Global Call to Act on Land Degradation and Drought

https://www.indepthnews.net/index.php/sustainability/forest-desertification-land-degradation-biodiversity/5324-global-call-to-act-on-land-degradation-and-drought

By Devendra Kamarajan

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire (IDN) — The 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), concluded in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, has concluded with a united global pledge to boost drought resilience and invest in land restoration for future prosperity.

Nearly 7,000 participants, including Heads of State, ministers, delegates from the UNCCD’s 196 Parties and the European Union, as well as members of the private sector, civil society, women, youth leaders and media participated in the two-week meeting (May 9-20) on the future of land management.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of UNCCD COP15, Patrick Achi, Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, said: “Each generation faces this thorny question of how to meet the production needs of our societies […] without destroying our forests and lands and thus condemning the future of those on whose behalf we endeavour.”

He drew attention to the US$2.5 billion raised for the Abidjan Legacy Programme launched by Côte d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara at the Heads of State Summit on May 9, which has already surpassed the US$1.5 billion anticipated for it.

At a news conference, Alain-Richard Donwahi, COP15 President, highlighted that it was the first time Côte d’Ivoire hosted a COP for one of the three Rio Conventions and emphasized his country’s continued commitment to keeping land issues high on the international agenda.

Following are the highlights of the new commitments at COP15:

  • Accelerate the restoration of one billion hectares of degraded land by 2030 by improving data gathering and monitoring to track progress against the achievement of land restoration commitments and establishing a new partnership model for large-scale integrated landscape investment programmes;
  • Boost drought resilience by identifying the expansion of drylands, improving national policies and early warning, monitoring and assessment; learning and sharing knowledge; building partnerships and coordinating action; and mobilizing drought finance. 
  • Establish an Intergovernmental Working Group on Drought for 2022-2024 to look into possible options, including global policy instruments and regional policy frameworks, to support a shift from reactive to proactive drought management.
  • Address forced migration and displacement driven by desertification and land degradation by creating social and economic opportunities that increase rural resilience and livelihood stability, and by mobilizing resources, including from the diaspora, for land restoration projects;
  • Improve women’s involvement in land management as important enablers for effective land restoration, by addressing commonly encountered land tenure challenges by people in vulnerable situations, and collecting gender-disaggregated data on the impacts of desertification, land degradation and drought;
  • Address sand and dust storms and other escalating disaster risks by designing and implementing plans and policies including early warning and risk assessment, and mitigating their human-made causes at source; 
  • Promote decent land-based jobs for youth and land-based youth entrepreneurship and strengthen youth participation in the UNCCD process; and
  • Ensure greater synergies among the three Rio Conventions, including complementarities in the implementation of these treaties through nature-based solutions and target-setting at the national level.

Besides, three significant declarations were issued during the COP:

Reports launched during COP15 include:

  • “Drought in Numbers 2022,” a compendium of drought-related facts and figures, including a 29% a rise in droughts since 2000 and a projection that three-quarters of the world’s population will be affected by drought by 2050 unless urgent action is taken. 
  • A special Southern Africa thematic report released as part of the Global Land Outlook series, which warned of rising pressures on land and land-based resources, exacerbated by insecure land tenure systems, pervasive poverty, and low rural literacy levels, raising risks for the most vulnerable among Africa’s population. It underlines the need to leverage strong links between the food, water, energy and environment sectors. A new technical guide that helps shape a tailor-made response to commonly encountered land tenure challenges via a range of national plans, legal frameworks, strategies, and action programmes addressing land degradation.
  • The study on Differentiated Impacts of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought on Women and Men has revealed that women are twice more affected by these issues, and that drought and land degradation tend to increase the burden of unpaid care and domestic work shouldered by women and girls.
  • Sand and Dust Storms Compendium: Information and guidance on assessing and addressing the economic, environmental and health risks of these increasing phenomena.

COP15 also launched:

  • The Business for Land initiative aimed at bringing visibility to the commitments made by participating companies towards land degradation neutrality, both in supply chains and CSR activities. 
  • The Sahel Sourcing Challenge to enable communities growing the Great Green Wall to use technology to monitor progress, create jobs and commercialize their produce such as baobab juice, moringa oil and shea butter.
  • Droughtland, a new UNCCD public awareness campaign that aims to showcase solutions and rally global action on drought. The campaign will also be featured during UN Desertification and Drought Day (June 17), hosted this year by Spain.

