News & stories
Latest news & stories
Canada Deposits its Instrument of Ratification to Re-Join the UNCCD Statement of Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD Yesterday, the Government of Canada communicated to the Secretary-General of the United Nations its accession to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). We welcome the action Canada has taken to rejoin the Convention, which will become a full party after 90 days, on 21 March 2017. The international community is facing new and growing challenges to its peace and security, wealth and sustainable development. No country is immune. No country can face these challenges alone. Many of these challenges stem in large part from the crises poor rural people are facing in meeting their daily needs of food, water, energy and income, and made worse by climate change. Canada’s contribution will take us further and faster in ensuring that the 2.8 billion people affected by land degradation today have the means and knowledge to avoid further degradation of their land and to recover what they have lost. Canada’s scientific expertise and practical experience in combatting desertification and drought can benefit rural households to improve their food and water security, and ensure every child has a fighting chance for a better life. Further information About the Convention List of ratification Media release by the Government of Canada (external link)English Français
According to the National Institute for Hydrometheorological and Environmental Studies (IDEAM), 40% of the national territory presents some degree of soil degradation by erosion. Additionally, it is estimated that 24% of land in Colombia is susceptible to degradation by aridity. Within the affected areas are the Colombian main cities, irrigation districts and regions with the highest population density. “Sustainable land management is a responsibility that concerns all sectors of society, so I invite you to join efforts and create joint actions aimed at protecting this natural resource that fulfills vital functions for human survival" said the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Luis Gilberto Murillo during a national event to celebrate World Soil Day, held on December 5th. In order to address this issue, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, together with other national and regional actors, are working in the implementation of the National Policy for Sustainable Soil Management. This policy seeks to promote sustainable soil management in a context in which biodiversity, water and air protection, land and disaster risk management converge, contributing to the sustainable development and the well-being of all Colombians. This policy proposes the implementation of a plan of action and the development of six strategic lines such as institutional strengthening and harmonization of standards and policies; education, training and awareness; strengthening of environmental and sectoral planning tools; monitoring of soil quality; research, innovation and technology transfer and preservation, restoration and sustainable use of the soil. Moreover, Colombia has been advancing in the assessment of soils, through the development of soil inventories, assessment of land use conflicts and degradation by erosion and salinization, among other aspects. The promotion of sustainable soil management in the region will contribute to addressing the global challenges and the fulfillment of Colombian international commitments, including: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Commitments to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought, especially efforts to achieve the national Land Degradation Neutrality targets (currently under preparation) Eradication of hunger and malnutrition and ensuring food security for a growing population Adaptation and mitigation to climate change, especially in the light of the Paris Agreement, which contains a firm commitment to address climate change and at the same time attributes to the agriculture sector a leading role in this process The Aichi Targets, which highlight an important agenda for preserving biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services.
The UNCCD Land for Life Youth Social Media Activists Challenge semi finalists' result is out. 15 semi finalists were selected to be considered for the finals. Check here to find out more about their activism. The Challenge aims to recognize young people efforts in protecting natural resources and promoting environmental/ land resources justice. The selected finalists will be recognized by UNCCD secretariat for their work and will be tasked to spread the UNCCD messages, in particular, creating awareness on land related issues among young people through social media. Currently, we are launching a public voting / polling to select the finalist candidates from 9 Dec - 22 December 2016. You are invited to have your say on who qualifies for the finals by casting their vote here : http://woobox.com/6avg72. The public votes will be counted as part of the final decision of the winners. Related link: Land for Life programme
Russian national and one of the winners in the recently concluded Marketplace Writers Competition, Ms. Olga Sazonova paid a visit to the UNCCD Secretariat where she was welcomed by the Executive Secretary, Mrs. Monique Barbut. Mrs. Barbut presented to Ms. Sazonova the prizes she won for placing third in the Competition with her story “Бесценные «услуги» природы” which is loosely translated in English as, “Invaluable services of nature.” Mr. Sazonova received a certificate, a UNCCD package and a cash prize for her efforts. In presenting the prizes, the Executive Secretary expressed hearty congratulations to Ms. Sazonova and thanked her for participating in the competition. She encouraged her to help promote the UNCCD in her own country and in particularly to do her part to educate Russian speaking peoples on the concept and importance of Land Degradation Neutrality. Mrs. Barbut recalled Ms. Sazonova’s academic achievements thus far, impressing upon her that she could use her skills in both English and Russian to help people have a clearer understanding of the issues of desertification, land degradation and drought. In her response, Ms. Sazonova thanked the Executive Secretary for the opportunity to meet with her and remarked how happy and excited she was to be among the winners of this international competition. She assured the Executive Secretary that she was wholly committed to the issues of sustainability; explain that it was one reason why she is in pursuit of a second Master’s in the subject. She promised not only to participate in future Marketplace competitions, but to spread the word among her friends and colleagues. She underlined that this was indeed a special occasion for her as she considers it a great honor and privilege to meet the Executive Secretary of the UNCCD. Attending the presentation were Ms. Yoon-kyoung Cho, who organized and administered the competition; Mr. Jijo Karthikeyan who provided technical assistance; and Dr. Richard Byron-Cox, Head of the Marketplace, who conceived the idea of the Marketplace Writers Competition. They too thanked Ms. Sazonova for participating in the completion, and in congratulating her reminded that the Capacity Building Marketplace is always open to the world free of cost!
