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July 25, 2024
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The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) COP 1 | FAO in India | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


The fourteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UNCCD COP 14 took place from September 2-13, 2019, in New Delhi, India. Nearly 6, 000 participants from all over the world took part in this event. The Parties to the Convention agreed on the actions each would take over the next two years and beyond to ensure a sustainable development path.

The conference hosted 11 high-level, 30 committee and over 170 stakeholder meetings, 44 exhibitions and 126 side events. The global conference reviewed the progress made, especially during the last two years, to control and reverse further loss of productive land from desertification, degradation and drought. These were considered growing threats to peace and security in both developed and developing countries due to the widespread loss of livelihoods for communities and even entire regions.

On this occasion, FAO hosted a one-day event on September 11, 2019 focused on Drought Preparedness. The event included several presentations related to the success and challenges of the current tools, methodologies and policies supporting drought preparedness. It also showcased the achievements of the UNCCD Drought Initiative, as well as important partnerships and frameworks such as the Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture (WASAG), the Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP) and the UN-Water. The event called for gender-responsive drought impact mitigation measures, to enable alignment with the UNCCD Gender Action Plan. A white paper on Proactive Approaches to Drought Preparedness was launched at this event.

Additionally FAO co-organized several side events. These included:

· The Economic of Ecosystem Restoration (TEER) Initiative.

· Land Degradation Neutrality for water security and combating drought.

· Monitoring and combating land degradation in pastoral areas: are participatory approaches important?

· Vulnerability to food insecurity in mountain regions: Land degradation and other stressors. The Conference adopted the Delhi Declaration in which parties expressed commitment to a range of issues, including gender and health; ecosystem restoration; action on climate change; private sector engagement; a ‘Peace Forest Initiative’ and recovery of 26 million hectares of degraded land in India. UNCCD COP14 agreed on 36 decisions to ramp up and elaborate further action on the ground to ensure that the Convention’s goals for 2018-2030 are achieved. At the closing of COP14, UNCCD Executive Secretary Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw shared the following takeaway messages:

· Land restoration is the cheapest solution to address climate change and biodiversity loss.

· Land restoration makes business sense if regulations and incentives to reward investment are in place.

· Drought preparedness and response are critical in the face of climate change.

· To put people first is to ensure gender balance, engage youth and secure land rights.

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