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Desertification and Drought Day 2024: “United for Land: Our Legacy. Our Future” 

Bonn, Germany, 21 February 2024 – This year’s Desertification and Drought Day, observed on 17 June, will focus on the future of land stewardship. Every second, an equivalent of four football fields of healthy land becomes degraded – adding up to a total of 100 million hectares every year. Engaging present and future generations is more important than ever to halt and reverse these alarming trends and meet global commitments to restore 1 billion hectares of degraded land by 2030. The theme chosen for this year's Desertification and Drought Day — “United for Land: Our Legacy. Our Future.” — seeks to mobilize all parts of society in support of sustainable land stewardship. 17 June 2024 will also mark the 30th anniversary of the Bonn-based United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)— the sole legally binding international treaty on land management and drought ; one of the three Rio Conventions alongside climate change and biodiversity. Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary, said: “Up to 40 per cent of the world’s land is already degraded, affecting  close to half of humanity. Yet the solutions are on the table. Land restoration lifts people out of poverty and builds resilience to climate change. It is time to unite for land and show a red card to land loss and degradation worldwide.” Hosted by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, the global observance event will take place at the Bundeskunsthalle (Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany) in Bonn on Monday, 17 June 2024. “Around a quarter of the world’s population is affected by drought. The condition of our soils in Europe is also deteriorating rapidly. Protecting soil and land is a global challenge. We need to take action together today so that the generations to come can have access to vital natural resources. We will only be able to feed humankind and deal with the climate and biodiversity crisis if we have healthy soils,” Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Bringing together leaders from all over the world, youth and prominent personalities from academia, civil society, sports and entertainment, the global observance event will showcase a strong ambition to be united for land, ahead of the largest-ever UN conference on land and drought in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in December 2024 (UNCCD COP16). Throughout May and June, UNCCD together with the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the City of Bonn as their partner, will kick-start a #UNited4Land public awareness campaign and will be engaged in various events in and around Bonn on the future of land stewardship. Katja Dörner,  Lady Mayor of Bonn said: “As the home of the UNCCD and a city on the path towards climate neutrality in 2035, Bonn can only think and protect climate, nature and land together. Land is everything— and so much more than the area our city is built on. Land is the soil on which our crops grow, a habitat for plants and animals, a sponge for water, open space and cooling corridor— and a legacy that we pass on to future generations.” Countries around the world are mobilizing to mark Desertification and Drought Day with an array of educational, cultural and sporting activities—from film screenings to football tournaments and from tree planting to gardening competitions. A full programme of events will be available online at: https://www.unccd.int/events/desertification-drought-day. About Desertification and Drought Day Officially declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994 (A/RES/49/115), Desertification and Drought Day, marked annually on 17 June, has the following objectives:   To promote public awareness of the issues linked to desertification, land degradation and drought To showcase human-led solutions to prevent desertification and reverse intensifying droughts To strengthen the implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification Take part in this year’s celebration: To find out more about this year’s Desertification and Drought Day, click here: https://www.unccd.int/DDD2024 To access #UNited4Land campaign materials, click here: https://trello.com/b/VdJGolcp/desertification-and-drought-day-2024 To learn more about Desertification and Drought Day activities around the world, click here: https://www.unccd.int/events/desertification-drought-day/2024/events-around-world For online participation in the global observance event in Bonn, please contact: communications(at)unccd.int For more information, please contact: UNCCD: Xenya Scanlon, +49 152 5454 0492, xscanlon@unccd.int or Yannis Umlauf, +49 178 285 8629 yumlauf@unccd.int with copy to press@unccd.int   BMZ: Press Unit, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Tel: +49 (0)30 18 535-2451, Email: presse@bmz.bund.de, www.bmz.de

Desertification and Drought Day 2024: “United for Land: Our Legacy. Our Future” 
CYNK, KenGrow and UNCCD join new climate-smart agriculture project to empower female farmers 

