UNCCD launched 3 publications to support countries’ translation of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target (15.3) on land degradation neutrality (LDN)



UNCCD Publications Glean Lessons from LDN Target Setting

by WANGU MWANGI – Thematic Expert for Land, Soil, and Desertification (Kenya)


The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) launched three publications to support countries’ translation of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target (15.3) on land degradation neutrality (LDN) into country-specific targets and actions.

The publications present a scientific conceptual framework for LDN, discuss lessons from 14 pilot countries and present building blocks for LDN target setting at the country-level.

The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) launched three publications to support countries’ translation of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target on land degradation neutrality (LDN) into country-specific targets and actions. Within the first year of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s adoption, 102 countries embarked on voluntary LDN target-setting processes.

The three publications are titled: ‘Land in Balance: The Scientific Conceptual Framework for Land Degradation Neutrality;’ ‘Scaling up Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting: From Lessons to Action – 14 Pilot Countries;’ and ‘Achieving Land Degradation Neutrality at the Country Level: Building Blocks for LDN Target Setting.’ The publications were presented during the fifteenth session of the UNCCD’s Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 15), held from 18-20 October in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting included an interactive session to hear experiences from countries involved in the LDN exercise.

Within the first year of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s adoption, 102 countries embarked on voluntary LDN target-setting processes.

 Read the full article: IISD

Sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition



UN endorses recommendations on sustainable agricultural development for food security and nutrition, including the role of livestock

Land degradation and Global Goals


Photo credit: UN NEWS CENTRE

In the Liptako-Gourma region, Niger, an area that has experienced large-scale land degradation and water scarcity, a villager takes extra precautions to keep her supply of water clean. Photo: UNDP/Rabo Yahaya

Tackling impacts of land degradation vital to achieving Global Goals – senior UN treaty official


The head of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification told delegations gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, to assess the treaty’s implementation, the impacts of land degradation affect the sustainability of the entire world, so a global effort is needed to tackle it, including through the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Monique Barbut, the Executive Secretary of the Convention, known by its acronym UNCCD, opened meeting by stressing: “Ignoring land degradation neutrality (LDN) could be political suicide.”

Moreover, she stressed that LDN remains a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target – under Goal 15 – and populations will experience real benefits in terms of climate change, rural employment and food security.

Read the full article: UN NEWS CENTRE

More than half of the world population suffers from one or more forms of malnutrition, including hunger, micronutrient deficiency and obesity.


Photo credit: UN NEWS CENTRE

An abundant lettuce crop in Serbia. Photo: FAO/Oliver Bunic

Sustainable food systems vital to achieving nutrition-related targets of 2030 Agenda – UN Rome-based agencies

Opening its 43rd plenary session in Rome today in the wake of major global agreements on sustainable development and climate change, the main United Nations body focused on food security and nutrition, called for an urgent transformation of the world’s food system and nutrition to eradicate all forms of extreme poverty, hunger, and malnutrition by 2030.

In her opening remarks, Amira Gornass, the Chair of the Committee on World Food Security(CFS), stressed the importance of establishing a “sustainable food systems is in essence working to achieve the food security and nutrition-related targets of the 2030 Agenda.”

According to José Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), who also addressed the meeting, “there is a clear failure of food systems to deliver healthy diets to people,” as more than half of the world population suffers from one or more forms of malnutrition, including hunger, micronutrient deficiency and obesity.

As such, Mr. Graziano da Silva encouraged people to turn to CFS for answers, stating, however, that efforts to tackle nutrition and food systems will require extended partnership, including action from diverse stakeholders, as noted by Elisabeth Rasmusson, the Assistant Executive Director of the UN’s World Food Program (WFP).

“We must renew our efforts to build more sustainable food systems, which are better able to withstand changing weather patterns and extreme events and respond to nutritional needs — building resilience into our food systems, mitigating the risks, and ensuring we are more prepared for climate shocks in the future,” she added.

The key goals of the food system transformation must be achieved in “an increasingly adverse context where population growth, a shrinking resource base, climate change and urbanization will challenge our ability to find new ways of working and interacting,” added Mr. Graziano da Silva.