UNCCD’s COP15 is the first Conference of the Parties of the three Rio Conventions taking place in 2022, ahead of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change COP27 and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity COP15. 

Future meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD and its subsidiary bodies will be held in Saudi Arabia (COP16 in 2024), Mongolia (COP17 in 2026), and Uzbekistan (Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention in 2023). [IDN-InDepthNews – 21 May 2022]

LONGi showcases its extensive expertise in fighting against global land desertification through solar photovoltaic technology at UNCCD COP15

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/longi-showcases-extensive-expertise-fighting-092600978.html

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/longi-showcases-its-extensive-expertise-in-fighting-against-global-land-desertification-through-solar-photovoltaic-technology-at-unccd-cop15-301549927.html

XI’AN, China, May 18, 2022 /CNW/ — The 15th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) kicked off on May 9, 2022 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The UNCCD COP15 brings together leaders from governments, the private sector, civil society and other key stakeholders from around the world to promote sustainable land management in the future.

On May 16, 2022, Li Zhenguo, Founder & President of LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd. (LONGi), took part in the side event “Solar empowers land and People — from scarcity to prosperity” organized by The School of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, via video link. Speaking at the event, he shared the company’s rich experience and insights in fighting against land desertification and implementing ecological restoration through solar photovoltaic technology.

Li Zhenguo, Founder & President of LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd. (LONGi), took part in the side event “Solar empowers land and People -- from scarcity to prosperity” organized by The School of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, via video.
Li Zhenguo, Founder & President of LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd. (LONGi), took part in the side event “Solar empowers land and People — from scarcity to prosperity” organized by The School of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, via video.

Land desertification is a global issue with serious implications for ecological security, poverty eradication, social and economic stability and sustainable development. To address the current development dilemma facing global drylands, an integrated solution combining solar photovoltaic energy and sustainable land management could be a viable option.

Over the past few years, LONGi and many other photovoltaic practitioners have been working tirelessly on solar photovoltaics research for desertification governance and ecological restoration. In China’s Kubuqi desert, LONGi has built a “PV+ Desertification Governance” pilot project and carried out an exploration of the green ecological development mode of “photovoltaic power generation, plantation under the solar system, and animal breeding in the interspace” in desertification areas.

Numerous practical instances demonstrate that photovoltaic power generation and desertification governance have innate resource synergies. Abundant deserts and sufficient sunshine conditions provide the required land and light resources for photovoltaic power generation, and the benefits brought by photovoltaic power generation can effectively increase the value of land. In addition, large-scale photovoltaic installations can also block the ground sunlight radiation and reduce water evaporation, effectively promoting the growth and recovery of vegetation, which is conducive to the development of the planting and breeding industry.

Story continues

COP15: ‘Great Green Wall’ still touted as the Sahel’s desertification solution

https://www.rfi.fr/en/africa/20220519-at-cop15-great-green-wall-still-touted-as-the-sahel-s-desertification-solution

Au Sénégal, à Belvédère, des forêts nourricières voient le jour dans le cadre du projet la Grande muraille verte. Le but est de lutter contre la déforestation. RFI/Sadak Souici.

Text by:Laura Angela Bagnetto

Lack of communication, funds, and coordination are among the greatest challenges the Great Green Wall Initiative has encountered, 15 years after its launch by the African Union to combat desertification in the Sahel.

Speaking at the COP15 meeting in Abidjan, participants still believe the Great Green Wall project is the African continent’s biggest chance at combatting desertification, if the process would only pick up the pace.

“Right now, at the field level, the poor are still waiting…and they have been waiting for a long time,” says Paul Ouedraogo, vice executive secretary for CILSS, the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel.

“We don’t really need to spend a long time with all the processes. We have a lot of knowledge in Africa,” he told RFI on the sidelines of COP15 Desertification conference in Abidjan.

When it was launched to much fanfare in 2007, the idea of the Great Green Wall (GGW) was to plant trees spanning across 11 countries, from Senegal to Djibouti, covering 7,800km.

The participating countries include Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan and Chad.

At this point in time, only four million hectares out of the 100 million planned have materialised.

Despite these setbacks, GGW has moved with the times. After determining that a population boom in the region, from 83.7 million in 2019 to 196 million in 2050 could have a major impact on the original project, organisers reformulated their plan.

Instead of a literal green wall, the project aims to create tiny oases of green, promoting sustainable development for villagers, and involving them too.

Land degradation is one of the Sahel’s primary problems, along with desertification and armed conflict.

