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Forest and Landscape Restoration is an active process that brings people together to identify, discuss and implement practices that restore an agreed optimal balance of the ecological, social and economic benefits of ecosystems within a broader pattern of sustainable land uses. Today we are seeing an unprecedented political momentum for supporting the ambitious targets set under the global ecosystem restoration agenda (CBD Aichi target 15, Bonn Challenge, New York Declaration on Forests, Sustainable Development Goal target 15.3 on Land Degradation Neutrality). This represents an opportunity to restore the often neglected abandoned and degraded agricultural lands that play a key role for food security and supporting local livelihoods. With political will, adequate policy and regulatory frameworks, sustainable financial support, effective partnerships for implementation, and meaningful engagement of local communities in both design and implementation phases, compelling and inspiring examples in countries -such as South Korea, Mali, Niger, Ethiopia, China and India teach us that achieving successful large scale land restoration is possible when the right enabling environment is in place. These aspects were extensively discussed from during the Ecosystem Restoration Day organized at the Rio Conventions Pavilion, on October 20th 2015. In this context the Forestry Department of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nation, the Global Mechanism shared the outcomes of the joint work that both organizations are undertaking to promote the sustainable financing of forests and landscape restoration efforts in support of FAO’s Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism. Participants drew on the expertise of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development to discuss the key role of the private sector. There was consensus that: There is a need to promote strong business cases and successful business models to support of land restoration actions Successful solutions can be scaled up through business innovation, improved stakeholder collaboration, and the redefinition of core business values Clear communication in a language that private sector can relate to is paramount Meaningful and measurable LDN indicators will empower businesses and facilitate effective outreach efforts. The World Resources Institute also shared six key steps to support the scaling up of land restoration efforts on the ground: Identify and analyze successful ecosystem restoration cases Support peer learning, local engagement and ownership at the grass root level Create enabling policies and legislation Implement effective communication strategies to share success stories Develop agroforestry value chains that support local livelihoods Filling the current knowledge gap on costs and benefits of forest and landscape restoration actions Finally, The German Technical Cooperation and the World Resources Institute briefed participants on the African Restoration Initiative, recently launched by the African Union as a new regional initiative contributing to the global land restoration agenda.
Monsieur Markus Repnik, Directeur Général du Mécanisme Mondial de la CNULCD, a pris part aujourd’hui à la concertation francophone de haut niveau sur le thème : « Comment faire de la lutte contre les changements climatiques et des objectifs du développement durable des leviers pour la préservation des terres». Cette concertation était présidée par le Sénégal, et elle a vu la participation de la Secrétaire exécutive de la Convention, Mme Monique Barbut. Dans son intervention, M. Repnik a rappelé que la perte de 12 millions d’hectares de terres chaque année, dont nous dépendons pour la nourriture, les fibres et l’eau était un problème majeur pour espérer éradiquer la faim et l’extrême pauvreté. Fort heureusement poursuivra-t-il, nous disposons maintenant d’une nouvelle opportunité : « celle d’agir de façon décisive pour mettre en œuvre le concept de la neutralité en matière de dégradation des terres - adopté sous la cible 15.3 des objectifs de développement durables (ODD)». M. Repnik a mis en exergue la possibilité d’établir des partenariats ‘gagnant-gagnant’ grâce auxquels on pourrait lutter contre la désertification en même temps que le changement climatique – tant du point de vue de l’adaptation que de celui de l’atténuation. Selon lui, pour saisir les opportunités les pays, devront évaluer les budgets nationaux pour voir comment ils sont utilisés, en analysant par exemple, la façon dont le budget consacré à l’agriculture est dépensé et s’il permet à ce secteur tout entier de se transformer dans une perspective durable. Les pays devraient aussi tout mettre en œuvre pour exploiter les ressources du financement climatique à travers les initiatives basées sur la gestion durable des terres. Il est important à présent dira-t-il de traduire en actions concrètes le slogan « des initiatives pilotes à la mise à l’échelle des activités de Gestion Durable des Terres et de restauration ». La Grande Muraille Verte est un des exemples phares dans ce sens. En conclusion, M. Repnik a précisé que le Mécanisme Mondial pourrait apporter son soutien aux pays pour les aider à définir les objectifs de la neutralité en matière de dégradation des terres, à exploiter les sources de financements climatiques mondiaux et à la mise en œuvre des projets de restauration à grande échelle, en collaboration avec des partenaires nationaux et internationaux. Related links: Discours d’Ouverture de Mme Monique Barbut, Secrétaire Exécutive de la CNULCD (309.28 KB) Allocution de Mr Markus Repnik, Directeur Général du Mécanisme Mondial (101.77 KB) Site web de l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie
