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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 
Germany to host 2024 Desertification and Drought Day in Bonn

Bonn/Dubai, 9 December 2023 – Germany will host the next Desertification and Drought Day on 17 June 2024, which will also mark the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), one of the three Rio Conventions alongside climate and biodiversity. The announcement was made today on the margins of UNFCCC COP28 underway in Dubai, UAE by Mr. Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary, and Ms. Katja Dörner, Lord Mayor of Bonn and member of the Local Government for Sustainability (ICLEI) Global Executive Committee on Climate Action and Low Emission Development Portfolio. Land is the foundation of human wellbeing and plays a key role in regulating the planet’s climate. Yet up to 40 per cent of the planet’s land is degraded, affecting nearly half of the world's population. Since 2000, the number and duration of droughts has increased by 29 per cent, representing a severe risk to ecosystems and peoples’ livelihoods. The 2024 Desertification and Drought Day will focus on the transformative power of healthy land for addressing today’s most pressing and interconnected challenges, including climate change, biodiversity loss, food and water security—a blueprint for providing future generations with a healthy planet. The Day will amplify a renewed global commitment to sustainable land management and drought resilience in the run-up to UNCCD COP16, scheduled for 2-13 December 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary, said: “Desertification and Drought Day 2024 will mark the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. In 1994, the world community sent a clear signal by ratifying the only legally binding treaty promoting good land stewardship. Restoring degraded land and soil provides the most fertile ground to take immediate and concerted action for our planet's health. Now, it is time to reaffirm this global commitment by unleashing land’s potential—for present and future generations.” The Federal Republic of Germany, through the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), will host the global observance on 17 June 2024. The event will engage prominent international and German personalities and the public at large to raise awareness about desertification, land degradation and drought. Mr. Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development, said: “No matter whether we are talking about climate change, biodiversity loss, pandemics, or food crises – soil quality plays a central role for meeting these global challenges. Soils retain water and allow trees and plants to grow. We will only be able to feed humankind and deal with the climate crisis and its impacts if we have healthy soils. In 2024, when the UN Convention to Combat Desertification celebrates its 30th anniversary, the German government will be hosting Desertification and Drought Day thus sending a signal for strong international efforts against the loss of fertile soils.” The City of Bonn, which has hosted the UNCCD Secretariat since 1999, will organize a series of events around 2024 Desertification and Drought Day. The City will play its part in highlighting the role of local governments in land restoration efforts, by displaying examples of sustainable land use practices linked to urban policies. “As Mayor of Bonn, home to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, I am thrilled that Germany is hosting the Desertification and Drought Day 2024. Here in Germany’s United Nations City is the place where the debates on climate, nature and land come together – and from where cross-cutting actions for implementing the 2030 Agenda are advanced. I full heartedly welcome the Desertification and Drought Day here in Bonn! Together with the Federal Government of Germany and under the leadership of the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Ms. Svenja Schulze, I will be delighted to host a meaningful event engaging political leaders, the land community, cultural stakeholders and a broader public alike”, Katja Dörner, Lady Mayor of Bonn, said via video statement. Officially declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994 (A/RES/49/115), Desertification and Drought Day, marked annually on 17 June, is a unique occasion to highlight human-led solutions to prevent desertification and reverse intensifying droughts by investing in sustainable land use practices. 2024 will mark the 30th anniversary since the adoption of UNCCD, one of the three Rio Conventions. Desertification, along with climate change and the loss of biodiversity, were identified as the greatest challenges to sustainable development during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. With its 197 Parties, UNCCD is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The Convention seeks to support countries to address desertification, land degradation, and drought. A remarkable journey from milestone initiatives such as Africa’s Great Green Wall, the largest living structure on the planet, to the establishment of Land Degradation Neutrality targets – a pledge by 130 countries to end land degradation by 2030. Germany has been a strong supporter of the convention throughout its history. During the past 30 years, Germany has contributed politically and financially as one of the most active partners acknowledging the importance of healthy land and soil - both as a cause of and a solution to some of the most critical challenges for humanity these days. For more information, please contact: UNCCD: Xenya Scanlon, +49 152 54540492, xscanlon@unccd.int or Yannis Umlauf, +55 21 979820903, yumlauf@unccd.int with copy to press@unccd.int and/or unccd@portland-communications.com Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ): Press Office, +49 30 18 535 – 2158, presse@bmz.bund.de, www.bmz.de City of Bonn: Department of Press, Protocol and Public Relations, +49 228 77-3000, presseamt@bonn.de, www.bonn.de 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.

