From 9 to 20 May of 2022, UN member states, scientists, activists, Indigenous groups, civil society, and decision-makers gathered in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire for the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
The land is crucial for a healthy, productive society, and COP15 explores links between land and key sustainability issues such as climate change. These issues are discussed during high-level roundtables and interactive dialogue sessions, as well as numerous other special and side events.
For GLF, COP15 is a key moment in the fight against desertification, land degradation, and drought. Land rights, gender equality, and youth empowerment are among the top items on the Conference agenda.
Restoration is the answer
Ahead of these meetings, this GLF Live features UNCCD deputy executive secretary Andrea Meza Murillo, sharing the most pressing challenges for land at this moment, her hopes for COP15’s outcomes, and why it’s critical that land be remembered and protected in decision-making as the invaluable bedrock that it is:
- Translating scientific information to action is key for land restoration. 40% of the global land is degraded and 50 million people are affected by it. The land degradation neutrality (LDN) approach aims to engage different stakeholders at different levels to promote land restoration.
- Challenges to land management are policy-based. We must bring together the right incentives into a legal framework to manage nature in the right way. “Policy matters,” Murillo explains.
- To reverse land degradation, restore degraded ecosystems, and sustainably manage our resources through a commitment to LDN is a priority. Drought and land degradation cost countries billions per year, much higher than the cost of action to prevent it.