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Under the theme “Her Land. Her Rights,” the focus of this year’s Desertification and Drought Day, marked worldwide on 17 June, is on women’s land rights as a key element of achieving the connected global goals of gender equality and land degradation neutrality by 2030. While land is the most critical economic resource for most rural poor, women around the world are less likely to own or control land than men, which exposes them to poverty, hunger, gender-based violence and displacement. “Women are major actors in the global efforts to reduce and reverse land degradation. They restore land, they protect land, they cherish, nourish and care for the land, while also caring for others. However, in the vast majority of countries, women have unequal and limited access to and control over land. We cannot achieve land degradation neutrality without gender equality, and we cannot exclude half the population from land management decisions because of their gender." – Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary Investing in women’s equal access to land and associated assets is a direct investment in their future and the future of humanity. UNCCD will reaffirm its commitment to gender equality with these Desertification and Drought Day 2023 objectives: Raise awareness of the disproportionate impact of desertification, land degradation and drought on women and girls and the barriers they face in decision-making on land issues Highlight women's contributions to sustainable land management and broader SDGs Mobilize global support to advance land rights for women and girls around the world “Solving gender inequalities is not just the right thing to do. If we ensure that women are fully able to use their abilities, knowledge, talents, and leadership potential, our societies are simply better off.” – Former President of Finland, Tarja Halonen UNCCD Land Ambassador This year’s global observance of Desertification and Drought Day will be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, with events taking place in all parts of the world. Together with UN partners, civil society activists and influencers, we are launching the campaign #HerLand to recognize excellence and leadership in sustainable land management by women and girls; amplify the voices of women and girls living on the frontlines of desertification, land degradation and drought and call to action for stronger women’s leadership and decision-making power to advocate for issues affecting women in the context of desertification, land degradation and drought. You too can lend your support by reaching out to your communities and advocating the key role of gender equality in empowering women and girls to be at the forefront of global land restoration and drought resilience efforts. We invite you to discover more and join: https://www.unccd.int/land-and-life/gender/herland
Dear UNCCD Focal Points and Stakeholders, Women hold a vital stake in the health of the land, yet often don't have control over it. Across the world, women face significant barriers in securing land rights, limiting their ability to thrive and prosper. And when land becomes degraded and water is scarce, women are often the worst affected. The global focus of the 2023 Desertification and Drought Day is on women’s land rights— essential for achieving the interconnected global goals on gender equality and land degradation neutrality by 2030 as well as advancing other Sustainable Development Goals. Under the slogan “Her Land, Her Rights”, this year’s Desertification and Drought Day will send a strong message that investing in women’s equal access to land and related assets is a direct investment in their own future and the future of humanity. This year’s global observance of Desertification and Drought Day will be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, with events taking place in all parts of the world. I count on your strong support to reach out to people and communities about the key role of gender equality in the sustainable future of land. You will find the announcement and background note in all UN languages on the 2023 Desertification and Drought Day webpage. I also invite you to support the campaign “Women, Girls and Land” that seeks to promote successful examples of women’s contributions to sustainable land management and mobilize action for stronger female leadership in combatting desertification, land degradation and drought. Visit https://www.unccd.int/land-and-life/gender/herland to learn more. Please send your plans for the observance event to email@example.com, so that we can feature your activities on the UNCCD website. Further information will be shared in due course. Should you have any questions, please contact Ms. Xenya Scanlon, Chief of Communications, External Relations and Partnerships. On this year’s Desertification and Drought Day, let us unite our efforts to recognize and empower women and girls to be at the forefront of global land restoration and drought resilience efforts.