It takes a village

The revitalised plan that involves the people on the ground has improved in one northeastern town in Burkina Faso.

Speaking at a side panel at COP15, Aziz Diallo, the mayor of Dori, explains that with the decentralized governmental system, the town has had an easier time carrying out projects proposed by ngos in creating part of the GGW.

But it’s still complicated, even on a micro scale, he says. Dori has 78 villages.

“You have the municipal council for the village, and then the villager’s council for development, which can be up to 12 people; and they are the people that put the value into the projects for the village,” he says.

Diallo adds that although some are in the collective it does not mean that they have the expertise, which is why they appreciate the local NGOs that come to help them at that level.

The mayor has also had regular meetings with the Ministry of the Environment. He has asked the ministry to sign an agreement with the town, so that they are given some money to carry out their projects, and then they have a target each year of what they want to do. “And even though it’s difficult to work on the soil, we have had some results,” he says.

Many ministers

While Diallo has fostered a relationship with the ministry, in other countries that are part of the GGW, local and international organisations have struggled through red tape, including lack of coordination of the project.

Part of the challenge is finding out what ministers to deal with to create projects in certain countries and it is not always clear, says Bernard Terris, president of Danaya, a French-based NGO that works on food sovereignty.

Additionally, ”there are NGOs that work in certain territories… who do more or less the same thing, so you produce nothing in the end,” he says.

But even with lack of communication in creating the GGW plan, Terris says he still believes in it.

“It’s a great opportunity because even if everything is not well-structured, if everything is not put in place, there is the existence of the agency of the GGW with people who work in it,” he says.

Getting on with it

Other international groups have created programs not directly related to the government-backed GGW, but in the hopes that the two will eventually come together, according to Brou Saoure, the spokesman at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in N’Djamena, Chad.

Saoure says that the ICRC, together with the Red Cross of Chad has created this year a localised reforestation program in Kanem, north of the capital, N’Djamena. Locals there have to deal with desertification, and armed conflict.

“As the sand piles higher, some villages are becoming swallowed up. To stop the advancement of the sand and the desert, and protect the population, we have tried to construct a small green wall,” Saoure told RFI.

The tree-planting project protects their land, their homes, and the village itself, preventing the sand from impeding their daily lives.

The community creation is at the heart of the reformed plan of the GGW – it was once described as literally planting trees across the desert to prevent desertification, but failure due to lack of coordination, and of course climate change forced organisers to create a new structure, with more local involvement.

While some remain sceptical, people like CILSS’ Paul Ouedraogo says that organisers cannot waste any more time, especially because the expertise to create sustainable development for the Sahel’s poor already exists. “We don’t need to start at the ground level. We already have policies that need to be implemented,” he says.

Slow progress on Great Green Wall prompts soul-searching at UN desertification summit

African leaders expressed frustration at UN talks in Abidjan over funding barriers as climate impacts in the Sahel outpace action to address them

Despite good intentions and renewed political attention, the Great Green Wall is failing to deliver the prosperity and development envisioned for the Sahel.

Women working the land in the Sahel region as part of a Great Green Wall project (Photo: Makewaves/UNCCD)

By Chloé Farand

The Great Green Wall is the UN’s one big idea for combatting desertification: an 8,000 kilometre stretch of vegetation across the Sahel region of Africa. Fifteen years after launch, there is little to show for it on the ground.

Billed as a solution to the poverty and conflict afflicting the semi-arid region, the programme has been held back by financial barriers, lack of coordination between governments and accelerating climate impacts.

Unpacking these challenges has dominated discussions among African leaders at a two-week summit of the UN desertification body in Abidjan, Ivory Coast that ends on Friday.

“It’s not only planting trees, it’s planting hope for millions of young people,” explained Ibrahim Thiaw, executive secretary of the UN Convention on Combatting Desertification (UNCCD).

“Hope is not yet turning into action at the scale or pace you aspire to,” Thiaw told African leaders during the Cop15 talks in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. “Because collectively, we are struggling to turn those pledges into projects and investments.

“Understandably, this is leading to frustrations,” he said.

recent report by UNCCD found that 40% of the planet’s land is degraded – directly affecting half of humanity.

Vulnerable populations in the Sahel are on the frontline as the harsh conditions of the Sahara creep southwards. During the meeting’s opening ceremony, Niger’s president Mohamed Bazoum told heads of state of a vicious cycle of desertification, poverty and violence because of competition over resources.

“The principle reasons for the tragic worsening of these scourging remains ongoing desertification and the degradation of arable land,” he said.

