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As the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (UNDER) gains momentum, UNCCD and WOCAT are partnering up on a video series that highlight the central role of sustainable land management (SLM) in restoring and maintaining the health of ecosystems. SLM has a central role in each of the eight UNDER ecosystems – farmlands, grasslands, forests, mountains, freshwaters, urban areas, peatlands, oceans and coasts – by combating land degradation, improving production and securing livelihoods while simultaneously generating multiple environmental co-benefits. While people have directly contributed to ecosystem degradation, they can also be the primary agents of change toward a sustainable land management restoration when armed with knowledge to adopt and upscale SLM. The new video series presents successful practices for each ecosystem, demonstrating how SLM can deliver powerful solutions to ecosystem degradation.
The world is rapidly urbanizing – within 30 years, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas. 90 per cent of urban growth will occur in less-developed countries across Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, further deepening the development gap between rural and urban areas. While cities occupy less than three per cent of the global land area, they consume the bulk of natural resources, while unplanned urban expansion often leads to human displacement and loss of productive land. Even though urban and rural areas depend on each other, rural communities often lag behind – worldwide 85 per cent of the poor still live in rural areas. UNCCD COP15 recognized the importance of rethinking urban-rural relationships when tackling desertification, land degradation and drought as drivers of forced migration and unplanned urbanization. Its decision 22/COP.15 invites Parties to promote sustainable territorial development to strengthen urban-rural linkages through territorial governance systems based on integrated territorial development to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality and address the drivers of forced migration. Creating a sustainable future within and outside cities calls for integrated spatial planning and inclusive development to ensure an equal and mutually beneficial exchange between urban and rural communities. Sustainable land use planning and restoration offer a cost-effective way to improve well-being of urban and rural communities, create green jobs, build drought resilience and support climate mitigation. This video, which premiered at the CBD COP 15 in Montreal in December 2022, demonstrates how well-planned and inclusive land-based actions can deliver multiple benefits by strengthening the urban-rural nexus.
Using drones, satellite images and computers, communities across the Sahel will plot the exact location and population of their Baobab trees using the global positioning system (GPS). The image of each tree growing in the 100 million hectares of land under restoration is collected by drone, converted into data that is transferred via satellite to a computer that is trained to automatically pick out the Baobabs.
On a mission to save the world's soils from extinction, the Save Soil campaign reached Bonn on 13 April 2022. The 100-day journey led by Sadhguru will cover 30,000 km across 25 nations to call on the policymakers and the public to make soil regeneration a priority. The campaign led by Sadhguru on his motorbike received a warm welcome from the city of Bonn officials and the executive management of the UN agencies in Germany. Following a round of discussions, Sadhguru joined the UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw for a live chat that was streamed across the UNCCD platforms. A yogi, mystic and visionary, Sadhguru has been named one of India’s 50 most influential people, whose work touched lives of millions worldwide. An engaging voice at major global fora that address issues of socioeconomic development, leadership and spirituality, he also initiated a number of large-scale projects focused on social revitalization, education and the environment, as a way to gave millions of people the means to overcome poverty, improve quality of life and achieve community-based sustainable development. The Save Soil movement strives to rally the environmentally-conscious around soil conservation, advocating the power of individual actions for policy change and public engagement. During their discussion, Sadhguru and Mr. Thiaw agreed that land and soil restoration can be a simple and powerful solution to the key environmental challenges of today, including climate change, biodiversity loss and destruction of ecosystems. Realizing that everything we need in our daily lives comes from soil and that conscious actions can make a real difference is the first step to preserving this precious resource and reversing degradation. The UNCCD and the Save Soil campaign will reconvene at the UNCCD COP15 in Abidjan on 9-20 May 2022. Remember to follow us for more news!
Requested in The COP 13 as part of the Drought Initiative, the toolbox is being designed to provide drought stakeholders with easy access to tools, case studies and other resources to support the design of National Drought Policy Plan with the aim to boost the resilience of people and ecosystems to drought. The Drought Toolbox is currently being developed as part of the Drought Initiative through the close partnership among UNCCD, WMO, FAO, GWP, the Joint Research Centre of the European Union, the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) of the University of Nebraska, and UNEP-DHI.