UNCCD COP13 Youth Forum


Go to: https://diplomacyopp.com/2017/06/05/united-nations-convention-to-combat-desertification-cop13-youth-forum-fully-funded-diplomacy-opportunities/

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification COP13 Youth Forum (Fully Funded) | Diplomacy Opportunities

From 8-10 September 2017, the State Forestry Administration, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification secretariat, the United Nations Environment and All Youth China Federation in partnership with Chinese Forestry Academy to co-organize the first UNCCD Youth Forum recognizing the important roles that the youth plays in achieving the sustainable development goals, in particular target 15.3 on Land Degradation Neutrality.

Are you a young person advancing SDG15? Apply to attend and speak at the Youth Forum organized during 13th Conference of Parties (COP13) of the United Nations to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China

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Objectives of the Forum:

  1. Voicing the youth commitment in achieving Land Degradation Neutrality;
  2. Building the capacity and opportunities for youth in the work on combating desertification, land degradation and drought;
  3. Sharing youth / youth organizations experience in combating desertification

The Committee of the Youth Forum will facilitate in identifying speakers and representatives from all regions to participate in the forum. The youth representatives and speakers will be selected based on their submission of the following:

  1. Personal details (please use the form provided) Youth Forum United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification 13th Conference of Parties Land, Youth and Sustainability
  2. Nomination letter from an CSO accredited or provisionally accredited to the Convention (bearing official letterhead and seal)1
  3. Answers for the questions included in the form
  4. Curriculum vitae (max 2 pages)
  5. 2 samples of work undertaken by the incumbent related to land issues (e.g. blog, video, articles, etc.) A web link to the provided material is also sufficient.

Selected speakers and representatives will receive full funding of international travel, accommodation and daily allowance during the forum.

To Apply

Applicants must:

  • be between 18 to 35 years of age;
  • be volunteers / members for a civil society organization or network, academic institution, trade or technical institution or UN youth-related education program;
  • be authorized officially by their organization or network to speak on behalf of the organization or institution (providing a signed letter from head of organization or a supervisor);
  • have demonstrated ability to engage constructively with a variety of stakeholders;
  • be available to be in Ordos, China from 7-10 September 2017;
  • have a visa for travel to China, or be able to obtain one within 2 weeks. (Please check with the Chinese Embassy or Consulate in your country. Selected speakers will receive an invitation letter to support a visa application, but will be responsible for obtaining the visa and for any costs associated with obtaining the visa.);
  • agree to produce a daily article / blog for the forum when selected
  • be able to communicate in English

“Our land. Our home. Our Future”: the World Day to Combat Desertification on 17 June 2017


Photo credit: Africa Science News

UN launches campaign to invest in degraded lands to create jobs, boost incomes and food security

“Our land. Our home. Our Future,” is the rallying call for this year’s celebration of the World Day to Combat Desertification on 17 June 2017. The slogan draws global attention to the central role productive land can play in turning the growing tide of migrants abandoning unproductive land into communities and nations that are stable, secure and sustainable, into the future.

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has also released the campaign logo for use by any group, organization, government or entity that will organize a celebratory event for the Day.

“Migration is high on the political agenda all over the world as some rural communities feel left behind and others flee their lands. The problem signals a growing sense of hopelessness due to the lack of choice or loss of livelihoods. And yet productive land is a timeless tool for creating wealth. This year, let us engage in a campaign to re-invest in rural lands and unleash their massive job-creating potential, from Burkina Faso, Chile and China, to Italy, Mexico, Ukraine and St. Lucia,” says Ms. Monique Barbut, the United Nations top advisor on combatting desertification and drought.

“The possibility for success today is greater than ever before. More than 100 of the 169 countries affected by desertification or drought are setting national targets to curb a run-away land degradation by the year 2030. Investing in the land will create local jobs and give households and communities a fighting chance to live, which will, in turn, strengthen national security and our future prospects for sustainability,” Ms. Barbut added.

