The post-2015 development agenda and desertification

Photo credit: Huffington Post

Combating Desertification in the Post-2015 Agenda

by Mahmoud Mohieldin

EXCERPT

Desertification is one of the concerns in the post-2015 development agenda. The recently released Zero Draft of the UN Open Working Group — proposing goals and targets for the post-2015 development agenda — includes a goal to “Protect and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, halt desertification, land degradation and biodiversity loss.” The goal is accompanied by specific targets which cover issues ranging from desertification and drought to biodiversity and natural resource management.

To address the unique issues faced by the most vulnerable, we must invest in applicable solutions that are transformative, and can be scaled up. For example, as part of the TerrAfrica partnership, we are working in 12 countries to support the Great Green Wall Initiative of African countries to boost resilience. Together with a large number of partners, we are also working on a major study on The Economics of Resilience in the Drylands of Sub-Saharan Africa to determine the interventions needed to reduce the vulnerability and enhance the resilience of people living in drylands.

We must, however, be more ambitious and scale up efforts to support appropriate solutions for better management of land and other natural resources at the farm, community, landscape and national levels. The following are some of the priority areas for action by governments and the international development community, in partnership with the private sector and civil society.

Read the full article: Huffington Post

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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