to the Government at various levels for their trust and support, and also to the projects’ communities and our partners. This honour also goes to more than 6,000 Elion people who have consistently pursued the cause of sustainable land management. ‘Turning deserts into rich and civilized ecological oases’ is the dream of Elion, and we have contributed 27 years of the best years of our lives to pursue this dream! For 27 years, Elion has created a unique and balanced green development path of ‘restoring and rehabilitating degraded land, ecology, livelihood and economy’, and we will keep walking this path to create a beautiful homeland with green mountains and clear waters. It is a great honour for Elion to receive the UNCCD “Land for Life” Award. With the responsibility entrusted by our Government and the international community, we will create more oases, starting from Kubuqi, to build desert ecological civilizations, which will benefit more people. Quote by Monique Barbut: “I had the opportunity to witness the incredible transformation of degraded land through the innovative ecological land management approach of Elion Resources Group. Their initiative in taking the lead to implement “Greening the Silk Road” can be emulated by international business corporations that are committed to conserving our limited natural resources worldwide.” About the Land for Life Award The Land for Life Award was established at the 10th session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (COP10) in 2011 as part of the Changwon Initiative. It recognizes excellence and innovation by individuals or groups involved in sustainable land management, with a particular focus on achieving land degradation neutrality. The award does not carry any monetary prize. The UNCCD secretariat will highlight and show-case the winners’ work at high level international and national policy decision-making events. Through these proven cases the secretariat aims to make known that land degradation neutrality is compelling and achievable. About the UNCCD Desertification, along with climate change and the loss of biodiversity, were identified as the greatest challenges to sustainable development during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Established in 1994, UNCCD is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment, development and the promotion of healthy soils. The Convention’s 195 Parties work to alleviate poverty in the drylands, maintain and restore the land’s productivity, and mitigate the effects of drought. For media coverage and interviews, contact: Ms. Wagaki Wischnewski Email: wwischnewski@unccd.int Tel: +49 228 815 2820 Resources Information on Land for Life Programme and Land for Life Award. More on SEKEM. More on Elion Resource Group.  

UNCCD Announces 2015 Winners of Land for Life Award
The Land Battle for Sustainable Development (Monique Barbut, Christiana Figueres and Achim Steiner, Project Syndicate, 13 July 2015)

As high-level political representatives gather in Addis Ababa this week for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, there are reasons to be optimistic about the fight against climate change and the pursuit of sustainable development. Investments in renewable energies have topped $270 billion a year, and clean sources of power, like the sun and the wind, represent a rising share of the world’s energy production. Meanwhile, sectors such as transportation, urban planning, and construction are undergoing root-and-branch change in terms of energy efficiency and conservation.

The Land Battle for Sustainable Development (Monique Barbut, Christiana Figueres and Achim Steiner, Project Syndicate, 13 July 2015)