Together KenGrow, Flux, Hiveonline and CYNK will deliver digital infrastructure alongside new regenerative agriculture techniques to increase climate finance inclusion for Kenyan women in rural communities.    Dubai, December 2023. CYNK, a leading climate finance platform founded in Nairobi, Kenya, announces a new partnership with KenGrow and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) to provide funding and expertise to women smallholder farmers in emerging economies. The first climate smart regenerative agriculture project, based in Kisumu, Kenya, will see CYNK teaming up with KenGrow, a foundation that builds bridges between communities within Kenya and Flux, an organisation specialised in Enhanced Rock Weathering (ERW), headquartered in Nairobi. Leveraging Hiveonline’s digital community finance platform KenGrow members will have access to financial inclusion tools that give women greater control of their finances.   CYNK's cutting-edge technology is set to empower women members of the KenGrow group in rural communities through a groundbreaking UNCCD Climate Smart Agriculture project. This partnership unlocks a triple win: increased income, climate resilience, and digital inclusion.    Women farmers will generate additional income by sequestering carbon on their farms and earning carbon credit revenue streams via CYNK's platform. This reduces their reliance on expensive synthetic fertilizers, further boosting their profits and yields. Additionally, CYNK's virtual training empowers them to adopt innovative, nature-positive farming techniques, specifically tailored to the cyclical nature and seasonality of agriculture. This builds resilience and paves the way for long-term success. The Kisumu-based project will combine Flux’s pioneering regenerative agriculture technique, with KenGrow’s networking and training opportunities. Flux reduces the overreliance on synthetic fertilizers by providing a natural soil health improver in the form of volcanic rock powders. This technique has the potential to sequester up to 5 gigatons of CO2 per year globally. It will support the socio-economic development of 2,000 Kenyan women in grassroots rural and peri-urban communities. Sudhu Arumugam, CEO at CYNK, commented: “We are proud to partner with these prestigious organisations to provide female smallholder farmers an opportunity to enhance their farming expertise and generate additional revenue streams via our carbon credit platform. It is critical to deploy scalable technology like regenerative agriculture to promote women’s financial resilience, protect soils relied upon by local communities and contribute to global climate goals.”  Louise Baker, Managing Director of the Global Mechanism at UNCCD, added: “We are excited to launch our Climate Smart Agriculture project in partnership with KenGrow and CYNK. It is clear that female smallholder farmers need to be at the forefront of climate action - this program will strengthen their capacity to apply positive agricultural and climate resilient practices. Investing in women’s access to funding and expertise is not only a question of justice but a commitment to the prosperity of our lands.”    For media inquiries contact London  Tristan Peniston-Bird, Portland Communications  +44 7772 031 886, Tristan.Peniston-Bird@Portland-Communications.com Pauline Guenot, Portland Communications +44 7379 068 832, Pauline.Guenot@Portland-Communications.com  Nairobi Joel Chacha, Portland Communications +254 722 909 251, Joel.Chacha@Portland-Communications.com About CYNK CYNK is an end-to-end platform that covers the lifecycle of a carbon or biodiversity credit. From origination, financing and secondary trading of carbon, CYNK is a one-stop platform for the origination of high-integrity credits with fully immutable audit trails of digital Monitoring Reporting and Verification (dMRV) via blockchains. https://www.CYNK.io

CYNK, KenGrow and UNCCD join new climate-smart agriculture project to empower female farmers 
Facing the floods: Zohra’s Sudan chronicles

By Zohra (20) from Sudan via UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office I've got a story that needs to be heard. Imagine waking up to the realities of climate change daily. That's our life here. Imagine the heaviest rain you've ever seen. Now imagine it wreaking havoc on your home, your community. That was our June last year. 161,000 of us were affected; unfortunately, most were my fellow sisters and friends. And beyond the immediate threats like food insecurity, more lurked in the shadows, like increased malnutrition.  Flooding isn't new to us, but this... it was something we hadn’t seen for decades. Over 15,000 homes were washed away. But it’s not just about bricks and mortar. For many girls, this disaster meant a pause in education, and sadly, a heightened risk of early marriages and facing violence at home. For our friends relying on farming, particularly in places like Al-Manqal, the floods hit them hard. Picture this: 2,900 acres of farmland underwater. That’s like someone swiping away your entire year's allowance! And, ugh, the power outages that followed? Let’s just say candlelit dinners lost their charm real fast. Regions like Kassala Sennar, North Darfur, South Kordofan, and the White Nile were the epicentres of this disaster. Already wrestling with past conflicts, climate change just turned up the heat on their challenges. And approximately 6,500 children don’t have a school to return to. We need to act, like, yesterday. Clean water supplies are a must to kick out water-borne diseases. And we need to get some educational supplies for the flood-hit zones. It's a race against time and every little help matters. It’s a tug-of-war between increasing conflicts, massive displacements, and an ever-growing fight for resources. Climate change is just fanning the flames. But together, we can make a difference. Let's stop this cycle before it spirals out of control.

Facing the floods: Zohra’s Sudan chronicles
Tina takes on climate change: An Upper Egypt tale

By Tina (35) Egypt via UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office My name is Tina from Egypt, and if you're reading this, you're probably as eco-curious as I am! Let me take you on a journey from my humble abode in Upper Egypt, where the golden sands meet green fields, and stories of climate change get a little twist! Imagine a farming village with chirping birds and vast green stretches. That's my home. Everyone I know is deep into agriculture. We don’t just live here; we vibe with nature! But, and here's the big BUT – most people are in the dark about climate change. The delicate dance between us and Mother Earth? It's missing a few steps. A few of us eco-warriors decided to stir things up. Composting? Check. Recycling agricultural waste? Double-check. Organic fertilizers? Oh, you bet. We’re talking about sustainable living at its finest. The best part? 300 farmers (yes, you read that right) joined the green brigade. Our baby project even landed us in the top 10 of a national competition with 150 organizations! We wanted to do more than just catch people's attention. We wanted to change our mindsets. So, we brainstormed and launched "Us and Climate Change." The plan was to equip teachers to be climate mentors, giving them the low-down on the climate crisis so they can inspire the next gen. At our recent gallery event, we showcased not just the beauty of recycling, from chic recycled outfits to innovative school tools, but also the power of performance. The spotlight was undeniably on “Al-Barsha Panorama”, our very own theatre group. In Upper Egypt, street theatre isn't just entertainment; it's an educational tool and a heartbeat that resonates deeply with our community. Our ultimate dream? A world where we can freely drink clean water, savor healthy food and take in pure, unadulterated air. With every performance, with every piece of art we create, we're advocating for that pristine environment. And while the goal is clear – an untouched landscape with unblemished access to essentials – we're also proving that blending this mission with art, special forms that connect so deeply with our people, can be both impactful and soul-stirring. Our art is our voice against climate change, and it’s making waves in our community.

