Caux Dialogue Focuses on Land and Security

unccd-iucn-llp9 July 2014: The second Caux Dialogue on Land and Security, jointly organized by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has underscored the need to urgently scale up land rehabilitation and restoration globally.

The Dialogue, held from 30 June to 4 July 2014, in Caux, Switzerland, focused, among other themes, on the interrelationship between the negative impact of climate change on land use stress. Organized around plenary and panel sessions and workshops, discussions centered on: the geopolitics of land degradation, including geographical hotspots; solutions for land restoration, including overcoming human barriers; the conditions for scaling up of solutions; and goals and milestones for 2015, including a proposed follow-up meeting in Bonn, Germany. The dialogue, which sought to share knowledge on best practices in land restoration and encourage cooperation, was attended by representatives of intergovernmental and international organizations, governments, non-governmental organizations, academia and the private sector.

Among the observations made by participants were: the role of access to land and other natural resources in global conflicts; centrality of land for food and water security; significance of healthy soils for local resilience; and the positive impact for sustainable agriculture of simple soil restoration techniques.

Speaking at the event, UNCCD Executive Secretary Monique Barbut argued that “the case for practical land based adaptation – that addresses both land productivity and climate change – to ease tension and prevent conflict is strong and growing stronger.” Luc Gnacadja, Former UNCCD Executive Secretary, underscored the importance of biodiversity and ecosystems conservation as investments in stability.

Participants also emphasized, inter alia: migration as a solution to land degradation; the possibility of increasing food production without harming the soil; humans as the cause of many natural disasters; the role the private sector; the need to demonstrate that economically viable and sustainable agriculture is feasible; and the importance of emphasizing the role of land at the UN Secretary General's Climate Change Summit in September 2014.

The first Caux Dialogue was convened from 7-11 July 2013, by the UNCCD and the Caux Forum for Human Security. A report of the first dialogue was published in December 2013. [UNCCD Press Release] [Caux Initiatives of Change Press Release 1] [Caux Initiatives of Change Press Release 2] [Caux Dialogue 2014 Website] [IISD RS Article on the 2013 Caux Dialogue] [IISD RS Article on the Report of the 2013 Caux Dialogue]