It highlights the need to re-examine the modes of agricultural production and general consumer behaviour in the region. This is now an opportune time to explore more effective land use planning and management strategies, including the re-adoption of relevant traditional, but advanced practices.
This year, living under the shadow of COVID19, Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD reflected on a simple but fundamental land ethic, stating:
“If we take care of nature, nature will take care of us. We need nature, nature does not need us. If we intrude into nature’s wild spaces and degrade the land, we can expect more zoonotic diseases to emerge; we can expect the services land provide us with – healthy food, clean air and water – to disappear…. Each of us holds the power to protect the land for each choice we make in our daily lives. And we can still choose to protect nature. By doing so, we in fact protect our future.”
On this World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, the OECS Commission reiterates its commitment to continue working with its Member States towards achieving the critical goal of land degradation neutrality (LDN) as articulated by UNCCD 195 Parties.
The principle of LDN (the area of productive land remains stable or increases within a specified landscape) is implemented through the Commission’s various programmes, actions and projects. These are also aimed at strengthening the economic, social, and environmental resilience of Member States to the impacts of drought and climate change using integrated and participatory approaches. Some of these approaches include but are not limited to, Integrated Landscape Management (ILM), Sustainable Land Management (SLM), Integrated Watershed Management (IWM), and Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).
About the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification:
Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found.
The new UNCCD 2018-2030 Strategic Framework is the most comprehensive global commitment to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) in order to restore the productivity of vast expanses of degraded land, improve the livelihoods of more than 1.3 billion people, and reduce the impacts of drought on vulnerable populations to build "a future that avoids, minimizes, and reverses desertification/land degradation and mitigates the effects of drought in affected areas at all levels ... to achieve a land degradation-neutral world consistent with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."