Read the full article: Africa Science News

The connection between migration and land degradation


Photo credit: In Depth News

Photo: Burkina Faso: 20 000 trees are planted to create living hedges. Credit: UNCCD

UN Launches Campaign to Invest in Degraded Lands

By Rita Joshi

BONN (IDN) – The number of international migrants worldwide has continued to grow rapidly over the past fifteen years – reaching 244 million in 2015, up from 222 million in 2010 and 173 million in 2000.

Behind these numbers, says the Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), are the links between migration and development challenges, in particular, the consequences of environmental degradation, political instability, food insecurity and poverty.

The 2017 World Day to Combat Desertification (#2017WDCD) on June 17 will therefore look closely at the connection between migration and land degradation by addressing how local communities could build the resilience against existing multi-fold development challenges through combating desertification and land degradation.

UNCCD is mobilising global support with the rallying call: “Our land. Our home. Our Future.” The slogan draws attention to the central role productive land can play in turning the growing tide of migrants abandoning unproductive land into communities and nations that are stable, secure and sustainable, into the future.

The UNCCD has also released the campaign logo for use by any group, organization, government or entity that will organize a celebratory event for the Day. The new logo, designed by Beth Johnson, is an all-encompassing symbol of UNCCD’s endeavours.

It combines the key elements of the Convention in an elegant manner that can be instantly interpreted by an international audience. The elements are: the landscape representing land stewardship; the hand showing human presence; nature suggesting hope, progress and life; the circle symbolising an inclusive convention with global reach; the traditional UN laurel wreath demanding respect and demonstrating authority.

The backdrop to the new corporate logo is that following landmark decisions at COP 12 (conference of parties to the UNCCD) in Ankara, the UNCCD is set to become a driving force in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 15 “Life on Land” and target 15.3 on land degradation neutrality.

Read the full article: In Depth News

UNCCD Regional Coordinating Units



Turkey, Morocco to Host UNCCD Regional Coordinating Units


Wangu Mwangi – Thematic Expert for Land, Soil, and Desertification (Kenya)

January 2017: Morocco and Turkey are the new hosts of regional offices for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in Africa (Annex I) and the Northern Mediterranean (Annex IV), respectively. The UNCCD Northern Mediterranean regional office was officially opened on 11 January 2017 at the Forestry Campus in Istanbul, Turkey.

Morocco announced its intention to host the African Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) during the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 22) in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2015.

The UNCCD’s network of Regional Coordination Mechanisms, comprising RCUs, Regional Committees and Thematic Programme Networks, was officially established in 2009, through decision 3/COP.9. Both regional implementation annexes have previously been hosted at the UNCCD headquarters in Bonn, Germany.

With regional mechanisms having experienced funding difficulties, with limited resources for staffing and implementation of sub-regional and regional coordination and collaboration activities, the new hosting arrangements are expected to boost UNCCD implementation.

 Read the full article:  IISD

What smallholders in the drylands should know


How to grow fresh food in all kinds of recipients that can hold soil

by Prof. Dr. Willem VAN COTTHEM (Ghent University, Belgium)

Grow your vegetables and herbs at home in pots, buckets, bottles, cups, barrels, bags, sacks, whatever can hold soil.  See some of my photos below:

Massive production of vegetables and herbs in a small space. Pots and buckets on pallets to limit infection. Photo WVC 2013-07-28 MY NEW EXPERIMENTAL PALLET GARDEN P1100559.
Cherry tomatoes all year long, zucchinis and bell peppers in pots and buckets with a drainage hole in the sidewall. Maximal production with a minimum of water and fertilizer (compost or manure). Photo WVC 2013-07-28 MY NEW EXPERIMENTAL PALLET GARDEN – P1100561
Zucchinis in a bucket, as simple as can be. Photo WVC 2013-07-28 MY NEW EXPERIMENTAL PALLET GARDEN – P1100565.
Tomatoes and zucchinis, not in the field (where they would be infected), but in buckets and pots. Photo WVC 2013-07-28 MY NEW EXPERIMENTAL PALLET GARDEN – P1100568.
Bell peppers in abundance, not in degraded soil, but in a bucket with a mix of local soil and animal manure. That can be done everywhere, even in Inner Mongolia, the Australian bushland, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Cabo Verde, Arizona, the pampas and in all the refugee camps on Earth. Photo WVC 2013-07-28 MY NEW EXPERIMENTAL PALLET GARDEN – P1100579
Eggplants, tomatoes, zucchinis, marigolds (to keep the white flies away). See the drainage hole in the sidewall. Photo WVC 2013-07-28 MY NEW EXPERIMENTAL PALLET GARDEN – P1100581 copy.
Chilli peppers in a bucket. Photo WVC 2013-07-28 MY NEW EXPERIMENTAL PALLET GARDEN – P1100602.

