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Call for a land-degradation neutral world at COP11

Oct 04, 2013

In Windhoek, world builds synergies for sustainable land management, biodiversity protection and climate change.

Windhoek, Namibia: Over 2000 delegates attending UNCCD’s Conference of the Parties (COP11)  came to the Rio Conventions Pavilion and joined in the conversation on synergistic approaches to achieving a land-degradation neutral world and supporting sustainable livelihoods.

The dialogues ranged from target setting for land degradation neutrality, to ecosystem restoration and adaptation to climate change. Resource mobilization was also discussed, as well as sustainable land management and the role of women and men in combatting land degradation. Among the variety of themes, common threads emerged: there is an awareness of the need for synergistic implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), but more work is needed at the national level to make this a reality.

“The Rio Conventions Pavilion at the UNCCD COP 11 has been a wonderful space for learning and dialogue. We have been overwhelmed by the high turn-out of participants from governments - including ministers and ambassadors - international organizations and civil society who shared experience and debated emerging ideas that might better combat desertification, land degradation and drought. Participants explored the linkages between climate change, biodiversity and sustainable land management and these interactive Rio Pavilion sessions brought new opportunities for concerted action to the fore. ” Said Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD.

“Evidence and innovation from the grassroots support the vision of a land-degradation neutral world. In a changing climate it will help bring the objective of food security and poverty eradication through enhanced livelihoods for rural communities around the world much closer to reality, especially in drylands” he said.

One of the best attended programmes of parallel events held at the COP, the Rio Conventions Pavilion brought together key actors from Parties to the UNCCD, international organizations, academia and civil society, in interactive dialogues and presentations that communicated the co-benefits from a coordinated implementation of the CBD, the UNCCD and the UNFCCC, the three ‘Rio conventions’.

Organisations that contributed to the vibrant programme included, UNDP, FAO, IAEA, the Global Mechanism, ICRAF, IUCN, The University of Namibia, The Green Wall initiative, The Korean Forest Service, NEPAD, and others.

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