World Day to Combat Desertification

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United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

World Day to Combat Desertification to be held on 17 June 

Let us find long‐term solutions, not just quick fixes, to disasters that are
destroying communities,” urged Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD.(See PRESS RELEASE below).

COMMENTS

Willem Van Cotthem: We keep hoping that success stories and best practices will be applied at the global level. Priority should be given to methods and techniques providing daily fresh food to the hungry and malnourished. It cannot be denied that hunger and malnutrition are constantly undermining the performances of people. Application of existing success stories in local food production (kitchen gardens, school gardens, hospital gardens, …) would positively influence the efforts to combat desertification (limiting erosion, stimulating reforestation, etc.). We keep hoping.

ReplyUnited Nations Convention to Combat Desertification Hi Willem Van Cotthem, would you like to share some success stories you have? We always welcome all to share!”

       ReplyWillem Van Cotthem : Hello Friends at the UNCCD Secretariat: It will be my pleasure to select a series of success stories in the literature. However, I am convinced that the UNCCD secretariat has the necessary documentation to compile even a book on this subject (to the best of my knowledge the documents, e.g. presentations at COPs and meetings of CST and CRIC, have been there during my active period in the CST and in Bonn). Please consider a consultancy to achieve top class work that would serve all member countries, the CST and the CRIC. To be presented at the next World Day June 17th 2016.

PRESS RELEASE
UNCCD’s Monique Barbut Calls for Long‐Term Solutions Not Just Quick Fixes To Drought Bonn, Germany, 22/02/2016 –
“Protect Earth. Restore Land. Engage People. This is the slogan for this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification to be held on 17 June. I am calling for solidarity from the international community with the people who are battling the ravages of drought and flood. Let us find long‐term solutions, not just quick fixes, to disasters that are destroying communities,” urged Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
The droughts and floods beating down on communities in many parts of the world are linked to the current El Niño, which is expected to affect up 60 million people by July. In some areas, including in North Eastern Brazil, Somali, Ethiopia, Kenya and Namibia, the El Niño effects are coming on the back of years of severe and recurrent droughts. It is impossible for households that rely on the land for food and farm labor to recover, especially when the land is degraded.
What’s more, these conditions do not just devastate families and destabilize communities. When they are not attended to urgently, they can become a push factor for migration, and end with gross human rights abuses and long‐term security threats.
“We have seen this before – in Darfur following four decades of droughts and desertification and, more recently, in Syria, following the long drought of 2007‐2010. It is tragic to see a society breaking down when we can reduce the vulnerability of communities through simple and affordable acts such as restoring the degraded lands they live on, and helping countries to set up better systems for drought early warning and to prepare for and manage drought and floods,” Barbut said.
Ms Barbut made the remarks when announcing the plans for this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification, which will take place on 17 June.
“I hope that World Day to Combat Desertification this year marks a turning point for every country. We need to show, through practical action and cooperation, how every country is tacking or supporting these challenges at the front‐end to preempt or minimize the potential impacts of the disasters, not just at the back‐end after the disasters happen,” she stated.
The United Nations General Assembly designated 17 June as the observance Day to raise public awareness about international efforts to combat desertification and the effects of drought.
Ms Barbut thanked the Government and People of China, for offering to host the global observance event, which will take place at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
“China has vast experience in nursing degraded lands and man‐made deserts back to health. This knowledge can and should benefit initiatives such as Africa’s Great Green Wall, the re‐ greening in southern Africa and the 20 X 20 Initiative in Latin America. We can create a better, more equal and climate change‐resilient world,” she noted.
“I also call on countries, the private sector, foundations and people of goodwill to support Africa  when the countries meet later in the year to develop concrete plans and policies to pre‐ empt, monitor and manage droughts,” Ms Barbut stated.
The 2016 World Day campaign is also advancing the Sustainable Development Goals adopted in September last year. The Goals include a target to achieve a land degradation‐neutral world by 2030. That is, a world where the land restored back to health equals to, or is more than, the amount degraded every year.
For more information on the Day and previous events, visit: http://www.unccd.int/en/programmes/Event‐and‐campaigns/WDCD/Pages/default.aspx
For background information and materials for the 2016 Observance, visit: For information about the Global Observance event, visit: http://www.unccd.int/en/programmes/Event‐and‐ campaigns/WDCD/wdcd2016/Pages/default.aspx
Contact for World Day to Combat Desertification: Yhori@unccd.int
For Media information: wwischnewski@unccd.int
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Policymakers and other value chain stakeholders

Photo credit: ILRI

Women pounding grain for the evening meal in Khulungira Village, in central Malawi (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann)

Hard numbers and soft stories: Reaching policymakers and empowering women in Africa’s agrifood value chains

by

By Jo Cadilhon

The fifteen research centres collaborating in the global CGIAR partnership have all embraced gender as a cross-cutting theme for research. Understanding the differentiated social roles of men and women, and the challenges men and women face in accessing resources is key in reducing rural poverty, improving food security, nutrition and health, and sustainably managing natural resources. However, to achieve more gender-equitable goals, our development partners also need to be aware of how undertaking gender-sensitive actions could lead to a more equitable society.