The Great Green Wall has been hailed as “an inspiring model” to transform the lives of million of people by creating jobs in sustainable land management and agriculture and ecosystem restoration. Plans are being drawn up to reproduce it in southern Africa.

Yet a 2020 official progress report found that barely 4% of its target to restore 100 million hectares of land had been achieved.

It forms a central part of a global commitment to restore one billion hectares of degraded land by 2030. To achieve this, negotiators in Abidjan are expected to agree to boost drought preparedness, future-proof land use against climate impacts, tackle the growing risks of sand and dust storms and strengthen land rights.

Disillusioned by the process, some expressed skepticism another climate meeting would deliver for Africa.

These summits “have created big hopes for Africa” in the past, Moussa Faki Mahamat, of Chad, president of the African Union Commission, told the meeting’s opening ceremony.

“But in truth, all these strategies and conferences haven’t achieved the expected results and the promises that underpinned them have not been met.”

Trust may have been further shaken when it emerged that former Ivory Coast minister for waters and forests Alain Richard Donwahi was appointed to preside over the meeting despite being embroiled in a timber trafficking case.

Donwahi denies the allegations and an investigation is ongoing.

Despite good intentions and renewed political attention, the Great Green Wall is failing to deliver the prosperity and development envisioned for the Sahel.

“A few years after the start of its implementation phase, we are confronted, it has to be said, to a number of obstacles,” Sakhoudia Thiam, of the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall told an event on Wednesday.

Worsening climate impacts are outpacing efforts to address them.

“Today, we are witnessing increasingly worrying phenomena and a changing climate which is impacting the well being of local population,” said Thiam.

With temperatures rising 1.5 times faster in the Sahel than the global average and declining rainfall, restoring vegetation is a challenge and young plants must be protected from hungry livestock.

Thiam added that nearly half of the land best suited for regeneration is located in conflict zones.

Funding is not getting through. Following the One Planet Summit organised by France last year, international donors pledged $19bn to support the activities of the African-led initiative.

More than a year on, the money still hasn’t been disbursed. President Emmanuel Macron was not there to explain why. Leaders of developed countries were nowhere to be seen.

Niger’s Bazoum and Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari urged donors to release the funds to support investments for smallholder farmers and capacity building.

Thiaw, of the UNCCD, described the current system for accessing the pledged finance as “complex and cumbersome at best”.

Chris Magero, senior programme officer on forest and grassland at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, told Climate Home African nations also needed to invest themselves in the Great Green Wall vision.

“Rangelands have never been prioritised. They have long been seen as areas of wasteland and have not been targeted as areas of restoration,” he said – something IUCN and its partners are working to “demystify”.

And it’s not just finance that is missing. The pan-African agency responsible for delivering the project is understaffed, Thiam said.

“With the best will in the world, neither the national agency of the GGW, as currently set up, nor a single line ministry can make all the necessary wheels turn,” said Thiaw.

Government should elevate the issue and provide oversight at the presidential level, he said.

Desertification summit ends with promises to restore a billion hectares of land

The programme will need €1.4 billion over the next five years.

The environment is being degraded every day while people keep on talking

https://www.rfi.fr/en/africa/20220522-desertification-summit-ends-with-promises-to-restore-a-billion-hectares-of-land-cop15

The COP15 summit in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, which was focused on desertification and its impacts, closed with commitments by 196 countries to restore one billion hectares of degraded land between now and 2030. They also agreed to enhance drought preparedness, response and resilience.

COP15 on the Convention to Combat Desertification, which opened on 9 May, is the first of the three Rio Convention meetings to be held in 2022.

Later this year, COP15 on the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP27), will be held in Kunming, China and Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, respectively. 

Drought preparedness

Over the past 11 days, attendees heard, among other things, that in places where rainfall levels remain the same over the next 10 years, there will be more water evaporation and less water, especially if temperatures keep climbing.

“Even if rainfall stays the same, we’re going to have more drought events, because more evaporation will take place, irrigation channels will evaporate more, and plants will use more water. This is a problem,” Robert Stefanski, head of applied climate services division for the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) told RFI’s Jeanne Richard on the sidelines of COP15.

According to the WMO, an assessment carried out in 2014 estimated that exposure to dust particles caused about 400,000 premature deaths by cardiopulmonary disease in adult populations in areas suffering from desertification.

Treating land degradation before it becomes desert, which in turn produces migration and displacement, is another key decision made at the conference.