Tina takes on climate change: An Upper Egypt tale
Healthy land the size of Central Asia lost since 2015

UN conference to tackle rapid land degradation and worsening droughts to take place in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, from 13-17 November 2023 Bonn/Samarkand, 13 September 2023 – For the first time since its inception, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) will convene one of its official meetings in Central Asia. The twenty-first session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 21) will reveal the latest global trends in land degradation and drought, and review how countries are progressing with land restoration. It comes at a vital moment, when the world is witnessing an uptick in extreme weather events, with historic heatwaves and wildfires across Europe and North America, several failed rainy seasons in the Horn of Africa, and devastating floods, monsoons and cyclones in Asia. Land degradation contributes to these climatic changes and events and is simultaneously made worse by them. Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary, said: “We are at a crucial juncture in our efforts to sustain life on land. Droughts, wildfires and heatwaves we have witnessed around the world are the symptoms of the deepening and interlinked climate and nature crises, with land at the heart of both. Since 2015, some 4 million square kilometres of healthy and productive lands have been lost—an area roughly the size of Central Asia. We must urgently stop further land degradation and restore at least 1 billion hectares to meet global land targets by 2030.” The meeting will be held at the Silk Road Samarkand Congress Centre in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, from 13 to 17 November 2023. On 15 November, there will be a high-level event on sand and dust storms, many of which have occurred in Uzbekistan and surrounding countries and regions with increasing frequency and severity in recent years. In addition, the UNCCD Gender Caucus on 14 November will convene international experts to discuss women’s land rights as a prerequisite to the success of global land restoration and drought resilience efforts. According to the latest UN data, between 2015 and 2019, at least 100 million hectares of healthy and productive land were degraded every year, affecting food and water security globally and directly impacting the lives of 1.3 billion people. This adds up to 420 million hectares, or 4.2 million square kilometres, slightly over the combined area of five Central Asian nations: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. If current trends continue, restoring 1.5 billion hectares of land by 2030 will be necessary to achieve a land-degradation-neutral world. Alternatively, halting any new land degradation and accelerating existing commitments to restore 1 billion hectares can surpass the neutrality target. CRIC21 will review progress in implementing the Convention’s strategic objectives on promoting sustainable land management, building drought resilience, supporting women's leadership in sustainable agriculture, and addressing forced migration due to land degradation and climate change. It will bring together representatives from 196 countries and the European Union which are signatories to the UNCCD, as well as civil society, academia and international organizations. Notes to editors  Accredited media representatives are invited to attend and report on CRIC21 and associated events. Field visits where journalists can see land restoration and drought resilience projects will take place immediately prior to CRIC21. Online registration for media representatives is available at the following link: www.unccd.int/cric-21-online-registration. To register, please provide the following documents: One recent passport-sized photograph A valid press card A copy (picture and signature pages) of your passport (for foreign journalists) or national identity card (for local applicants) A letter of introduction from the bureau chief or company sponsoring your travel to the session. For freelance journalists, a letter is required from the media organization assigning you to cover the conference A duly completed accreditation form Journalists who register online will be able to collect their accreditation at the Silk Road Samarkand Congress Center on presentation of a valid press card and an identity document. For more information on the regulations governing visa applications and the introduction of reporting material into Uzbekistan, please consult the following link: https://e-visa.gov.uz/main_ For inquiries about media accreditation or coverage of the event, please contact: press@unccd.int A dedicated press and media working space will be available at the conference venue.  Additional information and media updates on the Convention and CRIC 21 will be available on the host country CRIC 21 website and the UNCCD website. About UNCCD The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the global vision and voice for land. We unite governments, scientists, policymakers, private sector and communities around a shared vision and global action to restore and manage the world’s land for the sustainability of humanity and the planet. Much more than an international treaty signed by 197 Parties, UNCCD is a multilateral commitment to mitigating today’s impacts of land degradation and advancing tomorrow’s land stewardship in order to provide food, water, shelter and economic opportunity to all people in an equitable and inclusive manner. Image: (c) Asia Development Bank

Healthy land the size of Central Asia lost since 2015