Germany to host 2024 Desertification and Drought Day in Bonn
FAO-UNCCD Joint Initiative on Land Tenure: First group of countries selected for national consultations

Open from 18 May to 15 August 2023, a call for requests to support national multi-stakeholder consultations on integrating tenure security into LDN and land restoration initiatives elicited over 30 applications. Global, regional, and national staff from the UNCCD and FAO conducted an assessment and evaluation of all applications. Based on the established selection criteria and taking into consideration regional balance and current availability of funds, the following were selected as part of the first group of countries to receive support to undertake national consultations on land tenure: Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mexico, Senegal, and Sri Lanka. The UNCCD, FAO, and partners in the joint initiative look forward to working closely with the 5 selected countries in 2024 and supporting their efforts to enhance tenure security as both a means and outcome of LDN activities and a broad range of regenerative land-based projects and programmes. UNCCD-FAO staff are developing a longer-term plan to support additional national consultations to countries that have applied as resources become available. In parallel, the UNCCD and FAO are engaging with partners and ongoing projects and programmes to identify opportunities for co-funding and leveraging synergies to support additional national consultations in 2024.

FAO-UNCCD Joint Initiative on Land Tenure: First group of countries selected for national consultations
Global Alliance for Drought Resilience builds momentum with new members

IDRA co-chairs Senegal and Spain hold a high-level event at COP28 Australia, Colombia, Comoros, Italy and the Commonwealth are latest to join   Dubai, 1 December 2023—As 2023 is ending as the warmest year on record, the global platform to prepare the world for harsher droughts, the International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA) , welcomes eight new members, signaling a growing political will to act against one of most deadly and costly natural disasters in the face of climate change. The addition of six countries and several major intergovernmental and research organizations, announced at the UN Climate Summit COP28 in Dubai, brings the total membership of IDRA to 36 countries and 28 organizations. The countries joining the alliance this year are Australia, Colombia, Jordan, Italy, Uruguay and the Union of the Comoros, which currently chairs the African-Union. In addition, the Commonwealth Secretariat, as well as three other organizations-- the Climate Commission for the Sahel Region (CCRS), the Central American Commission for Climate and the Environment (CCAD) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), member of the global research partnership CGIAR – were also announced as joining IDRA. Together, they represent efforts to build evidence-based resilience at the country, regional and global level. Launched at UN Climate Summit COP27 by the leaders of Spain and Senegal, IDRA is the first global coalition creating political momentum and mobilizing financial and technical resources for a drought-resilient future. The alliance devoted 2023 to building awareness at the highest political level. From 2024, IDRA will draw on the collective strengths of its expanding membership to advance concrete policies, actions, and capacity-building initiatives for drought preparedness, acknowledging we are only as resilient to drought and climate change as our land is. The IDRA secretariat is hosted by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). United in action IDRA co-chairs emphasized the urgency of building drought resilience as global freshwater demand is projected to outstrip supply by 40% by 2030, and they commended new members for their commitment to changing the way the world addresses drought. “Drought knows now borders, meaning we need common action and solidarity to face the emergency,” said President of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall, who noted that droughts affect 1.84 billion people throughout the world, 85 percent of them in low- and middle-income countries. Central to that action, he said, is the transfer of technologies, sharing of experiences, and exchange of best practices, as well as a just energy transition. Prime Minister of Spain, H.E. Pedro Sánchez, summed up the achievements of IDRA in its first year, from mobilizing countries and global organizations, to outlining a common framework for action with priority investments for drought resilience, to supporting affected countries to develop their strategies in areas like the Central American Dry Corridor. “Drought is a global phenomenon. For those of you who are not yet members of IDRA, I invite you to join this Alliance to leverage individual efforts and transform them into collective action,” said Sánchez. “Let us build on the political momentum of this COP28 to increase resilience to extreme events.” In turn, Secretary General of the Commonwealth, H. E. Patricia Scotland said: “Many of the 56 Commonwealth countries experiencing extreme weather events will welcome IDRA as a timely opportunity to promote mutual learning and collaborative action on drought resilience. By working together, our countries will be much better placed to implement effective solutions and protect the most vulnerable communities.” The UNCCD Executive Secretary, Ibrahim Thiaw, concluded: “Droughts are a natural phenomenon, but we are making them worse through poor land use, deforestation, and the disruption of the planet’s natural systems, including the climate. What humanity did through neglect, must and can fix through concerted action—or face an increasingly harsh future. Drought resilience at COP28 The latest IDRA members were announced during a high-level event ‘From awareness to action: united for drought resilience in a changing climate’ at COP28. The event brought together the IDRA co-chairs—Senegal and Spain—and members of the alliance to take stock of IDRA’s first year and usher in a next phase focused on action. During the event, UNCCD launched its ‘Global Drought Snapshot’ report, an authoritative compendium of drought-related information and data looking to inform negotiators at COP28, as well as decision-makers and practitioners from around the world. A second high-level IDRA event, scheduled for 9 December and focused on nature-based solutions and financing for drought resilience, will bring together leaders from different countries and agencies to exchange on practical ways to accelerate action. Notes to editors For interviews and enquires please contact: press@unccd.int and/or unccd@portland-communications.com  Photos (credit: UNCCD): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1rNhWAFqQxc5ZoDK1QdISbRhaRszoONaF?usp=sharing Social media Twitter: @UNCCD / Instagram: @unccd  For information about IDRA and UNCCD events at COP28 visit: https://idralliance.global and https://www.unccd.int/cop28pavilion About IDRA The International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA) is the first global coalition creating political momentum and mobilizing financial and technical resources for a drought-resilient future. As a growing platform of more than 30 countries and 20 institutions, IDRA draws on the collective strengths of its members to advance policies, actions, and capacity-building for drought preparedness, acknowledging we are only as resilient to drought and climate change as our land is. The work of IDRA is aligned with, and supportive of, the mandate of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which hosts the IDRA Secretariat. For more information: https://idralliance.global. 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.