During the heads of state portion of the conference, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara launched the Abidjan Legacy Programme, which aims to boost long-term environmental sustainability in Cote d’Ivoire.

The initiative aims restore and repair forests and land to help communities on the front line of climate change.  

The programme will need €1.4 billion over the next five years.

Civil Society frustration

Even with these commitments, a  number of groups felt left out, particularly the smaller NGOs and civil society groups who are not part of the policy process.

There were very few civil society groups officially invited to attend COP15, and their absence was obvious.

“These platforms are only for high-level people, and they don’t listen to us. I come from a rural area, and even for me to come here, I had to fight, and I came late,” says Mailes Zulu Muke of Save Environment and People Agency, a grassroots NGO in Zambezi, Zambia.

A number of attendees RFI spoke with said that the people on the ground were not acknowledged, or included.

“[At] these high-level conferences here, there are just [academics], and ministers, not people from the ground. Most of the policies without implementation [plans] are just as good as dead,” one attendee said.

“Where’s the implementation? We’re waiting. The environment is being degraded every day while people keep on talking.”

COP15 desertification conference ends in Abidjan

https://www.africanews.com/2022/05/21/cop15-desertification-conference-ends-in-abidjan/

By Lauriane Noelle Vofo Kana 

with AFP

**The COP15 against desertification ended Friday in Abidjan with 38 decisions adopted to invest in land restoration and drought mitigation.
**

The UN COP15 conference to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) came to a close in Abidjan Friday.

After almost two weeks of talks on key themes like desertification or drought, Mauritanian Executive Secretary of the Conference of the parties, reiterated the need for effective steps to prevent further land degradation.

Beyond the technical terms and discussions, all is really about life. It’s about our well-being. Knowing that 40% of the planet’s land surface is already damaged by human activity, I think, calls for action. So this COP is also a call to action on two major issues: land restoration and drought.

COP15 brought together leaders from governments, the private sector and civil society with a target for finding sustainable solutions for land restoration. However, climate activist Jean Claude Brou, climate activist regretted the absence of key witnesses who notice first-hand the effects of land degradation.

The farmers experience the reality of land degradation, they are the ones battling it on all front, they farmers know this reality. The farmers are the ones who know the reality of the situation in the forests. They’re organised in groups and could have been invited ! Instead, administrators, committees or agricultural organizations, attended, I do not agree with that.

Although drought is a global issue, a recent UN report noted that Africa is the hardest hit continent, with the Americas, India and Australia.

38 decisions

The 196 Parties pledged to boost drought resilience and invest in land restoration for prosperity in the future. 38 decisions were adopted among wich a more robust monitoring and data to track progress against land restoration commitments; new political and financial impetus to help nations deal with devastating impacts of drought and build resilience.

The US $2.5 billion Abidjan Legacy Programme will help future-proof supply chains while tackling deforestation and climate change.

The Abidjan meeting will be followed up during the UN climate summit in Egypt, scheduled on November.

Thousands hospitalised as dust storms show Iraq’s growing desertification problem

https://www.independent.co.uk/independentpremium/world/iraq-desertification-sandstorms-kuwait-b2086212.html

Fears are growing about the effects of desertification in Iraq and other countries in the Middle East after they were buffeted by yet another sandstorm this week.

United Global Call to Act on Land Degradation and Drought Concludes Major UN Meeting in Côte d’Ivoire



News Release: Distributed from multiple cities
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Friday 20 May, 2022 
Contacts:
Xenya Scanlon, Chief of Communications, xscanlon@unccd.int
Wagaki Wischnewski, Head of Press and Media, wwischnewski@unccd.int
To request interviews: press@unccd.int
 
The concluding UNCCD COP15 news conference held at the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire, MET 02 (Salle des Fêtes), can be viewed at https://bit.ly/3G2ybkf and UNCCD’s YouTube channel, https://bit.ly/3G33o6O
 
United Global Call to Act on Land Degradation and Drought Concludes Major UN Meeting in Côte d’Ivoire UNCCD COP15 adopts 38 decisions, including on tenure, migration and gender, that highlight the role of land in addressing multiple crises Robust monitoring and data to track progress against land restoration commitments New political and financial impetus to help nations deal with devastating impacts of drought and build resilience US $2.5 billion Abidjan Legacy Programme will help future-proof supply chains while tackling deforestation and climate change Regional initiatives launched in support of the Africa-led Great Green Wall Nearly 7,000 participants at two-week meeting included delegations from 196 countries and the European Union Future UNCCD meetings to be held in Saudi Arabia, Mongolia, Uzbekistan  Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 20 May 2022 – A united global pledge to boost drought resilience and invest in land restoration for future prosperity today concluded the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
 
This two-week meeting on the future of land management drew nearly 7,000 participants, including Heads of State, ministers, delegates from the UNCCD’s 196 Parties and the European Union, as well as members of the private sector, civil society, women, youth leaders and media.
 