Read the full article: UN NEWS CENTRE

Urban food systems at second meeting of the world’s mayors


Photo credit: FAO

The Milan Urban Food Policy Pact unites mayors from 130 citites in the search for solutions to end extreme poverty and malnutrition, reduce waste and adapt to a changing climate.

Feeding the cities of the future

All cities, big and small, can and must help build the sustainable, resilient food systems of the future, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva stressed during the second meeting of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, a collaboration between mayors of 130 cities from around the world.

Signed at the world Expo in Milan last year, the pact unites mayors from Banjul to Barcelona  and from Kyoto to Quito in the search for local solutions to end extreme poverty and malnutrition, reduce waste and adapt to a changing climate.

Cities occupy just 3 percent of the world’s land area, but are home to some 3.5 billion people, Graziano da Silva pointed out — more than half of humanity. And these numbers are rising.

Rapid urbanization puts pressure on food systems and natural resources, calling for solutions that make cities more inclusive, safe and resilient, according to FAO’s Director-General.

“Local authorities have an important role to play in our global quest for sustainable development,” Graziano da Silva said that the Mayors’ Summit held in Rome on the occasion of World Food Day (WFD), adding that “It is at the local level where people live, where people eat, use water and take out their garbage.”

But for too long “food security and nutrition have been overlooked in urban planning and development,” he said.

Referencing this year’s WFD theme, he also underlined the direct impacts of climate change on food security and its role as driver of migration from rural to urban areas.

Rising to the challenge

Already, many cities are responding to the challenges of climate change and rapid urbanization. From initiatives to reduce food waste to projects that transform urban food deserts into hubs for fresh local produce, cities have emerged as laboratories of innovation for solving today’s food challenges.

And more and more, urban centres are becoming food producers, Graziano da Silva noted, increasing availability of healthy, affordable food while cutting down on transportation. This can make an important contribution to household food security, he stressed, especially in times of crisis or food shortages.

Cities are also finding creative ways to cut food losses and fight hunger at the same time, transforming left over and unwanted produce into nutritious meals for struggling citizens.

Read the full article: FAO


Rural women are critical to the success of the SDGs


Photo credit: UN NEWS CENTRE

Thoeun harvests corn from her farm in Kampong Cham, Cambodia. Photo: Chhor Sokunthea/World Bank

Rural women’s empowerment critical to UN Sustainable Development Agenda – Ban

Marking the International Day of Rural Women, United NationsSecretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed that rural women are critical to the success of almost all of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as they all “have gender equality and women’s empowerment at their core.”

Rurual Women make up 25 per cent of the world’s population and in developing countries they make up 43 per cent of the agricultural labour force that produces much of the world’s food.

It is no wonder, then, that the Secretary-General calls rural women the backbone of rural communities, where, “and in many households they have the key responsibility for food security, education opportunities and healthcare.”

And yet that backbone is under threat, as increasingly, the effects of climate change and environmental degradation are forcing rural women to migrate in search of land where they can produce food and improve their families’ lives. This leads to instability, isolation, and marginalization. Frequently, male family members leave to seek work elsewhere.

Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said in a statement on the Daythat “rural women farmers can be agents of change in transforming food production and consumption so that land and resources are used efficiently and sustainably. They need policies and investments that facilitate their active participation and decision-making and their access to land and climate-resilient agricultural methods.”

Changes are on the way for women farmers

UN Women and the World Food Programme (WFP) have launched a the new programme in Rwanda to help women farmers forecast crop demands and create more secure and profitable supply chains through the use of digital technology.

Read the full article: UN NEWS CENTRE

A climate resilience initiative for sustainable development


Photo credit: FAO

An FAO-supported climate-smart agriculture initiative in Tanzania.

UN Secretary General’s climate resilience initiative set to mobilize and accelerate climate action for sustainable development

Anticipate, Absorb, Reshape leadership group launched during UN general assembly

Partners of a new UN-led platform to mobilize and accelerate action on climate resilience agreed today to move ahead with plans that will help meet the needs of a growing global population that is being impacted by climate change.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Initiative on Climate Resilience, known as A2R (Anticipate, Absorb, Reshape), was launched by world leaders during the Paris Climate Conference last year.

