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Become the next UNCCD Land Hero!

About UNCCD Land Heroes The UNCCD Land Heroes campaign recognizes and supports young individuals and youth-led/based organizations making positive impacts against desertification, land degradation, and drought. Through online engagement, we raise awareness, share success stories, and empower youth as change agents in sustainable land management, engaging them in implementing the convention. Building on the success of the inaugural 2020 cohort, the second cohort of Land Heroes continues to inspire and mobilize youth to promote the UNCCD's objectives. About the Land Heroes campaign Part of the Land for Life Programme, #LandHeroes showcases youth's dedication to sustainable land management. These organizations and individuals share transformative journeys through social media, videos, blogs, and our dedicated website, amplifying their contributions and recognizing both young men and women as critical forces for positive change. Join us in celebrating these remarkable land champions. Objective The Land Heroes campaign aims to identify, celebrate, and support youth aged 18-35 engaged in sustainable land management, raising awareness of land's link to biodiversity and climate. By sharing stories, we inspire change, unite youth, provide mentorship, and showcase the transformative power of collective efforts. Campaign goals Raise awareness of land's connection to biodiversity and climate Spotlight diverse ways youth positively impact the land Share inspiring stories showcasing collective progress Empower youth to spread campaign messages and take action Provide mentorship in sustainable land management Share success stories to foster understanding and awareness Categories of Land Heroes Drought resilience: Early warning systems: Implementing proactive measures to anticipate and respond to drought conditions effectively. Mitigating the effects of drought: Innovative strategies for drought impact mitigation and ensure water availability. Adopting scalable and inclusive approaches: Promoting strategies that can be expanded to larger scales and inclusive of vulnerable populations to enhance drought resilience. Land restoration: Large-scale land restoration: Leadership in restoring degraded land on a large scale, contributing to ecosystem restoration and biodiversity conservation. Community-level land restoration: Impactful initiatives restoring degraded land at the community level, enhancing livelihoods and resilience. Inclusivity and equality: Gender equality and women's empowerment: Initiatives promoting gender equality in land ownership, decision-making, and conservation efforts Social equity: Initiatives promoting poverty eradication, social cohesion, etc. Indigenous knowledge: Amplifying indigenous knowledge and practices, recognizing their vital role in sustainable land management Science and innovation: Innovation: Innovative approaches in sustainable land management Technology: Harnessing technology for land monitoring, data analysis, and knowledge-sharing on sustainable practices Science and research: Contributions to scientific research and evidence-based decision-making in land management Key features of Land Heroes Youth engagement (18-35) in addressing land challenges Role models inspiring peers through dedication Inspirational leadership mobilizing youth for collective responsibility Passionate and dedicated to combating desertification and degradation Vision for change: Clear understanding and innovative strategies Collaboration with stakeholders for effective partnerships Strong communication: Effective online presence to inspire action Benefits for Land Heroes Grant of US$1,000 for top finalists in each category Attendance at high-level UNCCD meetings Publicity and recognition through interviews, media, and social platforms Mentorship for leadership, communication, and project management Opportunities to support UNCCD through advocacy, workshops, and content creation Participation in challenges and innovation forums Coordination with other Land Heroes for workshops and collaborative projects Identification of Land Heroes Ten Land Heroes are selected over two years based on criteria aligned with categories. Timeline Deadline extended: 29 February 2024 June 2024: Desertification and Drought Day December 2024: Participation in COP16 Apply now! Submission form Meet the current cohort: Land Heroes Follow Us on social media: Twitter X | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn 

Become the next UNCCD Land Hero!
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
Groundbreaking new metaverse game powers real-world planetary action  