“Securing equitable land rights and tenure are a precondition for Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN)”, said the Global Mechanism’s Sven Walter at a side event at COP12 on “Land Rights: crucial to reverse to prevent land degradation”. Co-organised by the International Land Coalition the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the United Nations Environment Programme, the International Union for Nature Conservation and the Global Mechanism, the side event showcased the importance of people-centered land governance to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality, as called for in the Sustainable Development Goals. Michael Taylor, Director of the International Land Coalition, shared the results of a recent study conducted by the Rights and Resources Initiative, which revealed that 65% of the Earth’s land surface is claimed by Indigenous People and local communities through customary usage and management. “However, only 18% of this land is actually recognised by governments as belonging to local communities [...]. This is a concern because it is land on which up to 1.5 billion people live and use, but over which they have no legal control”, said Mr Taylor. Noting the challenges to ensure adequate access to land, the side event highlighted existing good practices, which are strengthening the rights of local communities and Indigenous People: The International Union for Nature Conservation presented the traditional Hima system, which is recognized by the Government of Jordan as a traditional land use system promoting sound community-based rangeland systems and the restoration of degraded ecosystems; The International Land Coalition and the International Livestock Research Institute took stock of the Rangeland Initiative they are implementing and presented case studies on securing tenure in rangelands; Réseau Billital Maroobe, a federation of pastoralist organizations in West Africa, shared lessons-learnt from a capitalisation exercise, which is supported by the Global Mechanism, on of their best practices around negotiated land management arrangements and conflict prevention in the Sahel. The International Fund for Agricultural Development shared its experience of how to secure farmers’ access to land in order to trigger investments for increased agricultural production. The main conclusions of the side event were presented by Michael Taylor on 21 October during the COP12 High Level Dialogue with Civil Society Organizations on Land Rights: Governments need to legally recognize customary land rights of Indigenous People and local communities, including collective land rights; A bottom-up and people-centered process is required, which need to build on the existing knowledge, capacities and customary management systems of Indigenous Peoples and local communities. The contribution of organizations directly representing land-users, including farmers, Indigenous Peoples, women and rural youth needs to be recognized. We need to learn from, adapt and sale-up the good examples related to people centered land governance. The UNCCD Secretariat and the Global Mechanism, as member of the International Land Coalition, will continue collaborating with the more than 200 International Land Coalition member organizations and its Secretariat to ensure that UNCCD implementation, including Land Degradation Neutrality target-setting and implementation fully take into account the interests and needs of Indigenous People and local communities. Related links: Réseau Billital Maroobé International Livestock Research Institute
“From Pilots to Scale – Supporting Countries to Translate the Convention into Action”, was the theme of the evening reception hosted by the Global Mechanism on 14 October on the occasion of COP12. Opening the event, Markus Repnik, the Global Mechanism’s newly appointed Managing Director stated “the adoption of Land Degradation Neutrality as a Sustainable Development Goal provides us with an unprecedented opportunity to create a new momentum for the implementation of our Convention.” Pedro Lara Almuedo explained how the Global Mechanism is “on the move” - making Land Degradation Neutrality action a top priority. It will also assist countries both in Land Degradation Neutrality target setting and implementation. The GM will assist countries to tap into financial resources for land restoration and sustainable land management. Samson Awopeju made a passionate intervention on the intrinsic linkages between land, resilience and security as an avenue to safeguarding individual livelihoods and collective security. Land degradation and insecurity hot spots frequently overlap and without adaptation strategies and resilience building geared to responsibly managing and restoring our natural capital, land degradation will continue to be a significant factor that threatens rural livelihoods, triggers forced migration and aggravates conflicts over limited natural resources. He illustrated how the Global Mechanism is supporting local communities to build resilience by focusing on disaster risk reduction, drought management, and forest and landscape restoration. During the evening, the team highlighted the GM’s work to support communities across the Sahel in climate resilient development, as part of the Great Green Wall initiative and its efforts to scale up the Great Green Wall Initiative, to jointly “Grow a World Wonder", since the Great Green Wall is part of the solution to many global challenges, including food security, conflict prevention and environmental migration. Nevena Bakalar explained that the private sector plays a pivotal role in land use and management. To halt and reverse the current rate of land degradation, there is an urgent need for a paradigm shift in land stewardship from “degrade-abandon-migrate” to “restore-sustain-protect”. The Global Mechanism is assisting countries and businesses through economic valuation of natural capital and land use change, including carbon accounting and demonstrating examples of successful business opportunities in land restoration and sustainable land management. The event also marked the launch of the Global Mechanism’s new website, celebrated on the rooftop of the Rio Convention Pavilion, under the stars.