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UNISDR Asia Partnership Forum shares updates in disaster risk reduction

Bangkok, Thailand – 14 - 15 December 2017 – The UNISDR Asia Partneship Forum (IAP), attended by participants from the Asia region, UN agencies, CSOs, international organizations, inter-regional institutions and private sectors, focused on sharing global and regional updates in disaster risk reduction. The IAP was initiated in 2004 as an informal multi-stakeholder forum to facilitate the implementation of disaster risk reduction, and the subsequent Hyogo Framework for Action in Asia. Since then, the Forum has evolved into the support mechanism for the biennial Asia Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR).  The discussions included the assessment of progress made in the implementation of the Asia Regional Plan and stakeholders commitments, update on the plans and status of preparations for the AMCDRR in Mongolia in July 2018 and the ways to enhance the understanding of the Sendai Framework Monitor. The representative of the Government of India chaired the first session on the progress in the Implementation of the Sendai Framework and the Asia Regional Plan for Implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The representatives of UNISDR and UNESCAP briefly introduced the Regional Plan and Road Map for Disaster Risk Reduction in line with the SDGs.   The second session on Progress in Disaster Risk Reduction was moderated by the Mongolian representatives during which delegates from participating governments delivered their reports on the progress made at national level. At the third session, the representatives of intergovernmental and regional organizations, other stakeholders and UN agencies provided updates on the progress made in disaster risk reduction.  Mr. Yang Youlin, Coordinator of the UNCCD Asia Regional Coordination Unit in meeting with some delegates and representatives of UN agencies proposed that the forum should consider the dust/sand storms and drought issues for inclusion on the agenda of AMCDRR 2018 which will take place 16-19 July 2019, in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.  The Sendai Priorities discussed by the Forum working groups included: •    Understanding disaster risk •    Disaster risk governance •    Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience •    Preparedness and build-back-better •    Sendai Framework Monitoring •    Coherence of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development The session also reviewed brief reports on three main developments and key challenges in the implementation of the Asia Regional Plan. The Asia-Pacific region is among the most disaster-prone regions in the world. In the last ten years, the region faced over 2 600 disasters causing around 385 000 deaths and affecting over 1.7 billion people.  

UNISDR Asia Partnership Forum shares updates in disaster risk reduction
First Asia-Pacific Climate Week held in Bangkok

Bangkok, Thailand – 13 -15 December 2017 – ministers and high-level officials from the departments of finance, the private sector and leaders from the Asia-Pacific countries participated in the First Climate Week, which identified ways to scale up climate action and find innovative financing solutions for the transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient economies.   The First Asia-Pacific Climate Week (APCW 2017) culminated with the consideration of a Regional Climate Action Agenda which focuses on  strengthening regional cooperation among state and non-state stakeholders to promote greater achievement in key economic sectors by 2020.   The three-day event was co-organized by UNESCAP, UNFCCC, UNDP, UNEP-DTU, ADB, IETA, IGES, and TGO.  The UNCCD Secretariat Asia RCU staff participated in the Asia Pacific Carbon Forum, Plenary Sessions, workshop sessions, High Level Ministerial Segment and side events.    Addressing the ministerial segment on 15th December, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP emphasized that enabling vulnerable countries to gain access to international capital markets to finance the green transition can be one of the most effective ways to finance climate action, and every dollar invested will leverage many more.   In his remarks, Mr. Inia Seruiratu, High-level Champion for Global Climate Action and Minister for Agriculture, Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Risk Management and Meteorological Services of Fiji, stressed that meaningful discussions shared during this High-Level Segment will help move key stakeholders in the region toward a clear Regional Climate Action Agenda, which unifies the region’s climate ambitions with the need to ensure that financial flows are consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.   In his address Mr. Dirk Forrister, CEO and President of IETA stated that improving the quality of data and transparency are two key goals towards the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement. Achieving these goals will help finance to flow and results to be verified, and would also clear the path to market-based solutions that can vastly scale up the reductions Paris calls for.   Mr. James Grabert, Director of the Sustainable Development Mechanisms Programme at UNFCCC underlined that success in achieving the Paris Agreement objectives will require an ‘all-hands- on-deck’ approach, bringing together the private sector, cities, civil society and other non-state actors.    For more information visit the event page.   

First Asia-Pacific Climate Week held in Bangkok
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
Be inspired by the 15 amazing young activists!

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

Be inspired by the 15 amazing young activists!