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The Government of Sierra Leone has successfully launched the National Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) target setting process. The launching ceremony took place at the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and Environment, in Freetown and was broadcast on National TV in three consecutive slots. The event was attended by officials from Government Ministries, Agencies, and Departments, including academic and research institutions, non-governmental organizations, civil society, community-based organizations, and development partners. Mr. Mamoud Tawaralie, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and Environment gave the keynote address, while Mr. Barba B. Fortune, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and Environment, chaired the meeting. They affirmed their support to the LDN target setting process and undertook to provide leadership, support and facilitation. Noting the activities being undertaken by other Government Ministries, such as the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Transport and Aviation, The Environment Protection Agency, The National Protected Area Authority, and The National Minerals Agency, Mr. Tawaralie declared that they are working “to ensure that the country monitors the changing climatic patterns, which are becoming global phenomena, and are having a strong, negative impact on the country’s productive sector”. Through the LDN process, “Sierra Leone will also address the issues of food security, income equality, poverty reduction and job creation, as relevant co-benefits of the articulating LDN targets in this country”, stated Mr. Lahai S. Keita, UNCCD National Reporting Officer for the Ministry of Lands. Participants underlined how land degradation is curtailing farming productivity due to the loss of soil nutrients that are vital for crop growth. As a response to this challenge, representatives of the Sierra Leone National Federation of Farmers called for a partnership with mine workers to undertake joint revegetation programmes to achieve LDN in Sierra Leone. By embarking on this partnership, Sierra Leone is not only addressing one of the root causes driving land degradation in the country, but also including mining stakeholders in the solution to the problem. This topic will be addressed in more detail during upcoming LDN National Working Group sessions.
The Initiative for the Adaptation of African Agriculture to Climate Change (AAA) and the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Fund Project have joined forces to support land rehabilitation in Africa. Within the project development framework of the LDN Fund, which is co-developed by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers dedicated to responsible investing, with the support of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Mirova has concluded a partnership agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Kingdom of Morocco related to the AAA Initiative. It aims at helping African smallholder farmers to restore degraded land and avoid further degradation of fertile land. Related links: Press Release (EN) (595.78 KB) Press Release (FR) (474.75 KB)
The first national workshop on Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) was recently held in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. This event brought together participants from both national and local public administration institutions, scientific and civil society, the business community, and representatives of other key stakeholders. The purpose of the meeting was to officially launch the LDN target setting process with the mobilization of the high level of governmental representation and multi-stakeholder engagement in order to create a collaborative and synergetic framework for of the effective steering of the LDN target setting and subsequent implementation processes in the Republic of Moldova. Hosted by the State Hydrometeorlogical Service as the country's UNCCD national focal point institution, and actively facilitated by the Secretariat of the UNCCD, this workshop has become a key reference for the LDN process in this country. During the event, participants were familiarized with the land degradation neutrality target setting approach and the key steps to defining national voluntary LDN targets. Mr. Mihail Roiby, director of the State Hydrometeorological Service and the UNCCD National Focal Point, highlighted that “the economic benefits of LDN in specific conditions in Moldova can advance the achievement of other Sustainable Development Goals, such as job creation and poverty reduction, food and water accessibility and climate change mitigation”. With this event, the National LDN Working Group has also now become operational. Thanks to the high level status and multi-stakeholders composition secured, the Republic of Moldova will ensure the effective mainstreaming of LDN into all relevant national development policies and plans. The Working Group now includes 20 experts and policy specialists from governmental organizations (line ministries, national land use planning, agriculture, environment and forestry, statistics), scientific institutions, the private sector (farmer organizations, land-based companies) and the civil society. The Republic of Moldova is now demonstrating how government leadership and meaningful multi-stakeholder engagement creates a collaborative and synergetic framework for the successful implementation of the LDN target setting process at country level, constituting a good example that other countries can follow.
In view of the implementation of the Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting Programme (LDN TSP), an inception workshop for countries that recently committed to set national voluntary LDN targets and did not participate in previous workshops, was organized on 14th-15th October 2016, prior to ‘The Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention’ (CRIC 15) at Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop was organized by the Global Mechanism and the Secretariat of the UNCCD and supported by bilateral and multilateral partners. The event brought together 22 participants, including UNCCD National Focal Points; LDN TSP country consultants as well as international partners. Read more: Download the workshop report The LDN Target Setting Programme
The UNCCD’s Virtual Reality (VR) film, Growing a World Wonder, has been awarded ‘Best Documentary’ at the Screen4All 360 Film Festival in Paris. An international Jury, headed by the actress Julie Gayet, selected the film from a final shortlist of 18 other submissions and hundreds of original entries. The film, which first premiered to world leaders at COP21 in Paris last year, focuses on the Great Green Wall – an African-led initiative which aims to restore vast swathes of degraded land across the Sahel and drastically improve the living conditions of millions of people. The initiative, which was launched in 2007 by the African Union, now boasts the involvement of more than 20 African countries supported by an array of international development partners including the UNCCD. Told through the eyes of an 8 year-old girl called Binta, the VR Film follows the progress of a community in Senegal – one of many thousands of villages across the Sahel who are implementing the project. It explores the challenges they face and shows how the Wall is already transforming their lives for the better – growing a lasting response to the encroaching threats of climate change, migration, food security and mass unemployment. 'We are delighted to win this award, which we hope will boost publicity and help gain new activists in advancing the fight against deadly desertification,’ said Ms Monique Barbut, UNCCD Executive Secretary. ‘Our ambition was to find a radical new way of transporting people from across the globe to the frontline of one of this century’s most urgent challenges. Through the 'Growing a world wonder' VR experience, people everywhere can witness first hand Africa’s Great Green Wall – an extraordinary movement that is changing millions of lives, helping to turn desperation and despair into the hope of a brighter future'. Director, Richard Nockles, further explained, ‘We travelled to Koyli Alpha village in Senegal, home of the Fulani people, to hear their stories and share them with the world. To tell the story, we used drones, zip wires and steadicam shots that had never been tried before in documentary VR format. The technology puts you at ground level, exploring this unique environment, with sights and sounds wherever you look.’ The award comes at a time when public awareness about the Great Green Wall is soaring. Earlier this summer, footage from the VR film was shown at the Opening Ceremony of the Rio Olympics, as part of the Dame Judi Dench narrated film on environmental conservation to a televised audience of 1 billion people. In early October, the global media giant, Sky, selected the film for the high-profile launch of their new app catapulting the Great Green Wall into the public mainstream alongside other content by major brands on topics ranging from Formula One, Star Wars, David Beckham, Disney's The Jungle Book and the Tour Du France. The growing public momentum promises to attract new investment opportunities that benefit communities across the Sahel. It also raises the prospect that one day the Great Green Wall will stand as the largest living structure on Earth – an enduring legacy for future generations. Watch the film and learn more about the initiative
As follow-up to the decisions taken by the 12th session of the UNCCD Conference of Parties (COP 12), the UNCCD Secretariat and Global Mechanism, with support of international partners, launched the LDN Target Setting Programme (LDN TSP). Building on the LDN Pilot Project, the Programme aims at enabling country Parties to define national LDN baselines, set voluntary LDN targets and identify associated measures to achieve them. Following the interest expressed by the 14 pilot countries to participate in the LDN TSP, a workshop for UNCCD National Focal Points from these countries was held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 15 October 2015. The workshop was organized by the Global Mechanism and the Secretariat of the UNCCD with support of other partners, and was held back to back with the 15th session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 15). Read more: Download the workshop report The LDN Target Setting Programme