Imagine every family in the drylands, every school, every hospital, every maternity would have a container garden like the one below: wouldn’t you believe that we can alleviate malnutrition and hunger ?  Wouldn’t we have a serious chance to ameliorate the standards of living of all the people living in desertified areas.

Problems ?  What problems ?

Teach the people how to set up a small kitchen garden with some containers and do not forget:


They do not have containers ?  Offer them the necessary quantity at the lowest cost, or even for free, because that would be sustainable development in the purest sense.

Let them make their own potting soil by mixing local soil with manure.

Offer them some good quality seeds and teach them how to collect seeds afterwards.

Before rejecting this idea, have a last look at the photo of my experimental garden below and consider the potentialities of this method.

Photo WVC 2013-07-28 MY NEW EXPERIMENTAL PALLET GARDEN – P1100656, set up to show that production of fresh food with simple and cheap means is so easy that it can be applied all over the world. With some goodwill, of course.


Shall we go for the rehabilitation of 2 billion hectares of degraded land in Africa (and how much on the other continents ?), or shall we go for a feasible support of the poorest and hungry people on Earth?

With my warmest wishes for 2017 to you all !




Call from the UNCCD



Call for Inspiring Stories about Individuals or Communities that have transformed their lives through land improvements

Decision 4 of COP12 invites all stakeholders to share inspiring stories that will interest people in the general work of the Convention to Combat Desertification. We invite you to share two inspiring human interest stories from your country, which focus on how a community, family or person improved their own life, or that of others, through the implementation of sustainable methods, in particular by finding solutions to land degradation. The vast quantity of information we present in short-hand facts and figures lacks the empathy and emotion needed to get the public to identify with these realities. Human interest stories are short accounts about inspiring individuals or communities, which can educate and motivate audiences to adopt or promote sustainable practices.
More and more journalists are contacting the secretariat for inspiring stories about the people behind the rural transformation of restored land or about the victims of a land degradation that is amplified by climate change. But the best practice stories in our database mostly focus on the land, not the people behind these achievements. The human interest stories we have are just from a handful of countries. For example, Yacouba Sawado of The Man Who Stopped the Desert or Aba Hawi, the hero in Ethiopia Rising. Such heroes – individuals or communities – exist in every country. The information submitted will be presented as stories that capture the true spirit of the subject, and remain true to the facts. The stories will be filed in a database, by country, for easy access.
Submissions should be sent to: Hayley George, ERPA Unit, hgeorge@unccd.int. Deadline for submission: 15 October 2016.

Read the full article: UNCCD

A message from the UNCCD Secretariat



Three new publications on Land Degradation Neutrality target setting

102 countries have already committed to translating the global Land Degradation Neutrality target into country-specific targets and actions that generate multiple benefits: from climate change mitigation and adaptation to zero hunger; from ensuring access to clean water to creating decent work and green jobs. The UNCCD Secretariat and the Global Mechanism, in collaboration with close to 20 bilateral and multilateral partners are supporting countries on the LDN target setting journey.

Three new publications have been recently released:

1) Land in Balance is a science-policy brief prepared by the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface (SPI). It gives an overview of the scientific conceptual framework for land degradation neutrality (LDN). The conceptual framework creates a common understanding of the LDN objective and consistency in approaches to achieving LDN.  



