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

Mush Irrigation Scheme in Ethiopia for opportunities for best water management practices

 

 

Mush irrigation scheme in Ethiopia provides opportunities for improved crop and water management

by

Citation
Okwany, R.O.W. and Schmitter, P. 2016. Performance assessment of Mush Irrigation Scheme in Ethiopia for opportunities for best water management practices. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/77284
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ETHIOPIA

Links between conflict, imperilled rural livelihoods and migration

 

Photo credit: FAO

In Syria farmers and livestock keepers are often left with no other option than to abandon their fields and animals.

FAO Director-General: food security and the migration crisis

Graziano da Silva stresses links between conflict, imperilled rural livelihoods and migration

The millions of people who are being forced to flee from war, poverty and other hardships are a tragic reminder of the urgent need for peaceful solutions based on social justice and improved economic opportunities for all. Key to achieving this is the protection of and investment in rural livelihoods, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today.

“Rural development and food security are central to the global response to the refugee crisis. War causes hunger and hunger too, kills and forces people from their homes,” he said.

“Whether living in camps or finding themselves on the move, people are in a particularly vulnerable situation. The world needs to give a comprehensive response that offers hope and concrete solutions to refugees, and this response must consider their present and future food security, and the rehabilitation of their rural livelihoods.”

“Supporting agricultural based livelihoods can contribute to both helping people stay on their land when they feel safe to do so and to create the conditions for the return of refugees, migrants and displaced people,” added Graziano da Silva.

“Most of the displaced hope to return to their lands as soon as the conflict is over, but the impacts of conflict on food security often last long after the violence has subsided,” he said.

Agriculture continues to be the backbone of livelihoods for the majority of people in conflict and post-conflict situations.

Read the full article: FAO

Fertile land and sustainable water sources are diminishing at a frightening rate

Photo credit: Excellent

No such thing as a free lunch

“Before we used to get some good rains that enabled us to get enough food but in the recent years it has been gradually decreasing and we are now not able to get enough food, even though we put efforts in farming.”

Joseph Kilonzo, Mumbuka self-help group, southeast Kenya

Migration and conflict over sparse resources are already on the rise, and if current trends continue, hunger and poverty are likely to become more widespread.

A five-year action plan to bolster anti-smuggling capabilities and help victims

Photo credit: IRIN

A group of West African would-be migrants, who failed to complete their journey to Europe, await repatriation outside the International Organisation for Migrants’ reception centre in Niamey, Niger.
© Boureima Balima/IRIN

Dreams that wither and die in the African desert

By Boureima Balima
EXCERPT

Not a lone case

Since the beginning of 2015, more than 5,600 people who attempted to migrate to Europe have been returned to their countries of origin from Niamey, according to Paloma Casaseca, a program assistant here for the IOM.

“This number is double that of last year,” Casaseca told IRIN. “And these are essentially the people who failed in their journey, either because of lack of resources or health issues, or as a result of expulsions by the host country.”

IOM estimates that more than 100,000 West Africans will cross Niger this year on their way to Europe.

But many don’t even reach the coasts of places like Algeria, Libya or Morocco to try their luck on the perilous boat journeys that are the best-known feature of this complex migration phenomenon.

See: Somaliland losing youth do to allure of Europe
Vast expanses of sand make for difficult access routes, particularly aboard old pickup trucks and other dilapidated vehicles. When a car breaks down, passengers often die of dehydration before they can be rescued. Those that are found are sometimes sent back home. Others are forced into hard labour or prostitution by the smugglers.

“In Niger, we have no figures to express the crisis of the Niger desert, that engulfs probably just as many fatalities each year as the Mediterranean,” Casaseca said.

Reform needed

At the IOM reception centre in Niamey, many migrants told IRIN they were not aware of the full danger of what they were undertaking. They had merely heard that there was a road that could take them to Europe.

“Many friends and brothers have successfully traversed the wilderness to go to Europe and so why shouldn’t we follow the same path?” asked Bouaro Idrissa, a 27-year-old from Senegal, who was also about to be sent home from Niamey.

Read the full article: IRIN

Increased desertification of unstable areas

Photo credit: Trade Arabia

Climate change ‘may worsen instability in ME’

Climate change could aggravate existing instability in the Middle East, a diplomat has warned.
French Ambassador to Bahrain Bernard Regnauld-Fabre said rising sea levels and increased desertification posed serious security concerns, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

One of the reasons was the potential displacement of large populations, which might have to relocate to escape flooding.

However, he added that renewable energy could hold the key to a more peaceful Middle East.

“In Egypt, an increase of 50cm, or almost 20 inches, in the sea level would cause millions of people to flee the Nile Delta, with security consequences for the entire region,” he explained.

“Increased desertification of unstable areas, such as the Sahel (in Africa), would foster the growth of criminal networks and armed terrorist groups, which are already thriving there.

“Similarly, climate disruption would exacerbate the threats that are currently concentrated in regions from Niger to the Arabian Gulf.”

Read the full article: Trade Arabia