The Role of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
Fuchs; Gregory; Naumann, Sandra; Noebel, Rebecca (2022): The role of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Bonn.
Healthy ecosystems and land resources (soil, water and biodiversity) are the foundation for sustainable development and global prosperity. However, loss of natural capital, including land resources, has increased dramatically as a result of worldwide overexploitation. Ecosystem restoration enables safeguarding ecosystem services and thus meet the growing demand for food, water, fuels and other raw materials, even under a rapidly changing climate. The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration represents a significant opportunity to halt land degradation worldwide while the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has the mandate and can act as a trailblazer in this context.
Based on policy developments and scientific evidence, this paper analyses the role of the UNCCD in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. It links the UNCCD's key objective of achieving land degradation neutrality (LDN) with the concerns and objectives of the UN Decade. The paper highlights challenges and opportunities of Sustainable land management (SLM), which prevents the degradation of land resources and is a key measure for restoring terrestrial ecosystems. It addresses the goals and synergies among the three Rio Conventions and emphasizes the importance of conservation and sustainable use of land resources in achieving these goals.
It contains policy recommendations to address the challenges that remain despite ambitious goals and increasing political importance of this issue. The recommendations point towards comprehensive land use transformation, ambitious goals for the restoration of land resources, responsible and integrated governance and land use planning, capacity building and stakeholder engagement, communication and knowledge sharing among initiatives and relevant agencies, and more.