Global Alliance for Drought Resilience builds momentum with new members
Drought data shows “an unprecedented emergency on a planetary scale”: UN

UNCCD launches ‘Global Drought Snapshot’ report at COP28 in collaboration with International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA) Recent drought-related data based on research in the past two years and compiled by the UN point to “an unprecedented emergency on a planetary scale, where the massive impacts of human-induced droughts are only starting to unfold.” According to the report, ‘Global Drought Snapshot,’ launched by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) at the outset of COP28 climate talks in the UAE, few if any hazard claims more lives, causes more economic loss and affects more sectors of societies than drought. UNCCD is one of three Conventions originated at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The other two address climate change (UNFCCC) and biodiversity (UN CBD).  Says UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw: “Unlike other disasters that attract media attention, droughts happen silently, often going unnoticed and failing to provoke an immediate public and political response. This silent devastation perpetuates a cycle of neglect, leaving affected populations to bear the burden in isolation.” “The Global Drought Snapshot report speaks volumes about the urgency of this crisis and building global resilience to it.  With the frequency and severity of drought events increasing, as reservoir levels dwindle and crop yields decline, as we continue to lose biological diversity and famines spread, transformational change is needed.”  “We hope this publication serves as a wake-up call.” Drought data, selected highlights: 15–20%: Population of China facing more frequent moderate-to-severe droughts within this century (Yin et al., 2022) 80%: Expected increase in drought intensity in China by 2100 (Yin et al., 2022) 23 million: people deemed severely food insecure across the Horn of Africa in December 2022 (WFP, 2023) 5%: Area of the contiguous United States suffering severe to extreme drought (Palmer Drought Index) in May, 2023 (NOAA, 2023) 78: Years since drought conditions were as severe as they were in the La Plata basin of Brazil–Argentina in 2022, reducing crop production and affecting global crop markets (WMO, 2023a) 630,000 km2 (roughly the combined area of Italy and Poland): Extent of Europe impacted by drought in 2022 as it experienced its hottest summer and second warmest year on record, almost four times the average 167,000 km2 impacted between 2000 and 2022 (EEA, 2023) 500: years since Europe last experienced a drought as bad as in 2022 (World Economic Forum, 2022) 170 million: people expected to experience extreme drought if average global temperatures rise 3°C above pre-industrial levels, 50 million more than expected if  warming is limited to 1.5°C (IPCC, 2022) Agriculture and forests 70%: Cereal crops damaged by drought in the Mediterranean, 2016–2018 33%: loss of grazing land in South Africa due to drought (‌Ruwanza et al., 2022) Double or triple: Expected forest losses in the Mediterranean region under 3°C warming compared to current risk (Rossi et al., 2023) 5: Consecutive rainfall season failures in the Horn of Africa, causing the region’s worst drought in 40 years (with Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia particularly hard hit), contributing to reduced agricultural productivity, food insecurity and high food prices (WMO, 2023). 73,000 km2: average area of EU cropland (or ~5%) impacted by drought, 2000-2022, contributing to crop failures (EEA, 2023) $70 billion: Africa’s drought-related economic losses in the past 50 years (WMO, 2022). 44%: Expected drop in Argentina’s soybean production in 2023 relative to the last five years, the lowest harvest since 1988/89, contributing to an estimated 3% drop in Argentina’s GDP for 2023 (EU Science Hub, 2023) Water conditions 75%: Reduction of cargo capacity of some vessels on the Rhine due to low river levels in 2022, leading to severe delays to shipping arrivals and departures (World Economic Forum, 2022) 5 million: People in southern China affected by record-low water levels in the Yangtze River due to drought and prolonged heat (WMO, 2023a) 2,000: backlog of barges on the Mississippi River in late 2022 due to low water levels, causing $20 billion in supply chain disruptions and other economic damage (World Economic Forum, 2022) 2–5 times: Acceleration of long-term rates of groundwater-level decline and water-quality degradation in California's Central Valley basins over the past 30 years due to drought-induced pumpage (Levy et al., 2021)  Social dimensions  85%: People affected by droughts who live in low- or middle-income countries (World Bank, 2023) 15 times: Greater likelihood of being killed by floods, droughts and storms in highly vulnerable regions relative to regions with very low vulnerability, 2010 to 2020 (IPCC, 2023) 1.2 million: people in the Central American Dry Corridor needing food aid after five years of drought, heatwaves and unpredictable rainfall (UNEP, 2022) Remedies Up to 25%: CO2 emissions that could be offset by nature-based solutions including land restoration (Pan et al., 2023) Almost 100%: Reduction in the conversion of global forests and natural land for agriculture if just half of animal products such as pork, chicken, beef and milk consumed today were replaced with sustainable alternatives (Carbon Brief, 2023) 20 to 50%: Potential reduction in water waste if conventional sprinkler systems were replaced by micro-irrigation (drip irrigation), which delivers water directly to plant roots (STEM Writer, 2022). 