Speaking at the closing ceremony of UNCCD COP15, Patrick Achi, Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, said: “Each generation faces this thorny question of how to meet the production needs of our societies […] without destroying our forests and lands and thus condemning the future of those on whose behalf we endeavour.”
  He also drew attention to the US$2.5 billion raised for the Abidjan Legacy Programme launched by Côte d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara at the Heads of State Summit on 9 May, which has already surpassed the US$1.5 billion anticipated for it.
 
At a news conference, Alain-Richard Donwahi, COP15 President, highlighted that it was the first time Côte d’Ivoire hosted a COP for one of the three Rio Conventions, and emphasized his country’s continued commitment to keep land issues high on the international agenda.
 
Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary, said: “Meeting against the backdrop of multiple global challenges, including the worst-in-40-years drought in Eastern Africa, as well as food and economic crises fuelled by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and conflicts, countries have sent a united call about the importance of healthy and productive land for securing future prosperity for all.”
 
Highlights among the new commitments:
  Accelerate the restoration of one billion hectares of degraded land by 2030 by improving data gathering and monitoring to track progress against the achievement of land restoration commitments and establishing a new partnership model for large-scale integrated landscape investment programmes; Boost drought resilience by identifying the expansion of drylands, improving national policies and early warning, monitoring and assessment; learning and sharing knowledge; building partnerships and coordinating action; and mobilizing drought finance. Establish an Intergovernmental Working Group on Drought for 2022-2024 to look into possible options, including global policy instruments and regional policy frameworks, to support a shift from reactive to proactive drought management. Address forced migration and displacement driven by desertification and land degradation by creating social and economic opportunities that increase rural resilience and livelihood stability, and by mobilizing resources, including from the diaspora, for land restoration projects; Improve women’s involvement in land management as important enablers for effective land restoration, by addressing commonly encountered land tenure challenges by people in vulnerable situations, and collecting gender-disaggregated data on the impacts of desertification, land degradation and drought; Address sand and dust storms and other escalating disaster risks by designing and implementing plans and policies including early warning and risk assessment, and mitigating their human-made causes at source; Promote decent land-based jobs for youth and land-based youth entrepreneurship and strengthen youth participation in the UNCCD process; and Ensure greater synergies among the three Rio Conventions, including complementarities in the implementation of these treaties through nature-based solutions and target-setting at the national level. In addition to the decisions, three declarations were issued during the COP, namely: The Abidjan Call issued by the Heads of State and Government attending the Summit hosted by Côte d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara on 9 May. It aims to boost long-term environmental sustainability across major value chains in Côte d’Ivoire while protecting and restoring forests and lands and improving communities’ resilience to climate change, which will require mobilization of US$1.5 billion over the next five years. Abidjan Declaration on achieving gender equality for successful land restoration, which emerged from the Gender Caucus chaired by the First Lady Dominique Ouattara. The COP15 “Land, Life and Legacy” Declaration, which responds to the findings of the UNCCD’s flagship report, Global Land Outlook 2, a five-year study with 21 partner organizations, and with over 1,000 scientific references. Released 27 April, it reported up to 40% of all ice-free land is already degraded, with dire consequences for climate, biodiversity and livelihoods. Reports launched during COP15 include: “Drought in Numbers 2022,” a compendium of drought-related facts and figures, including a 29% a rise in droughts since 2000 and a projection that three-quarters of the world’s population will be affected by drought by 2050 unless urgent action is taken. A special Southern Africa thematic report released as part of the Global Land Outlook series, which warned of rising pressures on land and land-based resources, exacerbated by insecure land tenure systems, pervasive poverty, and low rural literacy levels, raising risks for the most vulnerable among Africa’s population. It underlines the need to leverage strong links between the food, water, energy and environment sectors.A new technical guide that helps shape a tailor-made response to commonly encountered land tenure challenges via a range of national plans, legal frameworks, strategies, and action programmes addressing land degradation. The study on Differentiated Impacts of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought on Women and Men has revealed that women are twice more affected by these issues, and that drought and land degradation tend to increase the burden of unpaid care and domestic work shouldered by women and girls. Sand and Dust Storms Compendium: Information and guidance on assessing and addressing the economic, environmental and health risks of these increasing phenomena.  
Also launched: The Business for Land initiative aimed at bringing visibility to the commitments made by participating companies towards land degradation neutrality, both in supply chains and CSR activities. The Sahel Sourcing Challenge to enable communities growing the Great Green Wall to use technology to monitor progress, create jobs and commercialize their produce such as baobab juice, moringa oil and shea butter. Droughtland, a new UNCCD public awareness campaign that aims to showcase solutions and rally global action on drought.  The campaign will also be featured during UN Desertification and Drought Day (17 June), hosted this year by Spain.  
UNCCD’s COP15 is the first Conference of the Parties of the three Rio Conventions taking place in 2022, ahead of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change COP27 and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity COP15.
 
