The 14th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification was aimed at reviewing progress made to control and reverse further loss of productive land from desertification, land degradation and drought. Held from September 2-13 in New Delhi, India, a mix of representatives from national, regional and local governments, science and research communities, the private sector, international and non-governmental organizations and all forms of media addressed these issues during the event.
As part of a Fellowship program carried out with the support of the Global Environment Facility, EJN sent six selected journalists from Africa and India to the conference, where they engaged with other participants and program organizers in an orientation workshop, breakfast briefings, interviews and sessions with high-level officials and mentorship.
Over the course of the week, Fellows reported on calls by high-level leaders to ramp up action on land protection and management, including an announcement by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the opening of COP14 to provide technical support to other UNCCD member countries to meet land restoration goals outlined under the convention. Modi also emphasized India’s commitment to restore 26 million hectares of land by 2030 and invest in water resources.
During a meeting on the sidelines of the convention, African leaders further committed to restoring 100 million hectares of land while creating more than 10 million green jobs across the Sahel by 2030, as Ghana-based Fellow Reuben Quainoo reported.
Nigerian Fellow Nkechi Isaac wrote in this report about Nigeria’s call for international support and collaboration to tackle an environmental and humanitarian crisis stemming in large part from climate change and environmental degradation in the Lake Chain basin.
And fellow Tanmay Bhaduri, with Youth Ki Awaaz in Kolkata, highlighted a report by the Global Commission on Adaptation calling for investment in effective climate change adaptation.
Investment in early warning systems, climate-resilient infrastructure, improved dryland agriculture crop production, global mangrove protection and in making water resources more resilient, could generate US$7.1 trillion in net benefits, Bhaduri reported.
Later during the COP he covered the launch by Korea’s minister of forestry, Kim Jae-Hyun, of the Peace Forest Initiative, which supports cooperating in land restoration efforts in cross-border and post-conflict situations.
Throughout the multi-day conference speakers and panels raised issues such as the need for more decision-making power among local governments to combat desertification and the benefits of public-private partnerships in helping restore degraded lands.
Jitendra Choubey, a Fellow from New Delhi, reported on the release of a report which found that droughts were the costliest natural disaster for agriculture in developing countries between 2005 and 2015, amounting to losses of $29 billion.
There were also reports on statements by high-level leaders who Fellows might not normally have access to, like Ghana’s Deputy Environment Minister, Patricia Appiagyei, who said land rehabilitation was key to tackling the current climate emergency but felt Africa’s commitment to achieving this goal was idle.
As the convention came to a close, the Fellows reported on a call for policymakers to involve women in solving land degradation and desertification. They also highlighted concluding commitments from member states to reduce the risks and impacts of desertification, land degradation and drought though the development of community-driven projects and gender-responsive programs.
And Fellowship lead and director of EJN's Bay of Bengal and Third Pole projects, Joydeep Gupta, co-authored this story about the COP's closing declaration, which held that ecosystem restoration and land-based solutions must drive action to stem biodiversity loss and restrain global warming.
You can read through all of the reports our Fellows produced at the links below:
- Of the major highlights of UNCCD COP14
- Save land to fight climate change
- COP14: Delhi Declaration Adopted To Achieve ‘Land Degradation Neutrality’ By 2030
- COP 14: Parties Commit To Reduce Climate Change
- Africa faces resource challenges in quest to fight desertification-UNCCD Boss
- Women are key in desertification, restoration fight – Samia urges African leaders
- Poverty, desertification loom large over Arab world: Report
- UNCCD COP14 throws up innovative methods to fund drought mitigation
- Korean gov’t steps up effort to tackle land degradation issues
- Land rehabilitation key to tackling climate emergency – Deputy Environment Minister
- What Investing In Climate Adaptations Can Do – New UN Report
- A call for policy-makers to involve women in solving land degradation, desertification
- Africa’s fight towards desertification and land restoration is idle – Patricia Appiagyei
- Lutte contre la Désertification dans le Monde:L’INDE PROPOSE UNE COLLABORATION SUD-SUD
- FINANCE CLIMATIQUE:Les ministres francophones se concertent à New Delhi
- COP14: Leaders Discuss The Use Of Ecological Restoration As A Peace-Building Process
- UNCCD COP14: Droughts most disastrous for agriculture
- Invest $1.7 trillion in nature-based solutions to adapt to climate change: UNCCD report
- Local govts must be empowered to act against desertification: Developing nations
- UNCCD CoP 14: 'Public-private partnership can help restore degraded lands'
- UNCCD Report Calls For Investment In Effective Climate Change Adaptation
- ‘India Will Restore 50 Lakh Hectares Of Its Degraded Land By 2030’, PM Modi
- India keen on helping UNCCD member states in Land Degradation Neutrality
- Nigeria Seeks Int’l Support To Tackle Crises In Lake Chad
- Leaders Sue For Cooperation To Tackle Climate Change
- African leaders set 2030 to restore lands, create green jobs
- Investment in Water For All agenda - Indian PM urge world leaders
- Les leaders spirituels au secours des terres degradees
- Lutte contre la desertication: Accès a l’eau potable dans le nord Cameroun
- Namibia to increase renewable energy with 37% by 2030
- Africa should learn from Asia’s mistakes and preserve land