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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.
The international community is developing policy measures and actions to help the people most vulnerable to drought to take early action to avoid loss of life, and the heavy and growing losses of livelihoods and damage to property and ecosystems following droughts. The Intergovernmental Working Group on Drought (IWG) that is leading this initiative is convening for the first time on 26 March through virtual meetings involving four task teams. The outcomes of the initiative could become effective as early as 2022. Read more: Full press release About IWG Land and drought
To strengthen its communication and collective working capacity, the UNCCD CSO panel is adopting new outreach instruments. At its last meeting on 12 March 2020, the panel agreed to produce a quarterly newsletter to keep the CSO community well-informed. In this first issue, the newsletter showcases the new members of the panel and the work of the organizations they represent, along with the plans the coming months. This newsletter plans to share information, knowledge, activities and events of nearly 600 civil society organizations accredited to the UNCCD Conference of the Parties. You can also contact the current CSO Panel by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Land Degradation Neutrality for Water Security and Combatting Drought is a new briefing note released by the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with the Wageningen University and Research (WUR) on the occasion of the World Water Day 2020. The publication shows that avoiding, reducing and reversing land degradation have positive long-term gains in water security. Countries all over the world are setting voluntary targets to help them maintain a balance between land, as a natural capital, and its use, which often leads to its degradation. To date, 123 countries have committed to achieve these targets, known as the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) targets, by 2030. LDN targets offer a new way of managing land that is also helping countries to achieve many goals at once. They can manage both land and water resources sustainably at the landscape level. Countries can address water insecurity and drought. LDN targets also open opportunities for synergy on the policy and operational levels in the context of land and water use and management. However, the focus of the briefing note is the examination of countries with targets that address both soil and water conservation. Water is the most disruptive element in the ongoing climate change crisis, and the way is which the land is managed plays a major role in taming this disruption. The analysis shows that achieving LDN offers much more than the immediate local returns. It makes major contributions to other international environmental and development objectives. Key among these are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Biological Diversity, Climate Change and Ramsar conventions and the targets in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The findings presented in the briefing note are based on the analysis of 94 reports. Of these, 77 are national reports from countries participating in the UNCCD led LDN Target Setting Programme (TSP), and the rest are reports from countries that also participated in the UNCCD Drought Initiative. The study assessed the water-related targets and measures adopted by countries to achieve LDN by 2030, in line with the SDG Agenda, more specifically SDG 6, whose purpose is to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.” 48 of the 77 analysed countries (62 per cent) have also connected their contribution to the UNFCCC (through their Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs) with their LDN and water security targets. For more information on the specific recommendations of this study, please refer to the briefing note now available for download from the UNCCD library.