High-level dialogue on desertification, land degradation and drought

Land is the foundation of our societies. It allows economies to grow and prosper. Land provides more than 50% of the total value of all ecosystem services. This finite resource is under existential threat. Productive land is a cornerstone to poverty eradication, zero hunger, energy for all, food security and environmental health.

The General Assembly recently identified “land-based solutions, as part of nature-based solutions, constitute promising options to evaluate and consider in connection with sequestering carbon and enhancing the resilience of people and ecosystems affected by DLDD as well as adverse effects of climate change.” Over the UN Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification (2010-2020), some results have been achieved, and those remaining are magnified in the context of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The President of the UN General Assembly, with the support of the Executive Secretary of UNCCD, will convene a High-level Dialogue to assess the progress made in the fight against desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) and map the way forward in the light of the UN Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification, which is coming to an end in 2020. The dialogue will take place on 9 June 2020, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.  

The dialogue seeks to address these questions:

  1. How can action on desertification, land degradation, and drought act as a transformative pathway in the context of the Decade of Action for delivery on the SDGs?
  2. What lessons learned and best practices from the UN Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification can shine a light on the way forward to implement SDG15 and UNCCD?
  3. How can the inclusion and engagement of key stakeholders catalyse change and mobilise resources towards effective action on DLDD?
  4. How can national and subnational authorities better coordinate across policy mechanisms to ensure that DLDD issues receive the necessary focus in budgetary and policy planning?

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

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

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