World Day to Combat Desertification

Photo credit: Google – Imgres.jpg


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).


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.

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:‐and‐campaigns/WDCD/Pages/default.aspx
For background information and materials for the 2016 Observance, visit: For information about the Global Observance event, visit:‐and‐ campaigns/WDCD/wdcd2016/Pages/default.aspx
Contact for World Day to Combat Desertification:
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Participating in the tenth session of the Conference of Parties

to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

1.      The civil society organizations (CSOs) meeting in Changwon on the occasion of the tenth session of the Conference of Parties (COP10) to the United Nations Convention to Combat desertification (UNCCD) wish to thank the Korean authorities responsible for the coordination of this Conference, the Secretariat of the Convention and in particular, the Korean CSOs network for their efforts and support, together with other organizations which have made this Conference possible.

2.      Participating CSOs highlight the urgency of dealing with desertification. Recent studies indicate that dry lands not only take 41.3% of total land surface but are also home to 2.1 billion people; that is one in every three people worldwide. Moreover, one in every three crops under cultivation today has its origin in the dry lands. Dry lands also support 50% of the world’s livestock, serve as rich wildlife habitats and account for nearly half of all cultivated systems.

3.      Over the years, CSOs have carried out intensive natural resources management activities for enhancement of livelihoods for the rural poor, women empowerment and awareness raising.

4.      We are concerned about the low action on implementing and operationalizing the UNCCD at grassroots level and urge that all Parties be more focused on giving DLDD the priority that it deserves and develop concrete activities to alleviate the sufferings of communities affected by desertification and drought.  Relating to drought, we call for an establishment of emergency mechanisms to deal with disasters caused by this phenomenon.

5.      Gender mainstreaming is the current international approach to advancing gender equality and equity in society. We strongly believe that at the level of national government, they should involve incorporating a gender perspective into all policies, plans, programmes and projects to ensure that these impact on women, men and youth in an equitable way. Continue reading DECLARATION BY CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS

NGOs : civil society organisations that the U.N. and other intergovernmental organisations can operationalise (IPS)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification

NGOs Political Outcasts at High-Level U.N. Meetings

By Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS, Sep. 12, 2011 (IPS) – A former U.N. secretary-general was once quoted as having described non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as the world’s “third superpower”.

But come September, the thousands of NGOs armed with U.N. credentials will be barred from the United Nations, specifically when world leaders arrive to address the General Assembly sessions.

The annual ritual where civil society is treated as political and social outcasts has always triggered strong protests. The United Nations justifies the restriction primarily for “security reasons”.

The 10-day ban on NGOs will begin Sep. 20, the day before U.S. President Barack Obama’s address to the General Assembly, which will be followed by speeches from more than 100 world leaders.

This year, however, the ban has generated more protests because most NGOs have been shut out of three key “high-level meetings” scheduled for next week – on desertification and poverty eradication; on racism and xenophobia; and on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases – plus a nuclear security summit.

As a compromise, the United Nations has selectively picked some NGOs which will be permitted into the U.N. building only with special “access cards”, besides their regular NGO passes.

John Burroughs, executive director of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, told IPS, “It is counterproductive to U.N. purposes for it to be difficult or impossible for civil society representatives to attend events during the General Assembly debate.”

He pointed out that the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Department of Public Information (DPI), and other U.N. bodies rightly emphasise the importance of non-governmental participation and monitoring, in part simply to help get information out to the concerned public about what is happening inside the United Nations.

“The September ban or near-ban on NGOs is in glaring contradiction with this policy,” Burroughs said.

Stressing the role of NGOs in raising global awareness of climate change, U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro told delegates back in 2007 that the United Nations relies on its partnership with the NGO community “in virtually everything the world body does”.

“Whether it is peace-building in sub-Saharan Africa or human rights in Latin America, disaster assistance in the Caribbean or de-mining efforts in the Middle East, the United Nations depends upon the advocacy skills, creative resources and grassroots reach of civil society organisations in all our work,” she said, paying a glowing tribute to the work done by NGOs.

But there continues to be a yawning gap between rhetoric and policy.



NGOs: make markets work for the poor or harm local businesses (IIED)

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NGOs: friend or foe to markets for the poor?

Submitted by Sian Lewis on Wed, 06/04/2011 – 11:25

Nongovernmental organisations can play a key role in facilitating efforts to make markets work for the poor but they do not always reach the most vulnerable groups and can sometimes harm local businesses.

The latest ‘provocation’ seminar from IIED and Hivos, held in Paris last week (30 March), began by asking who are the contents and discontents of development approaches to make markets work for the poor.

According to one businessman at least it seems that nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) can foster both, particularly within the private sector.

“Opinions amongst private businesses are not all favourable to actions of NGOs,” said Harm van Oudenhoven, coordinator of the Tropical Commodity Coalition and former head of a small chocolate company in Nicaragua.

Speaking at the seminar, which was hosted by the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) and the Institut de Recherches et d’Applications des Méthodes de développement (IRAM), van Oudenhoven said that international NGOs often have their own agenda, and are more interested in showing results that curry favour in their own countries — “we are helping poor farmers” — than in making a broader impact in alleviating poverty in the local economy.

NGOs: bad for business Continue reading NGOs: make markets work for the poor or harm local businesses (IIED)

Farmers United Against Poverty (NGO News Africa)

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UGANDA: Farmers United Against Poverty

Farmers in the war-affected Lango sub region of northern Uganda
suffered a period of chronic terror and poverty.
Huge population movements and high level of insecurity affected normal
agricultural production and set the region years back in terms of
economic development. ACTED in Uganda is targeting smallholder farmers
for assistance to improve farming practices and increase incomes.
The approach taken is to create a space within each farmer can
mobilize its own resources and skills, rather than top down training
or handouts. The key structure for this approach is the farmer field
school, 40 of which are being supported in two sub counties of Oyam
District. Each farmer field school has a unique set of experiences,
members and skills, meaning the project activities have varied to
reflect their interests. Continue reading Farmers United Against Poverty (NGO News Africa)

Nigeria: Women Environmental Programme (NGO) and the Green Wall (Google / allAfrica / Daily Trust)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification

Nigeria: WEP Wants Green Wall Sahara Programme

An NGO, Women Environmental Programme (WEP), on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to speed up the implementation of the Green Wall Sahara (GWSP) Programme.

The Executive Director of WEP, Mrs. Priscilla Achakpa, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

GWSP is an African initiative, aimed at combating desertification in the arid north of Nigeria.

Achakpa applauded the programme as an integrated development strategy for combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought and climate change.

She observed that desert encroachment and desertification were assuming a frightening proportion and that the impact raised security concerns, especially among the vulnerable groups.

According to her, the impact of climate change is more on women in the rural areas as they have little or no understanding of the issues involved.

To this end, she said WEP would conduct a study on gender awareness of climate change issues.

‘Women are most at risk because they have to work hard to earn a living,” she said, and stressed that adequate information on climate change was necessary to evolve steps to control it.