This block type should be used in "unccd one column" section with "Full width" option enabled

News & stories

news
Latest news & stories

Keyword

Filter by

Date

Year

Gender Caucus at CRIC21

UNCCD has an unwavering commitment to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment, based on decisions taken by our Parties. This commitment is expressed in our Gender Action Plan, in implementation since 2014. At our COP15 held in Abidjan in 2022, a Gender Road Map to accelerate implementation of our Gender Action Plan was also approved, to ensure that we pick up the pace towards transformative change. We have established a Gender Caucus comprised of country champions, selected UN agencies and CSO partners, to provide expert guidance on how to focus our strategies on gender issues in drought, land degradation and desertification. The Gender Caucus is convened at each CRIC and UNCCD COP. Established at COP14, the Gender Caucus has proven to be an effective platform to advance gender related conversations within the Convention. A strong Gender Caucus can contribute more meaningfully to the work of the Parties and help to effectively accelerate implementation of the Gender Action Plan. In its official statement from its 19th session, the Committee for the Review of Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 19/5) noted that “the Gender Caucus proved to be an excellent tool to increase gender-aware action among delegates and should be continued.” The principal objective of the multi-stakeholder Gender Caucus is to provide support to strengthen the gender responsiveness of the policy and programme agenda and initiatives of the UNCCD as outlined in the approved Gender Action Plan. Support the acceleration of the implementation of the UNCCD Gender Action Plan (GAP) at the international and country level for all Annexes. Assist in identification of bottlenecks to GAP implementation at the international, country and local level Serve as a platform for exchange of gender expertise, information, training and tools among UNCCD stakeholders interested in gender issues and the UNCCD Secretariat During CRIC21 – to be held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, in November 2023 – two sessions of the Gender Caucus will be held. All Parties are cordially invited and encouraged to attend these sessions: Gender Caucus session 1: 14 November, 13:00 to 15:00, location TBD Opening words by UNCCD Executive Secretary or Deputy Executive Secretary Overview of Gender Action Plan and Gender Road Map Review and discussion of CRIC Recommendations to optimize gender phrasing Gender Caucus session 2: 16 November, 13:00 to 15:00 hours Panel led by FAO: “How can we utilize local knowledge and women's empowerment to create more drought-resilient dryland forests and silvopastoral ecosystems?” Final review and discussion of CRIC recommendations

Gender Caucus at CRIC21
A milestone moment: Uzbekistan and UNCCD team up to tackle land crisis

Bonn/Samarkand, 10 October 2023 – Today the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) entered into a landmark agreement with the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The Host Country Agreement marks the culminating chapter in the preparations for the upcoming 21st session of the UNCCD Committee on the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC21), to be held from 13-17 November 2023 in Samarkand.  For the first time since its inception, UNCCD is convening one of its most important meetings in the heart of Central Asia. The highly anticipated CRIC21 will serve as a global platform for cutting-edge insights into land degradation and drought while assessing the progress the countries are making in restoring productive land.  Welcoming the UNCCD delegation to the historic crossroads of culture and civilization in the city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan's Minister of Ecology, Aziz Abdukhakimov emphasized the upcoming UN conference's role in bolstering global partnerships and environmental innovation. Among the inspiring examples of the successful project in land restoration he shared is the ongoing tree-planting efforts on 2 million hectares to combat the Aral Sea environmental crisis.  UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw noted that CRIC21 meets at a time of increasing environmental turbulence: cataclysmic heatwaves in Europe and North America, devastating droughts in the Horn of Africa, torrential monsoons and cyclones across Asia. The significance of land degradation as both a contributor to and a consequence of these phenomena cannot be overstated.  Recent UN data paints a sobering picture, demonstrating that 420 million hectares of fertile and productive land between have been degraded between 2015 and 2019 – an area exceeding the combined landscapes of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.  CRIC21 – a global symposium of delegates from 196 nations and the European Union, leaders of the civil society, academia, and international organizations – will delve into progress on the Convention's strategic objectives. These range from sustainable land management and drought resilience to ensuring fair land rights for women and tackling the sand and dust storms and wildfires exacerbated by the climate change and environmental degradation.  The UNCCD secretariat wishes to express its sincere gratitude to the Republic of Uzbekistan for graciously assuming the role of the host for this pivotal event. Like an intricate carpet weaved by expert hands unfurls to reveal its detailed patterns, CRIC21 will roll out at the Silk Road Samarkand Congress Centre in Uzbekistan this November. 

