Caux Dialogue Addresses Land, Human Security and Migration Nexus
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The Caux Dialogue on Land and Security aimed to deepen understanding of the links between land restoration and peacebuilding for human security and flourishing ecosystems.

The UNCCD estimates that up to 135 million people could be displaced by 2045 as a result of land degradation and desertification.

At the close of the meeting, participants endorsed a Round Table Declaration containing 23 observations and recommendations derived from the discussions.

21 July 2018: The 2018 edition of the five-day Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (CDLS) – part of the annual Caux Forum of conferences, training and dialogues – discussed how to advance development initiatives that link issues of land degradation, climate change and human security. In a keynote address, Pradeep Monga, Deputy Executive Secretary, UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), highlighted the opportunity to “… make the rehabilitation of the land a part of our culture and identity,” and hence build the case for investing in land as a tool for conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

The overall aim of CDLS 2018, which took place from 17-21 July 2018 in Caux, Switzerland, was to deepen understanding of the links between land restoration and peacebuilding for human security and flourishing ecosystems. Participants shared practical examples of how land restoration initiatives can contribute to conflict resolution, and build the trust needed for effective “land-peace” partnerships on the ground. Strategies to scale up and fund such initiatives were further explored in round table discussions that discussed, among other issues, links between land degradation and migration and financing for ecosystem restoration projects.

At the close of the meeting, participants endorsed a Round Table Declaration containing 23 observations and recommendations derived from the discussions. The Declaration is organized under three main themes: policy frameworks to incentivize land restoration and avoid perverse incentives; financial tools and innovative mechanisms available as incentives for land restoration; and the impact of land degradation on migration and conflict.

Drawing on diverse international studies, the UNCCD estimates that up to 135 million people could be displaced by 2045 as a result of land degradation and desertification. In a keynote speech, Monga noted that land degradation undermines the well-being of 3.2 billion people, or “two-fifths of humanity,” drives species extinction and intensifies climate change, and is also a major contributor to mass human migration. Highlighting the close links between land and human displacement in Africa, “where 65% of all cropland is affected by land degradation,” Monga highlighted emerging evidence that addressing land and water issues effectively is crucial in laying the foundation for a durable peace.

Addressing land and water issues effectively is crucial in laying the foundation for a durable peace.

On the links between land degradation and migration, the Declaration notes that sustainable land management, including the restoration of degraded landscapes, could help alleviate pressures that drive conflict and migration. The third target under Sustainable Development Goal on life on land (SDG 15) aims to contribute to land degradation neutrality (LDN) by preventing further land degradation and promoting the rehabilitation of already degraded land, hence enhancing the resilience of affected communities and ecosystems. In the Round Table Declaration, participants noted the “urgent need to scale up and multiply transformative sustainable land-based solutions to achieve land degradation neutrality by 2030.”

The CDLS 2018 discussions also highlighted the importance of women’s empowerment and youth education to the success of land restoration initiatives. Dialogue participants highlighted the role of jobs, livelihoods and value chains for income generation in the context of sustainable landscape management in mitigating environmental triggers of migration. Participants agreed that further evidence is needed to understand the links between land degradation, conflict and migration, including in-depth research on human and societal benefits from the land restoration projects.

The annual CDLS brings together land restoration experts and practitioners, emerging leaders and young entrepreneurs, policy-makers and decision-makers concerned with environment and conflict, experts and researchers in security studies, activists and community organizers who want to find solutions to land issues around the world. [UNCCD Press Release] [CDLS 2018 Round Table Declaration] [CDLS 2018 Website] [UNCCD Resources on Land and Human Security] [Website of the High Level Panel on Migration in Africa]


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