17 June 2008: On the occasion of 2008 World Day to Combat
Desertification and Drought, celebrated on 17 June, the Global Mechanism (GM)
of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) emphasized that “the
current strategy and policy debates around climate resilience, sustainable
agriculture and food security point to the conclusion that none of these global
challenges and threats to human well-being should be tackled in isolation, but
as part and
parcel of development programming at country level, supported
international policy making processes.”
June 2008: In a message on the occasion of UN World Day to Combat
Desertification, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
highlighted the role of poor farmers and herders in stopping or reversing land
degradation in areas affected by desertification.
17 June 2008: The UN
Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) selected “Combating land
degradation for sustainable agriculture” as the theme for 2008 World Day to
Combat Desertification and Drought, celebrated on 17 June. On the occasion,
UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja highlighted that the conversion of land
to “unsustainable uses can exacerbate the vicious circle of land degradation,
loss of biodiversity and climate change.”
10 June 2008: A new Atlas, comprised of photographs,
satellite imagery and narrative, illustrates changes to Africa's environment
over the past 36 years. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) launched Africa: Atlas of Our Changing Environment
in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 10 June 2008, at the twelfth Session of the
African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), which convened from
7-12 June 2008.
5 June 2008: Deputy Executive Secretary Grégoire de Kalbermatten
addressed the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) High-Level Conference on
Food Security on 5 June 2008, and emphasized actions to enhance carbon
sequestration in soil. He suggested that the climate change negotiations should
give increased attention to land and soil, including by expanding the Clean
Development Mechanism's (CDM) coverage of agricultural land use, particularly
projects focusing on carbon sequestration in soil.
May 2008: The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Global Mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) have jointly commissioned a report entitled “Mitigating the Impact of Climate Change and Land Degradation through IFAD's Country Strategic Opportunities Paper (COSOP) in Viet Nam.” The report examines the impact of climate change and land degradation on Viet Nam's agricultural and related sectors, to guide project design of COSOP priorities and to identify supplementary financing for IFAD projects from the UNFCCC and other carbon-related financing mechanisms.
13 May 2008: UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the sixteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development.
16 May 2008: The sixteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), which met from 5-16 May 2008, in New York, US, has reviewed the thematic cluster of agriculture, rural development, drought, desertification, land and Africa. Many delegations and speakers tied these agenda items to the current global food crisis and climate change, and highlighted in particular land degradation, high energy costs, climate change, poor harvests, speculation in agricultural commodities, inequitable terms of trade, decline of investments in rural and agricultural development, and increased production of biofuels from food crops as drivers of high food prices.
7 May 2008: UN-HABITAT intervened in the discussions on “land” during the sixteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, which met in New York, US, from 5-16 May 2008. Clarissa Augustinus, Chief, Land, Tenure and Property Administration Section, of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), noted that “climate change refugees will flood into the cities and as the cities grow to accommodate these refugees they will further impact their rural environs.”
7 May 2008: The UN International Strategy on Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) intervened during the discussion of “drought” at the sixteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, which convened in New York, US, from 5-16 May 2008. The UN/ISDR delegation highlighted that regional and sub-regional networks that address drought risk reduction exist or are in the process of being formed, although their establishment has not been as successful as desired due to “overlapping political jurisdictions, differences in the types of participants and policy issues in each region, varying degrees of interest among potential regional participants, and different implementation timelines.”