The A2R Leadership Group comprises Germany, Egypt, Morocco, Samoa, the World Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Global Resilience Partnership; Bangladesh based philanthropic Bank BRAC, Insurance Development Forum (IDF), Red Cross and Red Crescent Climate Center, Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and UN Environment. The Leadership Group is charged with implementing the transformational vision embedded in the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Sustainable Development Goals through an unprecedented global multistakeholder partnership.

It will catalyze climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction efforts to support people in addressing the challenge of climate change, contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Read the full article: FAO

How to transform rural areas so that development is not only inclusive but also socially, economically and environmentally sustainable


Read the full story: IFAD

Fostering inclusive rural transformation

Today IFAD launches Rural Development Report 2016: Fostering inclusive rural transformation. It is IFAD’s flagship publication bringing together leading thinkers to analyse lessons learnt from experiences across the globe, and to look at rural development in a new way. 

This report comes at a time of major change in the world. Structural shifts in the global economy, increased urbanization, climate change and protracted conflicts have altered the development landscape. While poverty has decreased, inequality has increased and forced displacement has become a global crisis. 

Against this backdrop, world leaders have agreed to ambitious goals to end extreme poverty and hunger by 2030. This cannot be done without developing rural areas and investing in smallholder farmers who are key to food security. 

Rural Development Report 2016 looks at how to bring rural people into the economic mainstream and how to transform rural areas so that development is not only inclusive but also socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

Rural transformation is not automatic. It is a choice. And the choices made by governments and development practitioners have an enormous impact on the lives of people and nations. 

Read the full story: IFAD


MY COMMENT (Willem Van Cotthem)

Needless to say that container gardening should be an integral part of that rural transformation.








Negotiating a sustainable future for land (FAO-UNEP 1997)

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. 33

Please click: 


or see negotiating-a-sustainable-future-for-land-fao-unep-1997

MapAfrica 2.0

Photo credit: Development Gateway

MapAfrica 2.0: From High 5s to Successful Results

by Nadia Mandrescu

In 2014, DG worked with its partners at AidData to support the African Development Bank (AfDB) to geocode and visualize its portfolio of operations, culminating in the launch of the public-facing MapAfrica platform at the Bank’s Annual Meetings in Kigali. Earlier this year, we were proud to re-engage with our AfDB colleagues to launch MapAfrica 2.0, an updated version of the portal.

This dynamic tool enables the Bank to provide transparent and equal access to its work across Africa. It is an effort to showcase our results and to track our projects on the ground,” said Simon Mizrahi, Director of the AfDB’s Quality Control and Results Department, during the platform’s unveiling in June. Through its updated interface, MapAfrica underscores project relationships to AfDB’s High 5 Priority Areas – which were developed in line with both the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Read the full article: Development Gateway




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. 05


Successful examples of rural institutions


Photo credit: FAO

Members of this forest and farm producer organization in Guatemala are holding a meeting. Rural institutions can help rural communities strengthen their livelihoods and food security.

Forest and farm producer organizations are drivers of sustainable global development

Forest and farm producer organizations are key players in meeting the world’s growing demand for food and forest products, improving the lives of rural communities, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  That is the key take-away of a new FAO publication launched today at the European Development Days in Brussels, Belgium, taking place on 15-16 June.

In the publication, FAO calls upon governments, development partners, civil society and the private sector to help channel further support to forest and farm producer organizations to enhance their ability to play a critical role as actors for sustainable global development.

“Through service-provision to their members, contributions to local economies and increasing engagement in policy-making, such organizations make solid contributions towards the Sustainable Development Goals, bringing benefits not only to their members but also to people and the planet at large,” said Jeffery Campbell of FAO’s Forestry Department and manager of the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) inter-organization partnership.

Forest and farm producer organizations are formal or informal associations created by their members as a way to address their own needs.

The publication looks at a range of examples from around the globe that show how a variety of such organizations are succeeding in helping rural communities strengthen their own livelihoods and food security.

Read the full article: FAO

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