The head of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification told delegations gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, to assess the treaty’s implementation, the impacts of land degradation affect the sustainability of the entire world, so a global effort is needed to tackle it, including through the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Monique Barbut, the Executive Secretary of the Convention, known by its acronym UNCCD, opened meeting by stressing: “Ignoring land degradation neutrality (LDN) could be political suicide.”
Moreover, she stressed that LDN remains a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target – under Goal 15 – and populations will experience real benefits in terms of climate change, rural employment and food security.
The Committee for the Review of Implementation of the Convention was established as a subsidiary body to the Conference of the Parties (COP). LDN will constitute a part within the CRIC15 Strategic Framework, under the Convention from 2018-2030. It is scheduled to be adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD next year.
“Ten billion people on earth by 2050 will require food production to increase by 70 per cent, and that means expansion and exploitation of at least four million hectares of new land each year,” she said. However, there are only two billion hectares of degraded land at our disposal, 500 million of which can be restored, she added. In order to recover the ecosystems and feed the entire population, just 300 million hectares need to be restored.
“We would be able to sequester a significant amount of CO2 as well. It is the fastest and most cost-effective way to do so.” Ms. Barbut said.