20%: EU’s land and sea areas to be made subject to restoration measures by 2030, with measures in place for all ecosystems in need of restoration by 2050 (European Council, 2023) $2 billion: investment by AFR100 in African organizations, businesses and government-led projects, announced this year with further anticipated investments of $15 billion to foster the restoration of 20 million hectares of land by 2026, generating an estimated $135 billion in benefits to around 40 million people. (Hess, 2021) 6: Riparian countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali and Togo) participating in the Volta basin Flood and Drought management project, the first large-scale, transboundary implementation of Integrated Flood and Drought Management strategies, including an End-to-End Early Warning System for Flood Forecasting and Drought Prediction (Deltares, 2023) ~45%: global disaster-related losses that were insured in 2020, up from 40% in 1980-2018. However, disaster insurance cover remains very low in many developing countries (UNDRR, 2022) 50 km: the resolution of the water distribution maps thanks to a recently-developed method of combining satellite measurements with high-resolution meteorological data, an major improvement from the previous 300 kilometers resolution (Gerdener et al., 2023) The report was unveiled at a high-level event with the International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA) in Dubai (webcast at www.youtube.com/@THEUNCCD, 16:00 Dubai time / 12:00 GMT.  It is part of UNCCD’s series of Land and Drought Dialogues at COP28: https://bit.ly/3Gh7GZd).  Launched by the leaders of Spain and Senegal at COP27, IDRA is the first global coalition creating political momentum and mobilizing financial and technical resources for a drought-resilient future. Australia, Colombia, Italy and the Union of Comoros, together with the Commonwealth Secretariat and other major international organizations, are being announced at COP28 as IDRA’s latest members, bringing the Alliance’s total membership to 34 countries and 28 entities. Additional highlights from the report: Several findings in this report highlight land restoration, sustainable land management and nature positive agricultural practices as critical aspects of building global drought resilience. By adopting nature-positive farming techniques, such as drought-resistant crops, efficient irrigation methods, no-till and other soil conservation practices, farmers can reduce the impact of drought on their crops and incomes. Efficient water management is another key component of global drought resilience. This includes investing in sustainable water supply systems, conservation measures and the promotion of water-efficient technologies. Disaster preparedness and early warning systems are also essential for global drought resilience. Investing in meteorological monitoring, data collection and risk assessment tools can help respond quickly to drought emergencies and minimize impacts.  Building global drought resilience requires international cooperation, knowledge sharing as well as environmental and social justice. “Several countries already experience climate-change-induced famine,” says the report. “Forced migration surges globally; violent water conflicts are on the rise; the ecological base that enables all life on earth is eroding more quickly than at any time in known human history.” “We have no alternative to moving forward in a way that respects the planet’s boundaries and the interdependencies of all forms of life. We need to reach binding global agreements for proactive measures that are to be taken by nations to curtail the spells of drought.” “The less space the developed human world occupies, the more natural hydrological cycles will stay intact. Restoring, rebuilding and revitalizing all those landscapes that we degraded and destroyed is the imperative of our time. Urban intensification, active family planning, and curbing rapid population growth are prerequisites for societal development that respects planetary boundaries.” About  The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is an international agreement on good land stewardship. It helps people, communities and countries create wealth, grow economies and secure enough food, clean water and energy by ensuring land users an enabling environment for sustainable land management. Through partnerships, the Convention’s 197 parties set up robust systems to manage drought promptly and effectively. Good land stewardship based on sound policy and science helps integrate and accelerate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, builds resilience to climate change and prevents biodiversity loss. 

