Rio+20 Round-Up on Drylands, Desertification and Drought

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Rio+20 Round-Up on Drylands, Desertification and Drought

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Round-up on desertification, land degradation, gender from @UNCCD at #rioplus20

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At the Rio+20 summit, negotiations on the text have concluded but events continue as heads of state arrive. Here's a mid-conference news round-up covering issues of desertification, land degradation and drought.

Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 11:55am

Rio+20 agrees on outcome text; including achieving a land degradation neutral world

Paragraph from the outcome document on desertification, land degradation and drought:
205. We recognize the economic and social significance of good land management, including soil, particularly its contribution to economic growth, biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and food security, eradicating poverty, women’s empowerment, addressing climate change and improving water availability. We stress that desertification, land degradation, and drought are challenges of a global dimension and continue to pose serious challenges to the sustainable development of all countries, in particular developing countries.

206. We recognize the need for urgent action to reverse land degradation. In view of this we will strive to achieve a land degradation neutral world in the context of sustainable development. This should act to catalyze financial resources from a range of public and private sources.

207. We resolve to support and strengthen the implementation of the UNCCD and its 10-Year Strategic Plan and Framework (2008-2018), including through mobilizing adequate, predictable and timely financial resources. We note the importance of mitigating the effects of desertification, land degradation and drought, including by preserving and developing oases, restoring degraded lands, improving soil quality and improving water management, in order to contribute to sustainable development and poverty eradication. In this regard, we encourage and recognize the importance of partnerships and initiatives for the safeguarding of land resources. We also encourage capacity building, extension training programmes, and scientific studies and initiatives aimed at deepening understanding and raising awareness of the economic, social and environmental benefits of sustainable land management policies and practices.

Read the full text from Rio+20, The Future We Want


Gender Day Highlights Role of Women in Sustainable Development

Executive Director of UN Women Michelle Bachelet opened Gender Mainstreaming Day noting the UNCCD and the CBD recognized the importance of gender issues and participation at all levels from the onset, while the UNFCCC has moved from “gender blindness” to increased awareness and inclusion of gender-sensitive policies.

UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja said efforts to achieve zero net land degradation must recognize women’s contribution to land stewardship and knowledge dissemination. He outlined ongoing initiatives to strengthengender mainstreaming in national implementation programmes, including extending resources from the UNDP small grants programme to scale up women’s involvement, and a special prize for women as agents of change in land restoration.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, noted some progress made under the UNFCCC, including:  more references of gender in the text and a self-imposed accountability team of women to alert the Secretariat to gender relevant developments in the negotiations. She emphasized that beyond addressing the vulnerability of women the UNFCCC Secretariat seeks to increase awareness of women as “agents of change” in their role as the link between food, water and energy issues on the ground.

Read the full report of Gender Day at the Rio Conventions Pavilion


Rio+20: Desertification cannot be addressed at local level alone

Speaking to climatechangeTV, Melchiade Bukuru from the UNCCD, called for urgent action to stop the loss of billions of tonnes of topsoil lost every year.  Twelve million hectares of land are being degraded annually, a resource where 20 million tonnes of cereal could have been grown.  For every hectare of land lost, he says, another needs to be restored and while many populations have begun to take action locally on desertification and land degradation they now need the support of those with the means to do so.

Watch the video at RTCC.


Reports come in as World Day to Combat Desertification activities take place worldwide

The slogan for the 2012 World Day to Combat Desertification is “Healthy soil sustains your life: LET’S GO LAND-DEGRADATION NEUTRAL.” See how different stakeholders celebrated the Day and what events and activities took place in different parts of the world.


Video now available, Miss Universe announces Land for Life Award Winners

Miss Universe Leila Lopes from Angola announced the winners of the first Land for Life Award, which aims to drive action on sustainable land and water management by inspiring leadership and motivating individuals and organizations at all levels.  A 40,000 prize goes to SOIL, Haiti, an organization that converts  human waste into organic fertilizer, improving crop yields, preventing erosion and providing access to sanitation.  Runners up are the Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion (TEMA), who gathered one million signatures for a soil law, and Conservation Efforts for Community Development (CECOD) in Uganda.  Both runners up will receive 30,000 USD.

Watch the video at RTCC.

Keywords: Environment & Climate Change | Gender | Leila Lopes | Luc Gnacadja | Miss Universe | Rio+20 | Rio Conventions | Rioplus20 | UNCCD | World Day to Combat Desertification | desertification