‘Stories of Resilience’ Showcase Benefits of Sustainable Land Management
Peter Luethi, Biovision Foundation
story highlights

The UNCCD, UNDP, GEF and the Government of Namibia launched the publication titled, ‘Listening to our Land: Stories of Resilience'.

The report emphasizes a main tenet of land degradation neutrality (LDN), that SLM can help meet future needs for fuel, food and fiber without degrading finite land resources.

The report tells personal stories from sustainable land management (SLM) projects implemented in Burkina Faso, Cuba, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Mongolia, Namibia and Tanzania.

13 September 2017: Sustainable land management (SLM) can empower nations to revive their lands, accelerate inclusive social transformation, reduce resource-use conflicts, and cope with natural disasters and sociopolitical crises. This message threads through the publication titled, ‘Listening to our Land: Stories of Resilience,’ released in conjunction with the 13th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

‘Stories of Resilience’ talks about how SLM projects supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Burkina Faso, Cuba, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Mongolia, Namibia and Tanzania are improving the quality of life in communities and countries. Through the personal perspectives of people on the ground, each chapter relays the impacts of a different approach to SLM in a different country. The stories are meant to serve as evidence that improved land stewardship can boost productivity, resilience and climate adaptation while also dampening conflicts over natural resources.

The report emphasizes a main tenet of land degradation neutrality (LDN), that SLM can help meet future needs for fuel, food and fiber without degrading finite land resources. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 15.3 calls for striving to achieve a LDN world by 2030. To date, a 110 countries have announced voluntary LDN target-setting programmes towards this goal.

“The problem is immense, but so is our determination and commitment to address it.”

In their forward to the publication, Naoko Ishii (CEO of the GEF), Achim Steiner (Administrator, UNDP) and Monique Barbut (Executive Secretary, UNCCD) point out that land degradation affects about one quarter of all landscapes under human use, or approximately two billion hectares. They note, however, that while the problem is “immense,” so is their “determination and commitment to address it.” They indicate that the publication provides evidence of the tools available to address land degradation.

The UNCCD, UNDP, and GEF launched ‘Stories of Resilience’ in conjunction with the Government of Namibia. The UNCCD COP 13 is taking place in Ordos, China, from 6-16 September. [Listening to Our Land: Stories of Resilience] [GEF Press Release] [UNCCD Press Release]


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