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UNCCD becomes international observer to the Green Climate Fund

UNCCD joins the group of international observer organizations to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) – based on a recent GCF board decision. As a major source of climate finance, GCF offers many opportunities for UNCCD member countries to finance preparation and implementation of large scale transformative land-based climate action projects. The observer status enables UNCCD representatives to attend GCF board meetings and to contribute better to the orientation of climate finance to achieve land degradation neutrality. In the framework of COP 13, UNCCD and GCF are partnering to organize a training session on “How to access Green Climate Fund financing for land-based projects?” It will convey to UNCCD national focal points and land use practitioners the key messages and methodologies that can increase the volume of financing to achieve climate change mitigation and adaptation while combating desertification and land degradation. Links: Green Climate Fund Land and Climate Change Decision GCF board B.BM-2017/08

UNCCD becomes international observer to the Green Climate Fund
Future Policy Award crowns the world’s best land restoration policies

Hamburg/ Bonn/Ordos – 22 August 2017 – More people, less erosion – Ethiopia’s Tigray region demonstrates that this can be a reality: They will take home the Gold Future Policy Award 2017, beating 26 other nominated policies to the prize. Also known as “Oscar for Best Policies,” the Future Policy Award highlights the world’s best policies that combat desertification and land degradation this year. With unique collective action, voluntary labour and the involvement of youth, the people of Tigray are restoring land on a massive scale. As a result, erosion has decreased significantly, groundwater levels are recharged, and the uptake of sustainable agricultural practices made a significant contribution to food self-sufficiency and economic growth. Two Silver Awards were granted to:  Brazil’s Cistern Programme, which empowered millions of the country’s poorest people by building 1.2 million cisterns in the Semiarid region and providing water for consumption and for growing food and keeping livestock China’s Law on Prevention and Control of Desertification, the world’s first integrated law dedicated to combating desertification. Over the last 15 years, China has reversed the trend of desertification  The international jury further bestowed Bronze Awards to:  Australia’s Indigenous Protected Areas and Rangers Programmes, since the more than 2,600 indigenous rangers are at the forefront of tackling environmental degradation Jordan’s Updated Rangeland Strategy, which is enshrining the Middle East’s most widespread and longstanding indigenous traditional conservation institution ‘Hima’ into law  Niger’s large-scale, cross-sectoral 3N Initiative ‘Nigeriens Nourishing Nigeriens’ addressing land degradation and food security  The Vision Award goes to the international “4 per 1000” Initiative which communicates a new concept for mitigating climate change through the increase of soil organic carbon Statements from the UNCCD and the World Future Council Monique Barbut, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD): “Drylands cover close to 40% of the Earth’s land surface. Hundreds of millions of people are directly threatened by land degradation and climate change is only going to intensify the problem. So far, this underestimated environmental disaster has received far too little attention. The Future Policy Award 2017 is turning the spotlight on the looming environmental challenge and effective responses. The seven Future Policy Awardees are all from affected countries, and demonstrate great environmental and political determination.”  Alexandra Wandel, Director and Vice-Chair, Management Board of the World Future Council (WFC): “The Ethiopian Tigray Region’s win of the Gold Future Policy Award is sending a strong, empowering message: they show how a small region in a climate vulnerable country can find a smart and highly effective way to successfully address a global challenge.This is placing Ethiopia firmly on the map as an environmental leader.” The Future Policy Award is the only award which honours policies rather than people on an international level. Each year, the World Future Council chooses a topic for the Future Policy Award on which policy progress is particularly urgent. In 2017, in partnership with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), laws and policies were evaluated that contribute to the protection of life and livelihoods in the drylands, and help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 15, target 3, to “combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world.” The Awards will be presented at a ceremony on 11 September 2017, at the thirteenth session of the Conference of the Parties of the UNCCD in Ordos, China. More information:Read more about the winning policies and the award. Follow the 2017 Future Policy Award on Twitter with #FPA2017 For more information about the Future Policy Award, see here. Media Contacts: Miriam Petersen Media & Communications Manager World Future Council Tel: +49 (0) 40 307 09 14 19 (L) +49 (0) 1573 68 38 736 (M)miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org Wagaki Wischnewski Public Information and Media Officer United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification Tel: +49 (0) 228 815 2820wwischnewski@unccd.int The World Future Council The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Its up to 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. In close cooperation with civil society actors, parliamentarians, governments, business and international organizations the World Future Council identifies “best policies” around the globe. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany.www.worldfuturecouncil.org  The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the only legally binding international agreement on land issues. The Convention promotes good land stewardship. Its 196 Parties aim, through partnerships, to implement the Convention and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The end goal is to protect our land, from over-use and drought, so it can continue to provide us all with food, water and energy. By sustainably managing land and striving to achieve land degradation neutrality, now and in the future, we will reduce the impact of climate change, avoid conflict over natural resources and help communities to thrive.www.unccd.int

Future Policy Award crowns the world’s best land restoration policies
LAC regional conference calls for action against drought

Santa Cruz de la Sierra  – 23 August 2017 – The conference on drought that took place in Bolivia from 14 to 16 August 2017 called for joint action against drought. Based on the deliberations among the delegates, the conference concluded with a declaration focusing on integrated drought management approaches to the development and implementation of national drought monitoring, early warning systems, vulnerability studies, impact assessments, mitigation and preparedness policies and plans. A high-level round table was conducted and a regional strategy document on drought preparedness systems was discussed by the experts during the technical segment of the conference. Policy makers, water management professionals, resource managers and experts from 20 countries of the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region together with international experts from universities and UN agencies participated in the conference. 

