Friday, August 17, 2018

Kenyan delegates to COP 13 following the clossing session at Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China.

The Thirteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 13) came to a close on Friday, 16th 2017, with the COP 13  President, Mr. Zhang Jianlong, Minister of State Forestry Administration, China, calling on the youth to take action in combating desertification.

Addressing the more than 2,000 delegates from 196 member Countries of the UNCCD during the closing session, Mr. Zhang Jianlong  noted that, Countries  had agreed on a new global roadmap to address land degradation, and that, the  new UNCCD 2018-2030 Strategic Framework, that was agreed during the conference was the most comprehensive global commitment to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN). The president observed that, the strategic plan will help in restoring the productivity of vast swathes of degraded land, improve the livelihoods of more than 1.3 billion people, and  reduce the impacts of drought on vulnerable populations.

Mr.  Zhang reiterated that, the Conference had witnessed the birth of the first global private sector fund, that is dedicated to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. Known as the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund (LDN Fund), it will be a source of transformative capital, bringing together public and private investors to fund projects to restore degraded lands, which will come with environment, economic and social benefits.

With an initial target of $300 million fund capital, the LDN Fund, Mr. Zhang noted, will be co-promoted by Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Global Asset Management, that is dedicated to investment, and the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD. A separately-operated Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) will advise the Fund on the development of promising sustainable land use activities in order to build a strong portfolio of projects, he said.

The Global Land Outlook, a new landmark publication, the President noted, was also unveiled at the Conference, and will spotlight the urgency for swift action. The publication had reported during its inauguration that, 20 percent of the world’s land had become degraded in the last two decades.

To reaffirm the progress made at the summit, the president observed that, more than 80 Ministers from around the world, had issued the Ordos Declaration , urging countries to step up efforts on all fronts to tackle desertification, which is one of the planet’s most pressing global challenges . The Ordos Declaration reaffirms the contribution of ecological services to food security, private sector, civil society and youth. It also recognizes the importance of addressing climate change, protecting biodiversity and addressing food security,  said  Mr. Jianlong Zhang in Ordos, China, when he closed the Conference. He noted that, the Convention will pay attention to regional hotspots and intensify cooperation.

Speaking during the closing session, the UNCCD Executive Secretary, Monique Barbut observed that, the Conference had taken action to address three new and emerging issues linked to increasing land degradation: – drought, sand and dust storms and migration, saying that, sand and dust storms threaten the health of millions of people across the globe, and is a major concern in China, where the Conference took place.

Chao and Bon Voyage_- The Executive Secretary of the UNCCD. Monique Barbut, bids delegates to COP 3 in Ordos, China, Kwaheri, during the clossing ceremony.




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