Over a quarter of world’s population lives in areas that are facing increasing level of drought, desertification and land degradation. Previously we have shared with you blogs that described how these issues were discussed at the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP18) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP18). This time we bring you a bouquet of photos that highlight some best moments of those discussions:
On 3rd Dec, which was the second day of the 5th Agriculture, Landscape and Livelihood Day, Forest and land degradation was discussed all day long. The day started with a key note speech by Fahad Bin Mohammed Al-Attiya, Chairman of the Qatar National Food Security Programme. During the day, the discussion centered around the rate of degradation and its growing effect on people’s lives and food security.
Speaking on the occasion, Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of UNCCD said that land degradation was not something that was happening at a remote corner of the world and affecting just a handful of people. Instead, it was something that was actually affecting the global food basket’.
The 2-day event also saw a lot of discussions on and around forest degradation. New reports on the issues were launched, findings of many studies were shared , concerns were raised and also answered.
The evening of 3rd December, over a gala dinner, UNCCD and Qatar National Food Security Programme honored three civil society organizations respectively from Turkey, Uganda and Haiti with the first ‘Land for Life’ award.
The award, given in recognition to the winners’ effort to fight land degradation, improve soil condition and also raise public awareness about DDLD issues, was described as the winners as ‘a great motivating factor to continue the work’.
Dryland was also discussed at a high level side event where the main issue was Food Security in Dry Lands under a Changing Climate. Co-hosted by the UN Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki Moon, the event highlighted initiatives by the Host Country (Qatar) for addressing food security and dry land issues . Panelists also urged UN leaders to support countries in implementing sustainable and people-centered solutions to the challenge of climate change
– Stella Paul, from Doha
Finally, on 6th Dec, at an interesting side event, Sergio Zelaya of UNCCD drew the audience’s attention towards the importance of grassland in mitigating climate change. ‘there is huge carbon sequestration potential in grassland’, said Zeleya.