Drought data shows “an unprecedented emergency on a planetary scale”: UN
UNCCD and partners to host first-ever Land and Drought Pavilion at COP28

Land & Drought Pavilion to be set in the Blue Zone / Opportunities Petal from 1-10 December Bonn (Germany), 23/11/2023 – To mark their presence at the UN Climate Conference (COP28), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) will be co-hosting the first-ever Land & Drought Pavilion together with its two flagship initiatives: the G20 Global Land Initiative and the International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA), as well as partners, the Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND) and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA). From 1st to 10th December, the Pavilion will curate a broad range of high-level dialogues, innovation showcase sessions, and interactive discussions highlighting the importance of healthy land as a climate solution and the urgent need to build drought resilience. UNCCD will also be launching its Drought in Numbers 2023 report and announcing next year’s Desertification and Drought Day– which will mark the 30th anniversary of the Convention. All sessions will be open to accredited COP28 delegates and held in the Blue Zone / Opportunities Petal, Thematic Arena 4, 1st floor, stand 205 and livestreamed on UNCCD’s YouTube and Facebook channels. Among the highlights of the programme: The Opening Dialogue, Raising Land & Drought on the Climate Agenda on 1 December will convene partners and experts to discuss expected outcomes from land and drought conversations at COP28. The high-level event of the International Drought Resilience Alliance co-chaired by Spain and Senegal leaders on 1 December will see the launch of Drought in Numbers 2023 report. IDRA will also welcome new member countries and update on progress achieved thus far. A high-level event “Rio Conventions on the Road to 2024” will bring together the leadership of the three Rio Conventions: CBD, UNFCCC and UNCCD. A high-level dialogue on women’s land rights will be hosted on 4th December, which will also coincide with Gender Equality Day at COP28. On 6th December, several start-ups will gather in the Pavilion to showcase their land restoration innovations, in a hackathon format. A high-level session will take place on 9th December, where the Convention will announce the host country of the next Desertification and Drought Day, 17 June 2024. Remarks from high-level representatives from the host country and city are expected. Youth-led dialogues, including panels on empowering female ecopreneurship and a Youth4Land Intergenerational Dialogue. A ‘Dry delights reception’ will be hosted on the last day of the Pavilion (10th December). Experts will showcase drought-resilient foods, namely water lentils, explaining the production process, walking attendees through its nutritional benefits, and providing an opportunity to taste. Notes to Editors The detailed programme and timings can be found here: https://unccd.int/cop28pavilion Daily highlights from the sessions will be available on UNCCD’s website. Visual assets are available here: https://trello.com/b/6EexwgYj/unccd-cop28-dubai-2023 For additional information on UNCCD’s presence at COP28 and other media-related enquiries, please contact press@unccd.int and/or unccd@portland-communications.com 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.

UNCCD and partners to host first-ever Land and Drought Pavilion at COP28