Land issues will be high on the agenda of the United Nations Environment Assembly

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Nairobi, March 1, 2024 – Healthyland’s contribution to tackling the global challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and sustainable development was the focus of the Sixth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 6), which concluded today in Nairobi.

The week-long conference adopted the first-ever UNEA resolution on land degradation and unveiled the logo and slogan for the 16th United Nations General Assembly.th The Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP16) will be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from December 2 to 13, 2024.

Speaking at a high-level event on Combating Land Degradation Through Climate and Biodiversity, Leila Benali, Sixth President of UNEA and Minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development of the Kingdom of Morocco, said: “Land is the only common denominator in Rio’s three treaties,” and only through land recovery can their objectives be achieved. We need to start with effective and reliable solutions for land and soil health, building on what unites us, not what divides us. ”

Unveiling the COP16 slogan ‘Our Land.’ UNCCD Secretary-General Ibrahim Thiau said, “COP16 will be a landmark moment for land. It is the UNCCD’s equivalent of Paris.” It is critical that there is convergence and synergy between the three COPs being held this year: biodiversity, climate change and desertification. ”

For the first time, UNEA has launched an international initiative to combat desertification and land degradation, restore degraded land, promote land conservation and sustainable land management, contribute to land degradation neutrality, and strengthen drought resilience. adopted a resolution calling for stronger efforts. These issues will be the focus of UNCCD COP16.

Speaking on behalf of the COP16 Presidency, Osama Ibrahim Fakih, Deputy Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Saudi Arabia, said: “Land is not only important for human life, but also for maintaining the delicate balance between biodiversity and the environment. 24 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are associated with various land use plans, so we need to recognize the importance of land and other natural elements on our planet.”

Through the Saudi Green Initiative, the Saudi government aims to plant 10 billion trees and protect 30 percent of the kingdom’s land.

Additional quotes:

Aziz Abdukhakimov, Minister of Ecology, Environmental Protection and Climate Change of the Republic of Uzbekistan, who hosted a meeting to review the progress of UNCCD implementation last November, said: “Uzbekistan is losing 9 square meters of fertile land every minute. This is a big problem.” “This is an issue for any country facing land degradation. Bringing together political will, science and finance is critical to meeting the challenges of climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss. is.”

Maria Helena Semedo, Deputy Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said: “Land is the beginning of food, and without land we cannot produce food or nourish the planet. , we need a holistic approach that avoids fragmentation and invests in sustainable transformation of agriculture and food systems to ensure food security and combat climate change and biodiversity loss. .”

Hindu Omar Ibrahim, president of the Association of Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT), said: “Indigenous peoples, who make up 5 percent of the world’s population, protect 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity. They are the guardians of ecosystems.” and are masters of using traditional knowledge to restore land. Direct access to finance, policy coordination and inclusive decision-making are essential to empowering communities and making land restoration projects successful.”

UNCCD Land Hero Patricia Kombo from Kenya, who moderated the UNEA 6 high-level event, concluded: Only together can we restore terrestrial ecosystems, ensure food security and mitigate the effects of climate change. ”

For more information:

UNCCD News Department, press [at] unccd.int (press attonk dot dot)+49 228 815 2820, https://www.unccd.int/, @unccd

Recording and photos available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_oSZoVZJF8

https://drive.google.com/drive/u/1/folders/1QhHqfX_pOFWBuot0ET5hGTogyrWDsq6Q

UNCCD Director-General’s remarks at UNEA 6 are available:

For more information about UNEA 6 and UNCCD COP16, please visit https://www.unep.org/environmentassembly/unea6 and https://www.unccd.int/cop16.

About UNCCD

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is a global vision and voice for land. We unite governments, scientists, policy makers, the private sector and communities around a common vision and global action to restore and manage the world’s lands for the sustainability of humanity and the planet. Let me do it. The UNCCD goes far beyond the international treaties signed by 197 States Parties to address the impacts of today’s land degradation in order to provide food, water, shelter and economic opportunity for all people in an equitable and inclusive manner. A multilateral commitment to mitigate and advance tomorrow’s land management.

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