24 July 2023 – HEALV3RSE,a groundbreaking new game promoting real-world action for the planet, launches today on Metaverse.   HEALV3RSE, which brings together the worlds of gaming and sustainability, invites players to become the heroes our planet desperately needs. It takes players on an epic journey through captivating realms, each representing a vital element of our planet's wellbeing. From the fiery depths of the Fire Kingdom to the enchanting expanses of the Oceanic Realm, players will face challenges, solve puzzles, and embark on missions to heal the planet. As the players advance through the game, they discover facts about drylands and the challenges of desertification, making educated choices to restore these unique and vulnerable ecosystems by planting trees.  What sets HEALV3RSE apart is the unique integration of player avatars actually performing healing actions within the game, such as planting trees, conducting ocean cleanups, or installing solar panels. This interactive feature, which the creators call ‘Play to Heal’, brings a sense of empowerment to the gameplay experience.  The Game, which launches with an accompanying digital Avatar collection, was created by Code Green in support of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). It was developed in partnership with The Sandbox and , designed in collaboration with Interactive Studio.  "HEALV3RSE's innovative approach is a game-changer. By merging gaming with sustainability, it amplifies the urgency of combating land loss and inspires action. This aligns with UNCCD's goals and proves that everyone can contribute to the health of our planet in their own unique ways," - said Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary.  "We are thrilled to present HEALV3RSE to the world," said Inna Modja, Code Green’s CEO and UNCCD Goodwill Ambassador. "Our goal is to inspire players to take action and make a positive impact on the planet. Through immersive gameplay and the captivating artworks, we aim to ignite a global movement of healers who understand the urgency of healing our Earth."  The Sandbox said: ‘’The Sandbox is proud to announce its partnership with Code Green, a Web3 non-profit foundation supporting social, climate, and gender justice causes. Code Green’s origins go back to the worldʼs largest land restoration movement — Africa's Great Green Wall. ‘’  A portion of the proceeds from the digital avatar collection will be used to deliver free inspiration sessions with experts, activists and artists for anyone who wants to learn more about desertification, climate action and web3 technology.   Those who support the new HEALV3RSE by purchasing special avatars will be also generating funds for one of the projects along the Great Green Wall — a game-changing African-led initiative to restore the continent’s degraded landscapes and transform millions of lives in the Sahel.    HEALV3RSE is available to access via The Sandbox metaverse.  Trailer for HEALV3RSE in The Sandbox  For more information press@unccd.int About the UN Convention to Combat Desertification  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.  Goodwill Ambassadors inspire the public and decision-makers to take practical actions and drive policies to achieve the Convention’s mission to promote sustainable land stewardship. They also help advance efforts to reduce poverty and promote gender equality, especially among climate-vulnerable, land-dependent populations  About Code Green  Code Green is a mission-driven web3 organization, harnessing the power of art and blockchain technology to spark a healing revolution for the planet.   Inna Modja, CEO of Code Green, is a Malian actress, singer and environmental activist, and Goodwill Ambassador for the UNCCD. www.codegreen.earth @codegreen_nft  About The Sandbox  The Sandbox is a leading decentralized gaming platform where players can create, own, and monetize virtual worlds and gaming experiences.   About Interactive Studio  Interactive Studio offers comprehensive support to help brands establish themselves in the ever-changing world of Web3 and gaming.  

Groundbreaking new metaverse game powers real-world planetary action  
Painting a beautiful world: a children's art story

While children are the least responsible for the environmental degradation, they are likely to inherit a tremendous burden of land degradation, biodiversity loss and climate crisis unless we take the urgent action to address these challenges. Children across the world – whether in Bhutan or Barbados, India or Namibia – have beautiful dreams of what the world should be, now and in the future. The UNCCD Capacity Development and Innovations Office is launching a project "Painting a beautiful World: A children's art story," inviting children to visualize how they feel (and why) about the land they inhabit. We invite children to harness their imagination and artistic gifts to draw pictures of nature, animals, their families, and the surrounding landscapes, highlighting the vital role of healthy land. We hope that the children’s art will carry the messages of environmental awareness while showcasing the uniqueness of cultures, regional landscapes and languages. Through art, the children can express their dreams of the world they want and portray solutions to help achieve a better life on Earth. The deadline for submissions is 19 June 2023. Campaign objectives The main goal of the project is to raise children's awareness on the importance of protecting the land and the environment, so that they can: Appreciate the great significance of land in their daily lives Become future stewards of healthy land Connect with other children in the common quest to protect the land Gain greater awareness of the importance of sustainable development to ensure a secure future for the children of the world We also hope to facilitate an active dialogue between children and adults on environmental stewardship and the need to create a secure future together.   Rules Format for submissions: A hand-drawn illustration in crayon, paint, pencil, pen or any other color medium The maximum size of the finished artwork should be A4 Participation is FREE and open to an individual child or group of children of the same school Individual participants may submit up to two pieces of artwork, groups are allowed to submit one piece Participants must be between 6 years and 12 years of age by the submission deadline  The artwork must be the original work of the participant(s), not published previously The submission of each participant or group of participants must be approved by a parent, teacher or a guardian All drawings must be submitted through this link, in a gif, jpg, jpeg or png format scanned from the original artwork created by hand The participants grant the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), its partners and other UN agencies, as well as other persons or entities authorized by the Secretariat, a free-of-charge, non-exclusive, irrevocable, transferable, perpetual, worldwide right to use the copyright, related rights or any other intellectual property rights in accordance with existing law or that may arise by law concerning the submitted drawings The UNCCD is entitled to publish the drawings while carrying no obligation to do so If an entry is considered for an award, the intended awardee will be asked to submit proof of age All entries and the participants' details (name, age, school or town) may be used in publicity campaigns by UNCCD Participation in this exercise means full acceptance of all rules stated above. Selection process All submissions will be evaluated by the UNCCD Capacity Development and Innovations Office, which will grant awards of 50 euros each for the submissions considered the six best.  Special awards of 100 euros with be given to the school submissions considered the three best. All participants will receive certificates of recognition.  

Painting a beautiful world: a children's art story