Future meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD and its subsidiary bodies will be held in Saudi Arabia (COP16 in 2024), Mongolia (COP17 in 2026), and Uzbekistan (Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention in 2023).
 
About the 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.
 
COP15 background documents and information: https://www.unccd.int/cop15

All COP15 decisions are available here: https://www.unccd.int/cop15/official-documents
 
Download b-roll on the drought in Eastern Africa (https://bit.ly/3Pw6ULm). Credit UNCCD.
 
Images from COP15 are available for use with the following attribution: Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth: https://enb.iisd.org/convention-combat-desertification-unccd-cop15
 
COP15 social media assets: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/unccd/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UNCCD/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/UNCCD   #LandLifeLegacy       #UNCCDCOP15         #UNited4Land           @unccd
 
* * * * *
 

Côte d’Ivoire and UNCCD Executive Secretary to present key outcomes of COP15

Abidjan, 18/05/22Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Conference to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and a high-level representative of Côte d’Ivoire, will hold a joint press conference on Friday, 20 May, to present the outcomes of the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UNCCD taking place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
 
The key outcomes expected from COP15, which opened Monday, 9 May, and closes on 20 May, include a set of decisions agreed by 196 countries and the European Union that are Parties to this major UN’s land management treaty, to:

  • restore one billion hectares of degraded land between now and 2030,
  • boost drought preparedness, response and resilience,
  • future-proof land use against the impacts of climate change,
  • tackle escalating disaster risks such as sand and dust storms,
  • address desertification and land degradation as drivers of forced migration and displacement,
  • strengthen land rights and gender equality as important enablers for effective land restoration, and
  • promote decent land-based jobs for youth and strengthen youth participation in the UNCCD process.

 
In addition to the formal COP15 decisions, two political declarations were issued, namely:

  • The Abidjan Call issued by the Heads of State and Government attending the Summit hosted by Côte d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara on 9 May, and
  • Abidjan Declaration on achieving gender equality for successful land restoration, which emerged from the Gender Caucus chaired by the First Lady Dominique Ouattara

UNCCD COP15 is the first Conference of the Parties of the three Rio Conventions meetings to be held in 2022. The fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the twenty-seventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will convene later this year in Kunming, China and Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, respectively. 

During the Heads of State Summit, President Ouattara also launched the Abidjan Legacy Programme, which aims to boost long-term environmental sustainability across major value chains in Côte d’Ivoire while protecting and restoring forests and lands and improving communities’ resilience to climate change, which will require mobilization of US$1.5 billion over the next five year

The Closing Press Conference will take place in-person at the COP15 Press Conference Room – MET 02 (Salle des Fêtes). It will also be webcast live via https://bit.ly/3G2ybkf and streamed to UNCCD YouTube channel via https://bit.ly/38EPZWe.

Time
Friday, 20 May 2022
13:00-13:45 hrs (UTC/GMT)

Heads of State, ministers and close to 7000 delegates from 196 countries attended the conference on the future of land management, alongside private sector, civil society, women, youth leaders and media representatives. A high-level segment took place on 9-10 May.

The COP15 theme, Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity, is a call to action to ensure land, which is the lifeline on this planet, continues to benefit present and future generations.  

UNCCD unites governments, scientists, policymakers, the private sector and communities around a shared vision to restore and manage the world’s land.

About the 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. 