LAC regional conference calls for action against drought
Future Policy Award crowns the world’s best land restoration policies

Hamburg/ Bonn/Ordos – 22 August 2017 – More people, less erosion – Ethiopia’s Tigray region demonstrates that this can be a reality: They will take home the Gold Future Policy Award 2017, beating 26 other nominated policies to the prize. Also known as “Oscar for Best Policies,” the Future Policy Award highlights the world’s best policies that combat desertification and land degradation this year. With unique collective action, voluntary labour and the involvement of youth, the people of Tigray are restoring land on a massive scale. As a result, erosion has decreased significantly, groundwater levels are recharged, and the uptake of sustainable agricultural practices made a significant contribution to food self-sufficiency and economic growth. Two Silver Awards were granted to:  Brazil’s Cistern Programme, which empowered millions of the country’s poorest people by building 1.2 million cisterns in the Semiarid region and providing water for consumption and for growing food and keeping livestock China’s Law on Prevention and Control of Desertification, the world’s first integrated law dedicated to combating desertification. Over the last 15 years, China has reversed the trend of desertification  The international jury further bestowed Bronze Awards to:  Australia’s Indigenous Protected Areas and Rangers Programmes, since the more than 2,600 indigenous rangers are at the forefront of tackling environmental degradation Jordan’s Updated Rangeland Strategy, which is enshrining the Middle East’s most widespread and longstanding indigenous traditional conservation institution ‘Hima’ into law  Niger’s large-scale, cross-sectoral 3N Initiative ‘Nigeriens Nourishing Nigeriens’ addressing land degradation and food security  The Vision Award goes to the international “4 per 1000” Initiative which communicates a new concept for mitigating climate change through the increase of soil organic carbon Statements from the UNCCD and the World Future Council Monique Barbut, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD): “Drylands cover close to 40% of the Earth’s land surface. Hundreds of millions of people are directly threatened by land degradation and climate change is only going to intensify the problem. So far, this underestimated environmental disaster has received far too little attention. The Future Policy Award 2017 is turning the spotlight on the looming environmental challenge and effective responses. The seven Future Policy Awardees are all from affected countries, and demonstrate great environmental and political determination.”  Alexandra Wandel, Director and Vice-Chair, Management Board of the World Future Council (WFC): “The Ethiopian Tigray Region’s win of the Gold Future Policy Award is sending a strong, empowering message: they show how a small region in a climate vulnerable country can find a smart and highly effective way to successfully address a global challenge.This is placing Ethiopia firmly on the map as an environmental leader.” The Future Policy Award is the only award which honours policies rather than people on an international level. Each year, the World Future Council chooses a topic for the Future Policy Award on which policy progress is particularly urgent. In 2017, in partnership with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), laws and policies were evaluated that contribute to the protection of life and livelihoods in the drylands, and help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 15, target 3, to “combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world.” The Awards will be presented at a ceremony on 11 September 2017, at the thirteenth session of the Conference of the Parties of the UNCCD in Ordos, China. More information:Read more about the winning policies and the award. Follow the 2017 Future Policy Award on Twitter with #FPA2017 For more information about the Future Policy Award, see here. Media Contacts: Miriam Petersen Media & Communications Manager World Future Council Tel: +49 (0) 40 307 09 14 19 (L) +49 (0) 1573 68 38 736 (M)miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org Wagaki Wischnewski Public Information and Media Officer United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification Tel: +49 (0) 228 815 2820wwischnewski@unccd.int The World Future Council The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Its up to 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. In close cooperation with civil society actors, parliamentarians, governments, business and international organizations the World Future Council identifies “best policies” around the globe. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany.www.worldfuturecouncil.org  The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the only legally binding international agreement on land issues. The Convention promotes good land stewardship. Its 196 Parties aim, through partnerships, to implement the Convention and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The end goal is to protect our land, from over-use and drought, so it can continue to provide us all with food, water and energy. By sustainably managing land and striving to achieve land degradation neutrality, now and in the future, we will reduce the impact of climate change, avoid conflict over natural resources and help communities to thrive.www.unccd.int

Future Policy Award crowns the world’s best land restoration policies
Liaison Energie Francophonie recent issue: “Desertification and land systems: from recognition to action”

Institut de la Francophonie pour le développement durable has released a special issue of Liaison Energie Francophonie “Desertification and land systems: from recognition to action.” Contributions from the UNCCD secretariat cover the origins of the Convention, its role as the sole legally binding international agreement exclusively dealing with land resources, as well as the direction and challenges of the upcoming UNCCD COP13 in Ordos, China. As the recent UNCCD initiatives, such as 3S (Sustainability, Stability, Security) and LDN Target Setting Programme have shown, the path to combating desertification and accompanying social and economic issues is through innovation based on dedicated scientific research and concerted action in land restoration and sustainable land management. You can access the online edition here.

Liaison Energie Francophonie recent issue: “Desertification and land systems: from recognition to action”
Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Conference on Drought kicks off

Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, 14 August 2017 – Under the theme “Together against drought" (“Juntos contra la sequia”),” around 60 delegates from across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), as well as leading international experts are coming together to identify the regional drought challenges and good practices. The principal objective of the Regional Conference on Drought that runs from 14 to 16 August, 2017, is to raise political momentum against drought and develop a comprehensive strategic framework for drought management that emphasizes a paradigm shift from "reactive" to "proactive" approaches. A high-level roundtable is scheduled for the 16 August, when ministers and heads of agencies will discuss specific drought challenges, remedial measures and policy options for the region. UNCCD Deputy Executive Secretary Pradeep Monga is addressing the participants on behalf of the UNCCD secretariat. The conference is organized by the Bolivian Ministry of Environment and Water, the UNCCD, the Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations (FAO) and other partners. You can download programme concept and agenda in English and Spanish.

Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Conference on Drought kicks off