UNCCD Rolls Out Regional Capacity Building Programme on LDN Target-Setting
story highlights

An inception workshop that convened 16 Asia-Pacific countries discussed the establishment of national monitoring frameworks for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 15.3 (By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world).

The workshop, which took place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 12-13 July 2016, follows similar events for the Africa, and Central Europe and Central Asia regions.

It convened under the framework of the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Target Setting Programme coordinated by the Global Mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

unccd_gm2 August 2016: The fourth in a series of regional inception workshops bringing together 15 Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) countries discussed the establishment of national monitoring frameworks for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 15.3 (By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world). The workshop, which took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 20-21 July 2016, follows similar events for the Asia-Pacific, Africa, and Central Europe and Central Asia regions. It convened under the framework of the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Target Setting Programme coordinated by the Global Mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

The UNCCD’s LDN Target Setting Programme supports countries’ efforts to establish voluntary national targets to achieve LDN by 2030, including the identification of baselines and associated measures. The programme specifically seeks to help countries “to create leverage at country level by making the country specific LDN business case,” as well as embedding the LDN approach within strategic national policy frameworks, ensuring stakeholder engagement at the highest possible level, and identifying opportunities for the development of “transformative LDN projects and programmes.” Thus far, the programme is supporting the development of LDN targets in close to 100 countries.

The LAC inception meeting highlighted the potential impact of linking the LDN target-setting process with national action programmes under the other two Rio Conventions, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), as well as other ongoing land restoration efforts. Walter Vergara, Coordinator of the World Research Institute’s Initiative 20×20, which aims to restore more than 20 million hectares in the LAC region by 2020, stated that the region is in a particularly advantageous position to implement bold LDN actions against climate change. He noted that “the land sector alone is responsible for approximately 58% of the GHGs emissions of the entire LAC region.”

The inception workshop for the Asia-Pacific region convened 16 countries in Bangkok, Thailand, from 12-13 July 2016, and was the third in a series of four workshops taking place in the region. The meeting was supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and other partners. Workshop participants noted that the LDN approach could provide countries with a framework for mainstreaming sustainable land management (SLM) issues at the national and global levels. The workshop also emphasized the need for ensuring sufficient financial and technical capacity and suggested that exploring increased synergies with the CBD and UNFCCC could open up further opportunities for cooperation and financing.

Workshop participants noted that the LDN approach could provide countries with a framework for mainstreaming sustainable land management (SLM) issues at the national and global levels. The workshop also emphasized the need for ensuring sufficient financial and technical capacity and suggested that exploring increased synergies with the other two Rio Conventions – the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – could open up further opportunities for cooperation and financing.

The inception workshop for the Central and Eastern Europe, Southern Caucasus and Central Asia regions took place in Batumi, Georgia, from 6-7 June 2016, on the sidelines of the 8th Ministerial Conference Environment for Europe. Bringing together representatives from nine countries in the region, the workshop highlighted the need for, among other issues: opportunities and challenges in mobilizing the highest level of governmental leadership and stakeholders’ engagement; the role of UN Country Teams in facilitating linkages in SDG implementation; and the need for extensive awareness raising on LDN to different target groups at the country level as well as at international fora.

The inception workshop for the African region, which took place in Konya, Turkey, from 28-30 May, attracted representatives from more than 30 countries and launched the LDN target-setting process for Africa. The workshop was hosted by the Government of Turkey, under the auspices of the Ankara Initiative to strengthen implementation of the UNCCD, with support from diverse bilateral and multilateral partners. The workshop took place in conjunction with an international training course on combating desertification ​held in Konya, Turkey, from 30 May to 5 June 2016. The workshop reviewed methodological and operational approaches related to the target-setting process and provided an initial platform for regional exchange and collaboration among African countries. The workshop also highlighted the potential of the LDN target in bringing together diverse “development agendas” and tapping new sources of financing, including climate finance.

The 15th session of the Committee for the Review of the Convention (CRIC 15), a subsidiary body of the UNCCD that will meet in Nairobi, Kenya, in October 2015, will provide the first opportunity to review countries’ progress in aligning their existing UNCCD monitoring frameworks with the LDN target following adoption of the LDN target-setting programme at UNCCD COP 12 in Ankara, Turkey, in October 2015. CRIC 15 will primarily focus on developing further methodological guidance on how to continue this process. Prior to the meeting, the UNCCD and Global Mechanism will convene a workshop for new countries interested in setting their LDN targets. [Global Mechanism Press Release on LAC] [Global Mechanism Press Release on Asia Pacific] [Global Mechanism Press Release on Africa] [Report of the Central Europe and Central Asia LDN Inception Workshop] [Report of the African Regional LDN Inception Workshop] [The LDN Target-Setting Programme]

Editor Note: This story was updated to reflect information released on 2 August 2016 on the LAC workshop.


related events


related posts