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Drought, Food Security, Migration and Climate: Implications for Policy and Conflict

Stockholm, Sweden, 26 August 2016 – Given the multi-faceted nature and interconnectedness of drought, food security, conflict and migration, the UNCCD is co-hosting a panel event focusing on the need for integrated approaches and the institutional coherence in order to identify solutions, minimize cross-sectoral trade-offs and harness synergies. The panel event will take place at 11:00 am to 12:30 pm on 1 September 2016, at the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. Climate induced hazards such as droughts, heat waves, floods and typhoons have clear negative impacts on food security, conflicts and migration. The influx of migrants witnessed in countries such Israel and Jordan, with already highly stressed water resources, can elevate migration as a security issue.  Robert Mcleman, Wilfrid Laurier University, will deliver the keynote address titled, “Climate change, droughts, and migration: Adaptation or conflicts, which will we choose?" The panelists are Ousman Sowe, Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Water and Wildlife, the Gambia, Rikke Olivera, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Martina Climesova, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and Daniel Tsegai, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Michael Brüntrup, German Development Institute (DIE) will moderate the event.  Drought and water scarcity are considered a contributing factor to the civil unrest and subsequent migration in Syria. Unfortunately, countries continue to manage drought and water scarcity as a ‘crisis’ and react only after the event has taken its tall with often poorly coordinated emergency relief measures. A silo approach is still the norm.  The event will highlight the interconnectedness of drought, food insecurity, conflict and migration. The role of empowering the vulnerable rural population, relevance of coherent and coordinated proactive policy approach will be discussed. For more information, contact: dtsegai@unccd.int For interview with UNCCD staff, contact: wwischnewski@unccd.int

Drought, Food Security, Migration and Climate: Implications for Policy and Conflict
Regional training course on combating desertification

Konya-Mersin, Turkey, ​23 August 2016 – Each year Turkey’s General Directorate of Combating Desertification and Erosion organizes an International Training Course on Combating Desertification. This year, the training will take place from 23-27 August in Konya-Mersin for experts from Central Asia and the Balkans. The training is supported by Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA). The training course covers technical issues such as causes of desertification/land degradation, seed and seedling production, forestation, erosion control and participatory approach with the aim of increasing the level of regional collaboration among the countries of the region and enabling each country in the region to share the technical experience. The training course is open for two representatives of the countries (see below for eligible countries). The course has been developed for decision makers, forest engineers and NGO’s involved in the management of environmental problems related to desertification, land degradation, afforestation, erosion control and forestry. The deadline for application is 15 July 2016. For more information and application, download the attached documents. Information noteEligible countriesApplication form For more information of the training course, contact: Mr. Sebahattin ACIKGOZ (sacikgoz@ormansu.gov.tr) or Ms. Eda AKDEMİR (eakdemir@ormansu.gov.tr) At the last UNCCD Conference of the Parties (COP12), the Ankara Initiative was launched to strengthen implementations of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) for the period from 2016 to 2019. The Initiative supports the global sustainable development agenda and leverage the lessons learned from Turkey’s past experience and approaches to land management. The training course is part of the Ankara Initiative actions.

Regional training course on combating desertification
Africa Drought Conference concluded with Windhoek Declaration

Windhoek, Namibia, 19 August, 2016 – African Drought Conference hosted by the government of Namibia ended with adaption of “The Windhoek Declaration for Enhancing Resilience to Drought in Africa” on 19 August. The declaration states the commitments to implement the Strategic Framework for Drought Risk Management and Enhancing Resilience in Africa; to establish a continent-wide African Network with national institutions for Drought Monitoring and Early Warning Systems; and to convene biennial African Drought Conference to be held concurrently with the African Drylands Week to consider progress of the implementation of the Strategy adopted in Windhoek in August 2016, in order to promote investment among others. The conference was one of the distinct outcomes of the Namib Declaration adopted at the UNCCD COP 11/Decision 36 which emphasized a stronger UNCCD for land degradation neutrality with increasing focus on mitigating the impacts of droughts and the development of national drought policies.  The UNCCD was a co-organizer of the conference and provided technical and financial support. Read the Windhoek Declaration​ Read the op-ed by the UNCCD Executive Secretary (Inter Press Service)  The Op-ed in Spanish Other news coverage by Inter-Press Service: Arable Lands Lost at Unprecedented Rate: 33,000 Hectares… a Day! in  Portuguese, Kiswahili The conference opening​

Africa Drought Conference concluded with Windhoek Declaration
Africa Drought Conference kicks off

Windhoek, Namibia, 15 August 2016 – Some 400 delegates from across Africa and beyond have come together in Windhoek, Namibia for the first African Drought Conference. International and African leaders and experts are set to find solutions to the recurring drought events and their associated impacts. The principal objective of the conference is for African countries to come up with an overarching strategic framework for Africa that will enhance drought resilience  and promote a paradigm shift from ‘reactive’ to ‘proactive’ drought management.  The conference is organized by the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism supported by UNCCD in partnership with a number of international organizations and countries.  The conference which is taking place from August 15 – 19 is split between technical segment (15 – 17 August) and a high level segment (18-19 August). The African Drought Conference was launched under the chairmanship of Minister Pohamba and with the presence of Namibian deputy Prime Minister and Minister in charge of international cooperation, the minister of Agriculture, the AUC commissioner for rural economy and agriculture, the UN resident coordinator and other officials. Many African countries, IO, CSOs, etc. Mr. Daniel Tsegai is delivering a speech on behalf of UNCCD Secretariat.​

Africa Drought Conference kicks off
Africa Drylands Week starts

Windhoek, Namibia, 8 August 2016 – The Third Africa Drylands Week started today in Windhoek, Namibia. The opening ceremony was chaired by H.E. Mr. Pohamba Shifeta, Minister of Environment and Tourism of Namibia. Messages were delivered by the representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Environment Programme, the World Bank, the Permanent Interstates Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) and the UNCCD secretariat. Approximately 50 participates joined the opening ceremony from African countries, regional and sub regional organizations, international and civil society organizations. This year, the Drylands Week addresses the issues including land tenures, migrations, conflicts and Dryland land valuations. FinalDraft Agenda 3rd Africa Drylands Week (EN)Programme Provisoire 3ème Semaine Africaine des Zones Arides (FR) The Drylands Week is held back to back with the AfricanDrought Conference​ organized by the Government of Namibia from 15-19 August in Windhoek.​

Africa Drylands Week starts
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