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Report: LDN contributing to global biodiversity conservation goals

Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) can directly support the achievement of more than three-quarters of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, according to a new report published by the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD, in collaboration with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The report “Land Degradation Neutrality for Biodiversity Conservation: How Healthy Land Safeguards Nature” highlights how LDN can address the priorities of both the CBD and the UNCCD in an effective and complementary manner. According to the report, LDN and the CBD’s 2011-2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity have multiple mutual objectives aimed at promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, ecosystems and biodiversity and can therefore strongly reinforce each other. Both also include a commitment to socio-economic goals, including contributing to health, livelihoods and well-being and ensuring that the benefits from the sustainable use of land and biodiversity accrue to all, especially women, indigenous communities and the poor and vulnerable. The report provides concrete examples of how LDN can support the achievement of each of the Strategic Goals of the CBD’s Strategic Plan and suggests how synergies can be further exploited by countries in their efforts to achieve both LDN, through their voluntary national LDN targets, and their National Biodiversity Strategies And Action Plans (NBSAPs), by promoting actions to address the drivers of land degradation and biodiversity loss, protect ecosystems and support climate action. Good practices from around the world which are highlighted in the report include: The Philippines’ approach to integrating the three Rio Conventions with its national development strategies on agriculture, natural resources management and climate, and actions to prevent and reverse conversion and degradation in over 6 million hectares by 2030; Benin’s new Mono Transboundary Biosphere Reserve, recognized by UNESCO, protecting some 345,000 hectares of forests, savannas, wetlands and mangroves; Chile’s target to afforest 140,000 hectares primarily using native species and to improve the management of livestock grazing near protected areas; Moldova’s focus on conserving and improving the fertility of its soils, by expanding forest cover and establishing greenbelts and buffer strips. As the process of defining the post-2020 global biodiversity framework moves forward and the 2021-2030 UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration unfolds, the report notes that there is strong potential to step up joint action on these agendas. In this context, the international community has an unique opportunity to better reflect the synergies between LDN, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration targets in the and alto to scale up joint UNCCD and CBD implementation to raise both awareness and financial support for action on biodiversity loss and land degradation and make a pivotal contribution to achieving national and international objectives. The full technical report and the accompanying briefing note are both available to download from the UNCCD library: Technical Report onLDN for Biodiversity Conservation: How Healthy Land Safeguards Nature Briefing Note on LDN for Biodiversity Conservation

Report: LDN contributing to global biodiversity conservation goals
Report: LDN contributing to global biodiversity conservation goals

Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) can directly support the achievement of more than three-quarters of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, according to a new report published by the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD, in collaboration with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The report “Land Degradation Neutrality for Biodiversity Conservation: How Healthy Land Safeguards Nature” highlights how LDN can address the priorities of both the CBD and the UNCCD in an effective and complementary manner. According to the report, LDN and the CBD’s 2011-2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity have multiple mutual objectives aimed at promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, ecosystems and biodiversity and can therefore strongly reinforce each other. Both also include a commitment to socio-economic goals, including contributing to health, livelihoods and well-being and ensuring that the benefits from the sustainable use of land and biodiversity accrue to all, especially women, indigenous communities and the poor and vulnerable. The report provides concrete examples of how LDN can support the achievement of each of the Strategic Goals of the CBD’s Strategic Plan and suggests how synergies can be further exploited by countries in their efforts to achieve both LDN, through their voluntary national LDN targets, and their National Biodiversity Strategies And Action Plans (NBSAPs), by promoting actions to address the drivers of land degradation and biodiversity loss, protect ecosystems and support climate action. Good practices from around the world which are highlighted in the report include: The Philippines’ approach to integrating the three Rio Conventions with its national development strategies on agriculture, natural resources management and climate, and actions to prevent and reverse conversion and degradation in over 6 million hectares by 2030; Benin’s new Mono Transboundary Biosphere Reserve, recognized by UNESCO, protecting some 345,000 hectares of forests, savannas, wetlands and mangroves; Chile’s target to afforest 140,000 hectares primarily using native species and to improve the management of livestock grazing near protected areas; Moldova’s focus on conserving and improving the fertility of its soils, by expanding forest cover and establishing greenbelts and buffer strips. As the process of defining the post-2020 global biodiversity framework moves forward and the 2021-2030 UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration unfolds, the report notes that there is strong potential to step up joint action on these agendas. In this context, the international community has an unique opportunity to better reflect the synergies between LDN, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration targets in the and also to scale up joint UNCCD and CBD implementation to raise both awareness and financial support for action on biodiversity loss and land degradation and make a pivotal contribution to achieving national and international objectives. The full technical report and the accompanying briefing note are both available to download.