FR: http://www2.unccd.int/sites/default/files/documents/18102016_Spi_pb_multipage_FR_0.pdf

SP: http://www2.unccd.int/sites/default/files/documents/18102016_Spi_pb_multipage_SP.pdf

2) Scaling up Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting – From Lessons to Actions: 14 Pilot Countries’ Experiences, distils countries’ real cases and partners’ experiences from the pilot project findings into top lessons and takeaways. It aims to provide easy access to practical solutions for decision makers, country stakeholders and development partners interested in engaging in the LDN target setting process.


3) Achieving Land Degradation at the country level: Building blocks for LDN Target Setting, explains in practical terms how to put the evolving LDN concept into practice. Four building blocks form the basis of the LDN target-setting process, developed with the scientific guidance of the UNCCD Science- Policy Interface (SPI) and feedback received from country Parties and stakeholders.


Happy reading!

Sara Minelli

Programme Officer

Science, Technology and Implementation Unit

UNCCD Secretariat

Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1, 53113 Bonn, Germany

UNCCD and DESIRE study sites


Please read: UNCCD

UNCCD and DESIRE study sites

All the DESIRE study sites are located in countries that have ratified the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, appointed National Focal Points and written a Nation Action Programme.


The country profiles on the UNCCD website provide the following information for each country:

Main references

  • National action programme
  • National reports
  • National website
National contacts

  • National Focal Point
  • National experts
  • CSOs

A new African initiative to combat desertification and strengthen resilience to climate change


Photo credit: GEF

CEO Naoko Ishii expressed GEF support for the initiative as a founding member

African drylands initiative launched at TICAD summit

A new African initiative to combat desertification and strengthen resilience to climate change in the Sahel and Horn of Africa was launched at TICAD VI in Nairobi last month. On the margins of the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), the GEF joined the  the governments of Kenya and Senegal, together with the Japan International Cooperation Agency to announce a new effort to confront the challenges of Africa’s drylands.

Speaking at the launch, GEF CEO Naoko Ishii said, “There are already a wide range of opportunities, frameworks, and ideas proposed for addressing resilience in the drylands, but translating these into tangible actions will not happen without a coordinated approach by all stakeholders, and alignment of resources and financing opportunities.” The new African initiative aims to promote measures for combating desertification by the countries in the region and supports efforts of development partners through knowledge-sharing and improving access to finance. The initiative will also seek to harmonize ongoing efforts by partner countries and organizations for effectively addressing the regions desertification challenges.

In the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, much of the land, consisting of desert and drylands, is estimated to be degraded. However, drylands are home to millions of people whose livelihoods are intertwined with the natural environment. In many countries, they are considered “bread baskets” because of their importance for production of major staple foods. But droughts have affected people’s livelihoods in the region in recent years, with the added impact of climate change making droughts more frequent and their effects more profound and severe.

Read the full article: GEF



Desertification Convention

Desertification Convention (2001)

Posted by Prof. Dr. Willem VAN COTTHEM

Ghent University – Belgium

Having participated in all the meetings of the INCD (1992-1994) and all the meetings of the UNCCD-COP, the CST and the CRIC in 1994-2006, I had an opportunity to collect a lot of interesting books and publications on drought and desertification published in that period.

Book Nr. 20

Please click: 


or see Desertification Convention




Posted by Prof. Dr. Willem Van Cotthem (Ghent University – Belgium)

image copy

Having participated in all the meetings of the INCD (1992-1994) and all the meetings of the UNCCD-COP, the CST and the CRIC  in 1994-2006, I was able to collect a lot of interesting books on drought and desertification published in that period.

Book Nr. 03








by Prof. Dr. Willem Van Cotthem (Ghent University – Belgium)

Having participated in all the meetings of the INCD (1992-1994) and all the meetings of the UNCCD-COP, the CST and the CRIC  in 1994-2006, I was able to collect a lot of interesting books on drought and desertification published in that period.

Book Nr. 01



Case Studies from Australia, China, Mongolia, Thailand and Viet Nam

Edited by Lu Qi, Yang Youlin @ Victor R. Squires

China Environmental Science Press Beijing October 2005

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Regional review of CCD 1

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Regional review of CCD 5

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