Author Archives: United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

In Photos: DDLD at COP18

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:

Continue reading


Degraded forests: could inconsistent data affect adaptation?

Stella PaulLocal variables, inadequate technology, low capacity and lack of consensus on a single definition of degradation are resulting into inconsistent data on forest degradation, say leading land and forest experts. The experts, who were at the 6th Forest day observed at the ongoing 18th session of the Conference of the Parties  of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP18),  shared this information during the release of a global assessment report on REDD+

The report launched is titled ‘Understanding Relationships between Biodiversity, Carbon, Forests and People: The Key to Achieving REDD+ Objectives”
Answering to a question on the reason of the data inconsistency in particular, the experts commented that definition of degraded forest continued to be a hotly debated issue, thus making it difficult for scientists and researchers to access consistent data for assessing the volume, seriousness and the loss resulted out of degraded forests.

This, to me however, sounds quite alarming, considering the fact that 40% of world’s total forests are in dryland where 2.5 billion live. It means, whether it is mitigation or adaptation, we are actually talking about policies, strategies and actions that will effect and impact over a quarter of world’s total population. And considering policies must be based on the accurate inputs from the scientific communities, lack of consistent data can very well mean lack of action at the political level.
However, at the moment, there seem to be no quick fix solution to overcome this problem. The biggest reason is that countries do not agree on a single definition on degraded forest. Also, some countries still lack the technology needed to map the degraded forests, which again make it difficult for the scientists to access data that are bankable and unquestionable.

I asked Valarie Kapos of United Nations Development Program and John A Parrotta of International Union of Forest Research Organizations who were two of the panelists, how these problems could be solved. Kapos had no straight answer, except that there was a need to provide the poor countries adequate technology and build their capacity to produce data. The other need was to raise enough awareness among the policy makers to agree to a common definition of degraded forests.

Is this really going to happen? We will just have to wait and see.

Stella Paul is blogging from COP18

Smart strategy, finance crucial to grassland management

Between 1940 and 2009, there has been a rise of 2.1 degree temperature in the grasslands of Mongolia, which is higher than the global average of temperature rise. Damdin Dagvadorj, special envoy of Mongolia on climate change today shared this information at a side event within the ongoing 18th session of the United Nations Framework to Combat Climate Change (COP18) in Doha today.Stella Paul

The affect of the high temperature has been wide and severe on the local pastoral communities who have experienced both land degradation and loss of livestock, said Dagvadorj. However, despite the alarming scenario, it was still possible to make a turn around and improve the condition of life and land. However, for that, it would be important to take action in two key areas: sustainable livestock management and soil carbon sequestration.
Continue reading

Interview with SOIL Haiti

Leah Neveda Page from Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL), Haiti talks about their work.

Working in some of the poorest areas of Haiti, SOIL has developed an integrated approach to the issues of inadequate sanitation, declining soil fertility and extensive erosion. Through community driven ecological sanitation, SOIL helps restore soils and improve agricultural yields, at the same time improving the dignity and health of people without sanitation.

COP18.CMP8 /Journée dédiée à l’agriculture et à l’approche intégrée à la fois des forêts

« C’est une anomalie d’avoir autant de terres que le monde envie à l’Afrique et en même temps d’être la zone où il y a plus de famine ou plus d’insécurité alimentaire… »

Luc GNACADJA, Secrétaire Exécutif de la Convention des Nations Unies sur la lutte contre la désertification(UNCCD) appel à la mobilisation interne des dirigeants africains avant les additionnels extérieurs tout en investissant avec et pour le pauvre :

Quelle est la portée de la journée « Forest day6 », dédiée en ce jour à l’agriculture intégrée aux forêts dont vous êtes l’un des leaders ?

Luc Gnacadja : L’importance c’est d’attirer l’attention des Parties qui sont venus ici à Qatar dans le cadre de la négociation sur le climat de réduire leur potentiel des émissions de gaz à effet de serre. Et le premier potentiel de réduction est dans le secteur de l’énergie, le second dans le secteur de l’agriculture.Maintenant si on regarde la possibilité des pays en développement de réduire leurs émissions ; l’agenda des terres est le premier domaine d’action sur lequel il faut agir. En même temps quand on regarde le lien entre les effets sur le climat et la pauvreté, la sécurité alimentaire, les conflits et les migrations ; c’est sur l’agenda des terres qu’il faut investir. Continue reading

Interview with Robert Isingoma, CECOD Director

The organization Community Efforts for Community Development (CECOD) from Uganda is the winner of the Land for Life Award.

More than 85 percent of Ugandans live in rural areas, making their livelihoods from the land. But over the years the school system has become increasingly academic. Concerned with increasing knowledge of sustainable development, CECOD has turned children into agents of change in rural communities through creating a network of eco-schools, training of over 7,500 teachers and involving 34,700 children in micro projects, such as organic farming and water harvesting.