Report: LDN contributing to global biodiversity conservation goals
At COP25, UN agencies commit to turn the tide on deforestation

At COP25 in Madrid today, heads of UN agencies met for a high-level leadership dialogue on how to turn the tide on deforestation and committed to the common goal of helping countries reduce deforestation and improve forest management. According to the UN, up to 23 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions derive from the agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector. However, a myriad of forest-based solutions taking place on the ground show the real and promising results that forests can deliver As President of COP25, Chile initiated the Santiago Call for Action on Forests. The call highlights the fact that climate change, including increases in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, is impacting terrestrial ecosystems, exacerbating existing risks to livelihoods, food systems, infrastructure, human and ecosystem health, and biodiversity.  The COP25 Presidency issued a call for action on seven essential activities, including on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and enhancing so-called "sinks" which absorb carbon. Together with improved land management options, forests and trees could provide up to 30 per cent of GHG mitigation required by 2030 to keep the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius, the upper temperature goal of the Paris Agreement. All UN agencies at today's high-level dialogue committed firmly to the common goal of helping countries to reduce deforestation and improve forest management. The United Nations Forum on Forests, represented by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which serves as the Secretariat of the Forum, highlighted the importance of promoting sustainable management of all types of forests and implementation of the UN Strategic Plan for Forests by 2030: Implementation of the UN Strategic Plan for Forests by 2030 will reverse the loss of forests and increase them by three per cent globally and will also help eradicate extreme poverty for forest-dependent people. UN DESA, through its work in support of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and the UN Forum on Forests, is committed to playing its vital role in accelerating global efforts to halt deforestation and promoting sustainable management of all types of forests  — Mr. Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations underlined that addressing deforestation requires looking beyond the forest sector to identify the main drivers of deforestation: We need to look beyond the forests. To step up action against deforestation and forest degradation, we need to find consensus to agree on reducing footprints of agricultural commodities. We need to work with all stakeholders in supporting global efforts to turn the tide on deforestation  — Mr. QU Dongyu, Director-General The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification explained the concept of land-degradation neutrality to help countries identify and address the drivers of deforestation in a robust way: Halting deforestation and restoring degraded forests are global imperatives. Land Degradation Neutrality SDG Target 15.3 provides the robust framework needed to keep land, including forests, healthy and resilient over the long haul, which in turn will keep food, energy, carbon and biodiversity in balance. Restoring degraded lands means better lives and income for farmers and herders and for women and youth, and less pressure to migrate to cities — Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary The Global Environment Facility emphasized the need for transformative action that connects sustainable activities across different sectors, in particular, land-use and food: Faced with growing rates of global deforestation, there is an urgent need to transform economic systems related to food and land use. The new four-year GEF-7 strategy reflects this with a focus on harnessing the existing and emerging multi-stakeholder platforms committed to sustainability, which include important global companies from the food sector  — Ms. Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson The United Nations Environment Programme agreed with the strong need for action, and highlighted several areas for the implementation of solutions: We need to focus on nature-positive agriculture; clean up our supply-chains; adopt sustainable consumption and production methods; partner with the private sector and put a price on carbon. And the good news is that there is much greater awareness about the state of our forests than ever before and when we build leadership in one place, we will witness a race to the top to save our planet's forests.  — Inger Andersen, Executive Director The United Nations Development Programme stressed the need to implement the existing REDD+ framework to reduce deforestation effectively and raise ambition in NDCs: Supporting countries to tackle deforestation is an essential component of climate action and thus of UNDP's Climate Promise. REDD+ is a "ready to go" nature-based solution. And the UN-REDD Programme provides a platform for the UN to support countries to raise their nature-based NDC ambition.  — Mr. Achim Steiner, Administrator Regarding implementation on the ground, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change added: The agreement on the REDD+ framework was a milestone. It gives a clear direction on how countries, civil society and the private sector can collaborate to reduce deforestation. While it's only a starting point, its strength is its flexibility. Each country can adapt it to its national circumstances and enhance implementation over time, especially by including REDD+ activities in their NDCs.  — Ms. Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary Addressing deforestation is an issue that is a concern throughout the UN organization and for millions throughout the world. All UN agencies emphasized their readiness to support countries in their efforts to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, building on existing efforts to provide technical and financial support, and working together as partners. Trust-building through the UNFCCC transparency framework will remain vital for collaboration on this important matter. Finally, it was also highlighted that reducing deforestation requires an effort by all stakeholders, engaging local communities and indigenous peoples, women and youth, civil society and the private sector, as well as producers and consumers.

At COP25, UN agencies commit to turn the tide on deforestation
"When the Skies Ran Dry" screened at Climate Change Action Hub

"Droughts really are changing the planet, around us. They are one of the worst impacts that we will see in terms of the human impacts of climate change," said Louise Baker, the UNCCD External Relations, Policy and Advocacy Chief at a film screening event, "When the Skies Ran Dry", on 7 December 2019. The event was part of the Climate Change Action Hub programme being held on the margins of the UN Change Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid, Spain. After screening of the documentary film, "When the Skies Run Dry", Baker and Patrick Augenstein, the producer of the film, discussed with audience impacts of drought on livelihoods and ecosystems. Creating opportunities for showing "win-win" evidence of ecosystem restoration and development was among the dialogue with the audience.  Watch the event video About land and drought

"When the Skies Ran Dry" screened at Climate Change Action Hub