A milestone moment: Uzbekistan and UNCCD team up to tackle land crisis
UNCCD implementation: Statement by DES Andrea Meza at the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly 2nd Committee

Mr. Chairman, Bureau members, distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, Permítame trasladar mis sinceras felicitaciones a su Excelencia el Embajador Carlos Amorin, Representante Permanente de Uruguay ante las Naciones Unidas y Presidente de la Segunda Comisión de la Asamblea General. I also congratulate your fellow Bureau members. We will spare no efforts to support your work. Let me also salute the delegations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mongolia and Uzbekistan. Saudi Arabia will host UNCCD COP 16 in Riyadh in December 2024, Mongolia COP 17 in 2026. Uzbekistan is hosting next month the 21st session of the Committee for the Review of the implementation of the Convention in Samarkand. I wish to express my gratitude and appreciation to these countries which are playing a leadership role in the UNCCD processes and implementation. Excellencies, Three weeks ago, the UN Secretary-General drew the world leaders’ attention to the fact that only 15 per cent of the SDG targets are on track and many are, on the contrary, going in reverse. The Secretary-General sounded alarm bells warning that instead of leaving no one behind, we risked leaving the SDGs behind. And this is the case for land and its SDG 15.3, in the 2023 report[1], the findings are worrisome: “Between 2015 and 2019, the world lost at least 100 million hectares of healthy and productive land every year, affecting food and water security globally. " Worldwide, poverty, hunger, environmental degradation, and conflicts are indeed increasing. And we can see a correlation where globally the poorest and the hungriest are found in areas affected by land degradation, desertification, and drought, and the Sahel and the Dry Corridor in Central America, to name few, are clear examples of this reality. These intertwined crises of nature-climate-land degradation and conflicts require the implementation of solutions that generate multiple benefits and the mobilization of technical and economic resources at an unprecedented scale. Investing in land restoration and drought resilience are win-win and cost- effective solutions with multiple benefits for a safe and sustainable future. Land restoration and drought resilience are critical to guarantee water and food security, livelihoods, to reduce irregular migration of people and conflicts over resource scarcity. These solutions also constitute building blocks to achieve climate and biodiversity goals. Excellencies, Within this framework let me now proceed to the introduction of the Report of the Secretary-General contained in document A/78/209, section II. The report suggests some recommendations that we hope would feature the UNCCD resolution that you will negotiate in these coming days. Since this report has been before you for quite some time, I will not go into its details. Regarding the outcome of COP 15, the Secretariat is working with the country Parties to support the implementation of the COP decisions adopted in Abidjan. In the context of achieving land degradation neutrality, we noted some important political signals. For instance, in 2020 in Riyadh, the G20 Group declared their ambition to reduce 50 per cent of the world’s degraded land by 2040. This declaration and the launch of the G20 Global Land Initiative are contributing to consolidating a land restoration movement.  Over the past two years, the presidencies of G20 have included land restoration as an important political priority within their communique, and have promoted the restoration of peatlands and mangroves, as well as land affected by mining and forest fires. LDN is becoming an important vehicle to achieve the SDGs: 130 countries are currently involved in the process for setting land degradation neutrality targets, and a number of flagship initiatives on land restoration are being promoted globally: such as Great Green Wall in the Sahel and in the SADC region, the Dry Corridor, the Middle East Green Initiative.   We need to continue enhancing collaboration and cooperation to accelerate action on the ground. In terms of outreach activities, the highlight has been the observance of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought on June 17, celebrated in the General Assembly Hall. That day a global campaign under the theme “Her Land. Her Rights” was launched to advocate for women and girls’ access to land. Several global leaders, UN agencies and partners participated in the event and are part of this global campaign that recognizes that land restoration, conservation and sustainable management can be accelerated if we address land tenure and gender issues in an integrated manner. On the drought front, we are moving forward. We see an appetite from the international community to operate a paradigm shift in drought management – from reactive to proactive action that better prepares countries and communities for future droughts, but more information sharing, resources, and political will is needed. It is in this context that the International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA) was established to generate more political momentum for this agenda and to accelerate action. I invite the General Assembly to encourage its members to join this coalition. Regarding the implementation of the COP 15 decision, the Intergovernmental Working Group on Drought has been analyzing how to strengthen drought management system within the convention. Its members are currently discussing policy options to be considered by COP 16. The next COP which will be held in December 2024 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aspires to be a moonshot moment for the land and drought resilience agenda. We hope to see you there. Before I close my presentation, allow me to pay a short tribute to my colleague, Mr. Melchiade Bukuru, Director of our Office in New York who is about to retire after over a quarter of a century with you, for his long dedication and commitment to UNCCD processes. [1] https://hlpf.un.org/sites/default/files/2023-04/SDG%20Progress%20Report%20Special%20Edition.pdf

UNCCD implementation: Statement by DES Andrea Meza at the 78th Session of the  UN General Assembly 2nd Committee
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
At the Africa Climate Summit, leaders outline a common vision for drought resilience

Acknowledging that severe drought affects Africa more than any other continent, leaders at the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi have put forward a common vision for drought resilience in the run up to the next climate and desertification summits — UNFCCC COP28 in November 2023 and UNCCD COP16 in December 2024. The objective is to reduce the costs of future droughts for societies and economies through strategic investments in sustainable land and water management.

At the Africa Climate Summit, leaders outline a common vision for drought resilience