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Drought resilience – instant responses and long-term solutions

The new film "Drought resilience – instant responses and long-term solutions" produced by Patrick Augenstein highlights the importance of coordinated efforts of relevant actors with special focus on drought resilience and its implications for food security in sub-Saharan Africa, where drought is a major factor affecting populations and ecosystems.  The progress on drought preparedness has been slow, despite the devastating and lasting effects of this natural disaster. Collaboration among various sectors and different branches of governments, civil society and international organizations is key to achieving drought resilience. Enhanced early warning-systems, assessing hotspots of vulnerable populations and regions, appropriate drought risk mitigation, as well as efficient disaster relief measures are crucial to effective drought preparedness. The film, which was screened at the opening of the High-level Round table on “Drought and Sand Dust Storms: Early Warning and Beyond” during recent UNCCD COP13, is a joint product of UNCCD, the German Development Institute (DIE) and other partners, including German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), the German Development Bank (KfW), University of Bonn and the Center for Development Research (ZEF).   

Drought resilience – instant responses and long-term solutions
The fifth international workshop on sand and dust storms 

Istanbul, Turkey – 23 – 25 October 2017 – The Fifth International Workshop on Sand and Dust Storms (SDS) attracted 74 local and 30 foreign experts and academicians from Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Russia, Somalia, Qatar, Oman, Mauritania and Senegal, as well as representatives of UNCCD, the World Meteorology Organization and the UN Environment. Heads of host institutions, General Director of Combating Desertification and Erosion M. Mustafa Gozukara and General Director of State Metrology Ismail Gunes welcomed workshop participants. In his speech, Mr. Gozukara stated that SDS often originate in the dryland areas, which cover 41 per cent of the Earth’s land surface and contain fragile ecosystems most susceptible to global climate change. Mr Gozukara also expressed strong belief that countries affected SDS have a lot to learn from each other, and that sharing information is the way to strengthen current cooperation.  The Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs Prof. Dr. Veysel Eroglu in his opening speech confirmed that following the decisions of UNCCD COP12, Turkey aims to support the Pan-African Agency by delivering large numbers of seeds and seedlings to the region, in addition to financial aid. The goal of this initiative is to plant a seedling for every person on the planet – a total of seven billion plants – by 2023. Dr. Eroglu also addressed  relevant UN institutions, asking them to support the regions suffering from SDS in their afforestation, wind erosion control, and sand and dust storms prevention efforts.  

The fifth international workshop on sand and dust storms 
UN Day celebration in Bonn: United to address the climate change

Bonn, 14 October 2017 – the historic Marktplatz in the center of Bonn came alive with lively crowds, festive music, fun activities and colorful balloons as the UN Day celebration unfolded. The UNCCD secretariat joined in the festivities to promote the role of sustainable land management in addressing climate change-related issues and the importance of combating land degradation and desertification to achieve sustainable development goals by 2030.  UNCCD Deputy Executive Secretary Dr. Pradeep Monga together with Lord Mayor of Bonn Mr. Ashok Sridharan welcomed thousands of visitors to the celebration that took place under the slogan adopted by nineteen UN organizations based in the city, “Shaping a sustainable future.” In his opening speech, Dr. Monga congratulated the city of Bonn on “thinking globally, acting locally” in matters of sustainability, setting the example for others.   Dr. Monga also highlighted the role of UN Bonn in strengthening local and global partnerships to achieve a sustainable, climate-resilient and inclusive future by building the capacity of stakeholders and supporting education and training, promoting volunteerism, health and human security, biodiversity conservation and disaster risk reduction. The UNCCD exhibition stand received hundreds of visitors who asked for information on secretariat’s work and shared their views on land issues. More than 90 participants took the Capacity Building Marketplace quiz, and over 200 people signed the #LoveLand4Climate petition to show their solidarity in promoting sustainable land management for climate change mitigation and adaptation. You can get a glimpse of the UN Day in Bonn by visiting the photo album. The photos of campaign supporters are posted on Flickr.  

UN Day celebration in Bonn: United to address the climate change
#LoveLand4Climate campaign launches

The UNCCD Secretariat joins the momentum towards the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP23) that takes place in Bonn this November by launching the #LoveLand4Climate campaign. We invite all stakeholders: governments, civil society organizations, non- governmental organizations, academia, private businesses and individuals to come together and take responsibility for how we manage the land – our home, our future. Read more about the campaign.

#LoveLand4Climate campaign launches
Welcome back, Canada

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

Welcome back, Canada
Colombia advances on the SDG 15 agenda on “life on land” through the implementation of the National Policy for Sustainable Soil Management

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.

Colombia advances on the SDG 15 agenda on “life on land” through the implementation of the National Policy for Sustainable Soil Management