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The establishment of the Intergovernmental Working Group (IWG) on Drought is welcome news. This new inter-governmental process has immense value addition to the immediate positive outcomes of saving lives, livestock, rangelands and livelihoods in case of drought. It will improve major drought driven insecurity in some of the world’s most fragile areas by strengthening policy actions and improving coordination during implementation.
Brazil has committed US$100 million dollars raised from domestic environmental fines to finance activities to reverse land degradation in an initiative known as the URAD model that combines social inclusion, local development and environmental sustainability. The results are amazing, with activities being completed well ahead of schedule and behaviour change in the communities evident long before reaping the expected long-term fruits.
If you track science in the news regularly, you may have noticed the release of the IPBES Assessment Report on Land Degradation and Restoration, a landmark global scientific assessment of land degradation and restoration and its summary for policy makers. Most of the press reported the almost unfathomable extent of the problem. About 75% of all land is impacted by degradation. This is compromising the well-being of nearly half of the people on Earth and costing 10% of the annual global gross product in lost ecosystem services. The impending doom is not to be taken lightly. But the press reports obscure a wealth of information in the Assessment, which can lead to solutions