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The First LDN Fund Advisory Group held in Gland, Switzerland (29 April 2016)

In order to achieve LDN by 2030, there is a need to mobilize large amounts of financial resources for land rehabilitation and degradation avoidance. Public resources alone will not be sufficient. Attracting private sector financing will be crucial. The UNCCD Global Mechanism is collaborating with specialized experts and advisors to develop the LDN Fund. Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers dedicated to responsible investing, has been selected as the Fund structuring partner. Since the inception of the LDN Fund project, the UNCCD has been pursuing a collaborative approach with leading non-governmental and public international institutions whose knowledge and experience contribute to the development and refinement of the Fund. The Global Mechanism and Mirova are assisted by an Advisory Group drawn from senior members of the Fund’s main stakeholders. It actively contributes to the Fund’s development and structuring process by advising on key issues, such as the environmental and social performance standards. Hosted by WWF International, the first meeting of the Advisory Group took place on 29 April 2016 in Gland, Switzerland. The meeting gave important recommendations on several emerging features of the LDN Fund, which are intended to facilitate progress in its development going forward. The meeting discussed four main topics: LDN Background and market study LDN Fund overview, governance and emerging pipeline Technical Assistance Facilities Environmental & Social Safeguards, Performance Standards and Eligibility Criteria Following the AG meeting, the structuring of the Fund will continue, in parallel with the development of the initial project pipeline. It is envisioned that the LDN Fund will be launched by the end of 2016. Read more: The LDN Fund      

The First LDN Fund Advisory Group held in Gland, Switzerland (29 April 2016)
Make It Famous: London College of Communication Student Exhibition on Africa’s Great Green Wall

Over the past few months, the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD has been working with the global branding agency, venture three, to promote the local and global benefits of the Great Green Wall to a worldwide audience. The Great Green Wall – an epic ambition to restore the productivity of an 8000km stretch of land across 12 African countries – is all about collaboration, so we wanted to open up our brief to as many minds as possible. At the end of last year, venture three and the UNCCD invited final year students at the London College of Communication to help us ‘Make the Great Green Wall famous’ in whatever creative ways they thought could boost mass awareness of the initiative. Ten of the best ideas were recently showcased at an exhibition at venture three’s studio in London, three of which were shortlisted by a panel including the UNCCD Executive Secretary, Monique Barbut, for potential further development. These included: Sumi Khan’s beautifully simplistic The Hourglass, which symbolizes Africa’s Great Green Wall fighting back against the threat of desertification:“Within the hourglass, sand acts as the Sahara desert, the tree represents hope for the future of Africa, while the seeping sand symbolizes the passing of time.”The installation also features a gift box, which includes a mini hourglass that can be used as a key chain, figurine or necklace, as well as a 3ml vial of fragranced oil made only from plants & trees. Beth Johnson’s playful idea to create a reality TV series positioning the Great Green Wall as The World’s Biggest Gardening Project: “Unfortunately, people have become wary of social/political/environmental campaigns and often assume that they are donation-motivated. This campaign positions the GGW as a creative phenomenon through a subversive strategy, undercutting the cynicism some may feel with a more conventional approach.’ Christopher Ong’s Explore your new wonder of the world - a vision of creating an educational exhibition focusing on the benefits of the Great Green Wall targeting 5-8 year olds at a high profile tourist venue - London’s Science Museum:“As the Great Green Wall is a long-term project, its completion will ultimately be seen by the next generation… By planting seeds of information in these young minds, we’ll create gatekeepers of the Great Green Wall – making the new wonder of the world famous and memorable.’’ Speaking at the event, Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD highlighted underscored how “The Great Green Wall could be the biggest human endeavor of all time. But to realize this African dream, we need public opinion to wake up quickly – young creative minds […] can help play a huge part in achieving this.” The UNCCD will be offering internships to the shortlisted students with a view to giving them an opportunity to develop their creative ideas further.   Related links: News piece on the LCC event in the Creative Review Vimeo featuring UNCCD’s Monique Barbut at the exhibition Great Green Wall Virtual Reality film

Make It Famous: London College of Communication Student Exhibition on Africa’s Great Green Wall