People, Environment

UN Summit Spotlights Land Degradation

Over 2,000 representatives from 196 country parties, including Iran, are attending the event in Ordos, China.  Over 2,000 representatives from 196 country parties, including Iran, are attending the event in Ordos, China.

The head of the United Nations' body tasked with addressing desertification, stressed the importance of financing national commitments to combat land degradation, as a global summit on the issue got underway in China on Sept. 4.

“It would be intolerable for me that we have invested so much time and effort into getting to this point and you, dear parties, did not see the real benefit,” said Monique Barbut, the executive secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, in her remarks to the 13th session of the Conference of Parties.

“Much of the work needs to continue to be done by your own governments, of course,” she added, announcing the launch of the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund, the first fund dedicated to rehabilitating degraded land. It will be managed by the private sector, the UN News Center reported.

Barbut told participants at the meeting, being held in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, that 110 countries have set voluntary national LDN targets to drive their national action plans.

Once an increasing amount of public and private financial resources is made available, she said, "the missing piece is now a pipeline of technically sound projects.”

Barbut also stressed the need to take decisions on issues that have not yet been dealt with, particularly droughts or dust storms, while also underscoring the special importance of making projects more gender sensitive and responsive to the heavy daily workload of rural women.

Over 2,000 attending representatives from 196 country parties, including Iran, are expected to agree on a 12-year strategy to contain runaway land degradation that is threatening global food and water supply.

“The end goal is to protect our land, from overuse and drought, so it can continue to provide us all with food, water and energy,” she said.

From the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to the global goal of zero growth of desertification by 2030, combating desertification always has and will be a challenging task across the world. The conference, which runs through 16 September, is expected to be a fruitful place for China to promote building a community of common destiny of mankind and propel multilateralism.

The UNCCD is the only legally binding international agreement on land issues.


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