UNCCD COP14 Side Event: AI-CD – Accelerating Global Efforts on Combating Desertification towards Achieving SDGs in 2030 –

Session Summary

Background

The Sahel and the Horn of Africa region, are faced with mounting development challenges including poverty and food insecurity. Desertification, land degradation and climate change have made the situation worse. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development cannot be achieved without addressing these daunting issues with strong partnership across the region.

It is in this context that the Government of Kenya, the Government of Senegal, JICA and UNCCD jointly launched the “African Initiative for Combating Desertification to Strengthen Resilience to Climate Change in the Sahel and Horn of Africa” or AI-CD at the TICAD VI in Nairobi in August 2016 in order to promote measures for combating desertification by the countries in the region.  The initiative aims to strengthen resilience to climate change of partner countries by supporting their efforts to combat desertification through enhancing coordinationnetworkingknowledge-sharing, and improving access to finance. There have been significant progresses on the initiative so far with the ownership of the African countries and supports from the partner organizations. However, further efforts and partnership are required to accelerate their efforts to fight against desertification, poverty, climate change and instability in the world.

Purposes

  • To share the progress of AI-CD including its outcomes in the first half implementation duration and its future directions.
  • To discuss ways to accelerate efforts to combat desertification recognizing only 10 years left to the target year of SDGs; 2030, which include global and multi-sector partnerships, effective funding mobilization, and innovative technologies and approaches.

Key Words: SDGs, LDN, PPP, finance mobilization, innovation, Sand and Dust Storms (SDSs)

Panel Discussion
Accelerate efforts to combat desertification recognizing only 10 years left to the target year of SDGs; 2030

The mounting needs for finance to combat desertification cannot be met only with efforts by the public sector and it needs go beyond a single sector approach.  Therefore, panelists will discuss how Africa and the international community can promote partnerships with other important stakeholders particularly the private sector, and how they can encourage more investment from the private sector in addressing desertification and land degradation.

Wise use of the latest data, information and technologies is another key to accelerate the efforts to combat desertification including for meeting LDN targets of each country and addressing Sand and Dust Storms (SDSs).  Setting LDN targets and monitoring its progress require relevant data with its accessibility and capacity to use those for policy implementation.  SDSs issues are one of the growing concerns in recent years over the increase in the frequency and intensity of SDSs particularly in the Sahel region.

The panelists will share their insights and experiences on these topics and will discuss the roles of AI-CD.  Participants are expected to gain insights about how African countries and the international community can accelerate their efforts to ensure that SDG targets of 15.3 and relevant targets (1 (poverty), 6 (water), 13 (climate change), 14 (sea), and 15 (land)) with the target 17 (capacity development and partnerships) will be achieved by year 2030.

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

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