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Sustainable alternatives to tobacco growing for health and land

As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, one fact has never been more evident – our world, our planet and our lives are inextricably interconnected. There are very few issues that can be considered simply “health problems,” as nearly every aspect of life is connected to other societal, economic and environmental issues. While we recognize the negative impact of tobacco on our health, we tend to think less frequently about the economic impact of tobacco use on health costs and productivity losses. What is even less well known is how tremendously destructive tobacco cultivation and tobacco use is for the environment – on land, water and air.

Sustainable alternatives to tobacco growing for health and land
Caribbean nations collaborate on land-based climate action

The meeting on “Advancing the design of a LDN Transformative Project/Programme in Caribbean SIDS for climate change mitigation and adaptation” took place online on 20-21 May 2021 to coordinate regional collaboration on the development of the new programme and seek synergies with national climate change mitigation and adaptation agendas. The Partnership Initiative for Sustainable Land Management in the Caribbean (PISLM), the UNCCD Global Mechanism (GM) and the UNFCCC brought together 24 participants, including National Focal Points (NFPs) of both Conventions and a representative of the GCF secretariat. Following the outcomes of this inception workshop, the next step  in the process will be collecting input on suggested country-specific activities and other additional guidance to share with PISLM, once UNCCD, UNFCCC and GCF NFPs have consulted with relevant stakeholders. All the Caribbean Small Island Developing States (CSIDS) are parties to the UNCCD and UNFCCC, participating actively in the Conferences of the Parties and the activities of both conventions . Under UNCCD, CSIDS are actively engaged in the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Programme of the GM. Welcoming the attendees, the Executive Director of PISLM, Mr. Calvin James remarked on the continued collaboration of the GM with the PISLM, noting that the inception workshop ia a critical stepping stone to support CSIDS in shaping a land-based transformative programme that can boost climate resiliency and address land degradation issues in the region. Ms. Louise Baker, the Managing Director of the GM, highlighted that the CSIDS have always understood the real importance of safeguarding land capital, since for small island states every hectare of healthy land is a precious resource. Ms. Baker also recognized the progress the region has made in setting voluntary LDN targets, with 11 of the 15 participating countries already completing the process. Additionally, during the first day of this workshop, representatives of the GCF secretariat, the UNFCCC Regional Collaboration Centre (RCC) at St .George’s and the GM of the UNCCD provided an overview of GCF financial modalities and ongoing support provided for relevant initiatives in the region, including guidance to formulate multi-country funding proposals Current climate change mitigation and adaptation priorities set by CSIDS in their  Nationally Determined Contributions and National Action Plans, highlighting the relevance of the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector and land-based interventions The status of the LDN target setting process in CSIDS and related implementation efforts that require support. The country delegates shared information on the national priorities for climate change mitigation and adaptation, LDN targets and GCF financing. On the second day of the workshop delegates discussed proposed themes and project components to define the scope of both regional and country-specific elements of the proposal and agreed to develop the concept as an umbrella programme proposal to be submitted to the GCF through its simplified approval process. They have also discussed which accredited entity would be best positioned to effectively support countries in the development of this initiative.  

Caribbean nations collaborate on land-based climate action
Portrait of the week: Ricardo Landazuri

Ricardo is an Environmental Engineer and a Master's degree candidate in Environmental Management, with studies in Economics, Environmental Consulting, environmental law and GIS. He is developing a recovery project of saline and sodic soils in the costal area of Peru and strongly believes that without science, there is no sustainable future. Ricardo has founded EnviroPro, a company that provides green solutions and technology to the public and private sectors in Peru. They develop intelligent and customized tools to allow the farmers to save money and obtain better results with a sustainable mindset.  Facebook: @rlandazurim Twitter: @Ingamblandazuri Instagram: @rlandazurim

Portrait of the week: Ricardo Landazuri
GEF pledges 2 million USD for reporting on land degradation

The country Parties to UNCCD are required to submit national reports on the status of land degradation and desertification every four years. The UNCCD Secretariat and Global Mechanism provide technical advice and capacity building support in this process through a Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded and UNEP (UN Environment) implemented Global Support Programme (GSP). GEF has recently approved two million USD funding to help the countries complete the next reporting cycle in 2021-2022. A new reporting platform planned for the project would ensure that a higher level of accurate assessment and analysis of land degradation trends at national and regional levels is achieved and that policy makers can make informed land management decisions.

GEF pledges 2 million USD for reporting on land degradation
Portrait of the week: Maria Wilvenna Añora

Maria has an MBA with a minor in Chemical Engineering. She is the co-founder and the strategy lead of AtoANI (produce-to-demand sustainable agriculture model) and AtoANI BioPack (biodegradable packaging from agro-industrial waste). AtoANI is currently supporting 20 farmers in Bohol (Philippines) and is planning together with World Vision Philippines to expand the initiative to Cebu via the Innovation Challenge. This project is currently being supported by the Innovation for Social Impact Partnership (ISIP) under its RISE UP initiative. ISIP is an NGO co-implemented by PhilDev and UNDP Philippines. AtoANI BioPack project is part of Makesense Academy Incubation Program supported by WWF. They are developing packages made of sugarcane bagasse and aspire to become a significant force in reducing plastic and agricultural waste.  Instagram: @atoani_biopack Twitter: @wilvie_anora  Facebook: @atoanibiopack 

Portrait of the week: Maria Wilvenna Añora
UN digital ambassador ELYX joins Desertification and Drought Day

This journey for ELYX, the UN’s Digital Ambassador, begins on World Bee Day, 20 May 2021, with more stops ahead – the International Biodiversity Day on 22 May and World Environment Day on 5 June, and finally a celebration of Desertification and Drought Day on 17 June. ELYX is working with UNCCD to get the world’s private sector organizations excited and involved in both the 2021 Desertification and Drought Day and the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which runs from 2021 to 2030. UNCCD and ELYX are inviting private sector organizations around the world to commit to supporting one or more of the 12 targets of Sustainable Development Goal 15, Life on Land. ELYX was born in 2011 as an artistic project of renowned French artist Yacine Ait Kaci (YAK), became an Instagram influencer and in 2014 was appointed the first United Nations Digital Ambassador. UNCCD and ELYX will reach out to the private sector to bring their attention to the High-Level Dialogue on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought hosted by Mr. Volkan Bozkir, the seventy-fifth President of the United Nations General Assembly (PGA) to bring together Heads of State and Government to map the actions for the next ten years of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, after assessing the progress made to reduce the loss of productive land during the the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight Against Desertification that ended in 2020. ELYX's journey begins on the World Bee Day because bees are essential to keep our land healthy. Their disappearance  is a powerful signal that land is degrading. Protecting habitats of key pollinators such as bees is necessary to keep land productive and the entire ecosystem healthy – a cornerstone of sustainable post-pandemic recovery. Next, ELYX will join the international community to celebrate and launch of the UN Decade for Ecosystem Restoration 5 June. Together with UNCCD, he is inviting private companies to become part of the global movement of citizens backing governments to put life back into the one billion hectares of land that are no longer producing. On 17 June UNCCD will profile companies that respond to this invitation by announcing their commitments to leave Earth with better prospects for healthier and more productive future on land. For more information about the event contact Ms. Wagaki Wischnewski wwischnewski@unccd.int For information about how to get involved contact Mr. Marcos Montoiro mmontoiro@unccd.int

UN digital ambassador ELYX joins Desertification and Drought Day