Policymakers are key partners in this process as they can orient government programs and donor projects towards more gender-equitable objectives. Yet, how can we make sure that policymakers become interested gender-equity and recognize its importance?

Established in 2006 under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) supports efforts to promote evidence and outcome-based policy planning and implementation as part of the CAADP agenda.

In East and Central Africa, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) are implementing ReSAKSS activities. These include regular training workshops targeted on statisticians and economists in the statistics departments of African governments in order to help them better collect and analyse official statistical data and make robust interpretations from them to informing policymakers and other value chain stakeholders.

Read the full article

Challenges for ending global hunger

 

Hungry for answers

by Peter Shelton

Experts outline challenges for ending global hunger during recent policy seminar

Source: David Popham/IFPRI Pictured (lef-right): Rick Leach, Shenggen Fan, and Elizabeth Buckingham - http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/prefab_large/addressinghunger_240.jpg
Source: David Popham/IFPRI Pictured (lef-right): Rick Leach, Shenggen Fan, and Elizabeth Buckingham – http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/prefab_large/addressinghunger_240.jpg

Ending global hunger and malnutrition is a monumental task. Yet it’s not an impossible one to realize, even in the next 10 to 20 years, provided that the international community builds on previous successes and follows through on forward-looking global commitments to achieve sustainable development.

Two flagship reports highlighted at a recent policy seminar at IFPRI offer strategies to reach this goal: the 2014 Global Hunger Index (GHI), co-published by IFPRI, and The Roadmap to End Global Hunger 2015 Policy Brief, launched by a coalition of 33 humanitarian organizations and advocacy groups.

The authors of the 2014 Global Hunger Index estimate that 805 million people worldwide suffer from hunger while an even larger number—2 billion—suffer from micronutrient malnutrition. Yet these numbers would be greater still if not for ongoing efforts aimed at reducing hunger and malnutrition, by USAID’s Feed the Future program, 1,000 Days, and theScaling Up Nutrition (SUN) initiative, to name a few.

Read the full article: IFPRI

How can farmers manage drought risk ?

Demand for complementary financial and technological tools for managing drought risk

by Ward Patrick S., Spielman David J., Ortega David L., Kumar Neha, Minocha Sumedha
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Weather-related production risks remain one of the most serious constraints to agricultural production in much of the developing world. Financial and technological innovations that mitigate these risks have the potential to greatly benefit farmers in areas prone to such risks.
In this study we examine farmers’ preferences for two distinct tools that allow them to manage drought risk: weather index insurance and a recently released drought-tolerant rice variety. We illustrate how these tools can independently address drought risk and demonstrate the potential for these tools to be combined in a complementary risk management product.
Using a discrete choice experiment, we assess farmers’ preferences for these two tools independently and in a bundled package. Findings indicate that farmers are generally unwilling to pay for drought-tolerant rice independent of insurance, largely due to the yield penalty under normal conditions. When bundled with insurance, however, farmers’ valuation of the rice increases. Farmers value insurance on its own, but even more so when bundled with the drought-tolerant rice variety.
The results provide evidence that farmers value the complementarities inherent in a well-calibrated bundle of risk management tools.
See the text: IFPRI

Hunger and malnutrition are not problems exclusive to low income countries

 

The persistent hunger problem in middle income countries

Highlights from the 2014-2015 Global Food Policy Report

Reliable water and nutrition security

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Irrigation in Senegal

How can reliable water access contribute to nutrition security in Africa south of the Sahara?

IFPRI research on water for sustainable development

New technologies for Africa

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This is the first time we have laid out a very clear action plan on what needs to accelerate the pace of the Green Revolution in terms of technologies

Africa: To Bring Green Revolution to Africa, Countries Must Develop New Technologies

 

The blind adoption of solutions from other continents won’t work for Africa

African countries cannot blindly adopt food policy initiatives that spurred the Green Revolution in Asia as a way to promote agricultural development, according to new award-winning findings by researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Professor Carol B.Thompson, Political Economy, Northern Arizona University, USA The Gates and Rockefeller Foundations propose to increase food production on the African continent, “eliminating hunger for 30-40 million people and sustainably moving - http://www.villagevolunteers.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Farming_Kisia-with-harvesting-green-pepper.jpg
Professor Carol B.Thompson, Political Economy, Northern Arizona University, USA The Gates and Rockefeller Foundations propose to increase food production on the African continent, “eliminating hunger for 30-40 million people and sustainably moving – http://www.villagevolunteers.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Farming_Kisia-with-harvesting-green-pepper.jpg

The research, which focused on Ghana and was originally published in the journal Food Policy, suggests that Africa must instead develop new technologies to improve the output of tree and root crops that are abundant in the region and to reduce the need for manual labor.

During the Green Revolution in the 1960s and 1970s, Asian and Latin American countries experienced a dramatic increase in the production of wheat and other staples by using new varieties and relying more heavily on fertilizer and irrigation. African countries have sought to mimic their success, but the adoption of similar policies failed to increase agricultural output.

“Assuming Africa is an appropriate setting for another Asian-style Green Revolution is misleading and could result in, yet again, a frustrated attempt to attain sustainable agricultural growth,” said IFPRI Senior Research Fellow Alejandro Nin-Pratt, lead author of the study.

Read the full article: allAfrica