One year into the project, the collaboration between UNCCD, FAO, Aduna, Orgiis and GLOBHE already bears fruit: individual baobab trees can be now recognized from space and a computer system has been trained to plot them on a map. In the Sahel region, where trees play an important role in fixating soils, providing a barrier to land degradation and supporting food security, the baobab is particularly valued, as its fruit not only has a variety of local uses, but can also be a viable commercial export and a source of sustainable income. An icon of the African landscape revered as the tree of life, baobabs cannot be grown on plantations. Proudly standing big and wild, each one is unique and cherished by local communities, as it provides nourishment for people and their animals. Faced with the advance of the climate change, growing energy needs, rapid urbanization and a depleting stock of seedlings that grow to maturity, these green giants need to be carefully monitored and protected. Recent advances in the spatial resolution and availability of satellite imagery have enabled the detection of individual trees from space. Using FAO’s cloud computing platform SEPAL and dense time-series approaches helps identify individual tree species through phenology, or the seasonal foliage pattern, often unique to individual species. The next challenge was pinning down the actual locations of baobab trees and “training” a classification system to extrapolate and predict the tree species associated with each tree canopy. Drone data provided by GLOBHE at a very high spatial resolution allows identification of baobabs, and the tree locations are then combined with the phenology data to map individual baobabs over vast geographic regions. The resulting maps can be used to inform local communities of the location, number and condition of the baobabs, and enable them “to visualize and analyze high resolution satellite imagery from their mobile phones, allowing to actively monitor and protect this natural resource,” says Yelena Finegold, FAO Forestry Officer. This collaboration between global satellite data providers, drone operators, the private enterprise, the UN and local communities, including women and youth, is a major step toward improving monitoring, conservation and restoration methods in the Sahel. As the project advances toward mapping the baobabs over larger geographical areas, it can also support the implementation of the Great Green Wall Initiative. Better understanding of where to conserve and invest in long-term sustainable use of baobabs can promote value chain development and enable better land management decisions to monitor and safeguard these green powerhouses that provide sustenance, store water and enrich the land. image (c) MakeWaves Media
As the international cooperation to address the growing threat of drought projected to affect over ¾ of the world population by 2050 gains momentum, the recent workshop in Istanbul on building negotiation skills and developing action plans became a fitting tribute to the successes of the Ankara Initiative that supported capacity-building under the UNCCD for many years. In his message to the participants, UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw remarked that the support provided by the Government of Türkiye since 2016 resulted in key contributions to national policy recommendations on issues such as land tenure, gender equality and land degradation neutrality (LDN). As an arid and semi-arid country that made outstanding progress in land rehabilitation and restoration, Turkiye has been uniquely positioned to share its experience, providing a number of capacity-building and knowledge-sharing initiatives for UNCCD Parties working toward achieving LDN. The General Manager of Combating Desertification and Erosion Nurettin Taş presented a decision support system developed by Türkiye to realize the national LDN targets and confirmed the country’s commitment to sharing its expertise with other countries facing desertification, land degradation and drought. The practical part of the workshop for over 30 Parties from Africa and CEE included interactive trainings on building the knowledge base and developing an effective skill set for multilateral negotiations on drought resilience and LDN implementation, which will be an important asset for national delegates at the UNCCD CRIC21 in October 2023 and the COP16 in 2024.
ENGLISH By letter dated 14 March 2023, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia confirmed its willingness to host the sixteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the United Nation Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) . The Conference will be held in Riyadh from 2 to 13 December 2024. In line with the provisions of decision 34/COP15 the UNCCD secretariat will now enter into consultation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the organization of COP 16. Information on further arrangements for the session will be communicated to all Parties and observers in due time. FRANÇAIS Par lettre datée du 14 mars 2023, le Royaume d'Arabie saoudite a confirmé sa volonté d'accueillir la seizième session de la Conférence des Parties (COP 16) à la convention des Nations Unies sur la Lutte contre la désertification (CNULCD) . La Conférence se tiendra à Riyad du 2 au 13 décembre 2024. Conformément aux dispositions de la décision 34/COP15, le secrétariat de la Convention entrera en consultation avec le Royaume d'Arabie saoudite pour l'organisation de la COP 16. Des informations sur les autres dispositions à prendre pour la session seront communiquées à toutes les Parties et à tous les observateurs en temps opportun. ESPAÑOL Mediante carta fechada el 14 de marzo de 2023, el Reino de Arabia Saudí confirmó su voluntad de acoger la decimosexta sesión de la Conferencia de las Partes (COP 16) de la Convención de las Naciones Unidas de Lucha contra la Desertificación (CNULD). La Conferencia se celebrará en Riad del 2 al 13 de diciembre de 2024. En consonancia con las disposiciones de la decisión 34/COP15, la secretaría de la CLD iniciará consultas con el Reino de Arabia Saudí para la organización de la COP 16. A su debido tiempo, se comunicará a todas las Partes y observadores información sobre los preparativos del período de sesiones.
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.