For more information and to register, contact: Wagaki Wischnewski, press@unccd.int

EN ALS ZE NU EENS IN ALLE DROGE STREKEN DOORLEVENDE SERRES ZOUDEN BOUWEN ? (in Dutch)

Prof. Dr. Willem VAN COTTHEM

GHENT UNIVERSITY, Belgium – https://www.facebook.com/willem.vancotthem.7/

Een van mijn oude ideeën heb ik vandaag vanonder het stof gehaald, dit als reactie op artikels die verschenen zijn over het probleem van de opwarming van de aarde en de dreigende voedseltekorten door de bevolkingsgroei.

Ik geloof sterk in de efficiëntie van deze manier om overal ter wereld groene hutten te bouwen, niet alleen om de mensen te laten schuilen, maar ook om er voedsel in te kweken voor eigen voedselvoorziening.

Enfin, ze zien maar wat ze met dit idee kunnen doen: het is alleszins een 0,000 000 005 budget !

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1. DOORLEVENDE SERRE (zie foto’s op mijn sites : https://www.facebook.com/willem.vancotthem.7/

en

https://www.facebook.com/groups/442323322523986/

1.1. Basisconstructie

Met palen en dwarsverbindingen wordt het geraamte van een ruimte, die als kweekruimte voor planten of serre zal dienen, geconstrueerd.

De palen en dwarsverbindingen kunnen uit gelijk welk materiaal bestaan: hout, bamboe, plastiek, metaal, enz.

Het geraamte kan eender welke vorm hebben: koepel, kubus, balk, pyramide, enz.

De afmetingen van de ruimte worden gekozen naargelang de noodwendigheden (zo kan men zelfs serres van 50 meter of meer bouwen !)

1.2. Aanplanting en geleiding van doorlevende houtachtige planten

Tussen de palen van het geraamte worden jonge houtachtige planten (bomen of struiken) aangeplant.

Tijdens de verdere uitgroei van deze bomen of struiken worden de nieuw gevormde takken doorheen de dwarsverbindingen van het geraamte geweven.

Takken die naar binnen in de serreruimte groeien worden weggesnoeid.

Hetzelfde gebeurt met deze die naar buitenuit groeien.

Alleen de takken die in het vlak van het serregeraamte groeien worden bewaard.

Vormen deze takken zelf nieuwe zijtakken, dan volgen dezelfde handelingen: alle zijtakjes die niet in het vlak van de serreruimte groeien, worden weggesnoeid.

Aldus groeit het vlak van de serreruimte geleidelijk aan dicht.

De groene koepel, kubus, balk, pyramide, … van de serre wordt met regelmaat bijgesnoeid.

Het resultaat is een groene, doorlevende serre, die in alle omstandigheden blijft funktioneren en, behoudens het regelmatig bijsnoeien, geen verder onderhoud vergt.

In droge streken en woestijnen, waar dikwijls het vee vrij rondloopt, kan rondom de serre een levende doornhaag als bescherming tegen dierenvraat aangeplant worden.

1.3. Belang en voordelen van een doorlevende serre

Dit type van serre kan op gelijk welke beschikbare plaats opgericht worden, uiteraard in vochtige gebieden waar de wortelgroei van de bomen of struiken geen problemen kent.

Mits een gepaste irrigatie van het wortelstelsel van de bomen of struiken kan een dergelijke serre ook gebouwd worden in droge streken, zelfs in de woestijn.

Het is een eenvoudige en goedkope manier om een ruimte te creeëren waarin jonge planten kunnen opgekweekt worden.

Een doorlevende serre zorgt voor bescherming tegen sterke zonbestraling. Het zonlicht wordt door het bladerdak gefilterd.

Door meer of minder te snoeien, kan men zelf de hoeveelheid binnenvallend licht bepalen.

Een doorlevende serre biedt ook bescherming tegen sterke en meestal drogende winden. In de binnenruimte wordt de relatieve vochtigheid hoger gehouden door de transpiratie van de bladeren in de serrewand.

De inwendige luchtvochtigheid in de serre kan ook verhoogd worden door in de ruimte een open bak met water te plaatsen (verdamping). Dit water kan dan ook gebruikt worden voor de bewatering van de planten die in de serre gekweekt worden.

Een doorlevende serre biedt bijkomende voordelen in warme streken:

(a) Koele binnenruimte door overschaduwing (aangename werkruimte)

(b) Minder UV-beschadiging van de jonge planten

(c) Bescherming tegen de uitdrogende winden

(d) Bescherming tegen loslopend vee

De opbouw van een doorlevende serre in mijn tuin in België:

zie https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10228897986173788&set=pcb.10228898004294241

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