Rural communities in West Africa have historically used migration as a seasonal coping mechanism in times of poor harvests or extreme drought. Yet, in recent decades, seasonal migrations have been replaced by more permanent relocations, as devastating droughts, changes in the seasons, reduced rainfall and flashfloods have all taken a toll on local community livelihoods. No longer able to live off what the land produces due to the increased unpredictability of the weather, local communities in rural areas – particularly young men – are left with little other choice than to search for work in urban centres to support their families. The Global Mechanism is working with the International Organization for Migration, to explore in more depth the complex linkages between land degradation and migration through the Italian-funded project, ‘West Africa: Promoting Sustainable Land Management (SLM) in migration prone areas through innovative financing mechanisms”. The objective is to provide policy recommendations to upscale best practices and boost long-term investments into land restoration as part of the solution to stemming migration from rural areas. On 18-19 May in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the Global Mechanism organized a regional workshop together with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to advance the dialogue on this topic in 3 main areas: How to use migration as a resilience strategy to tackle the intertwined challenges of desertification, land degradation, drought, climate change and migration Promoting investments in sustainable land management and adaptation to climate change to build resilience in migration-prone areas in West Africa, including through the direct investments of migrants through remittances Reducing vulnerability and insecurity caused by land degradation, in particular the negative effects of land degradation on population growth, migration and poverty and the increased risks of radicalization of young vulnerable people that might become a target for extremists groups The event, which took place under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Government of Burkina Faso, was attended by more than 60 government officials from Burkina Faso, Niger and Senegal, as well as high-level representatives of ECOWAS and international experts specialized on environment, migration and security. Experts at the event agreed that land-based green jobs are a crucial part of the solution to stemming the migration exodus of rural communities in West Africa. The Global Mechanism looks forward to publishing the results of its on-going project in the near future, paving the way for further action in this area.
Ottawa, Ontario, June 17, 2016 – We welcome the joint statement by Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, on the World Day to Combat Desertification, announcing that Canada intends to re-sign the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought. Canada's renewed engagement and leadership signals the growing recognition of the role of healthy and productive land in fighting climate change and in delivering food and water security for people right around the world. The statement Reads: "Joint statement by ministers Dion and Bibeau on World Day to Combat Desertification June 17, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today issued the following statement on World Day to Combat Desertification: On this day we recognize that desertification is linked to many of Canada’s development priorities, such as food security, agriculture, peace and security, access to water, livestock production and renewable energy. We recognized the importance of these issues when Canada joined the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification [UNCCD] in 1995. In 2014, Canada was the only country in the world to withdraw from the UNCCD. Today we are taking positive steps to rejoin the global effort. Canada recognizes not just the link between land degradation and climate change, but also the risks that desertification poses to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals. We are coordinating with our international partners to implement the 2030 Agenda and its ambitious objective to eradicate poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change. Canada is committed to improving the resilience of developing countries to climate change, which disproportionately affects women and girls. Canada has also contributed more than $216 million to the most recent Global Environment Facility replenishment, the main funding channel of the UNCCD, making us the sixth-largest donor. We are committed to joining world action on climate change, land degradation and desertification. That is why Canada intends to rejoin the UNCCD at the earliest opportunity, subject to Parliamentary approval in the fall." For more information see: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1086379