ICID+19 Develops Declaration of Niamey on Drylands

October 2011: Approximately one hundred participants, scientists and policymakers from Africa, Brazil, Argentina and France, as well as representatives from international organizations, met in Niamey, Niger, from 24-25 October 2011, at the “Fight Against Desertification in Africa” conference, also known as ICID+19 Africa.

ICID is a tripartite initiative lead by African countries, through the African Union (AU), and the Pan African Agency of the Great Green Wall, in collaboration with the Institut de la Recherche pour le Développement - IRD (France) and the Centro de Gestão e Estudos stratégicos - CGEE (Brazil).

Participants at ICID+19 discussed the situation of dryland regions (arid, semi-arid and dry subhumid lands), with a special focus on Africa, and developed recommendations addressed to policy makers, in particular those who will participate in the preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). Participants endorsed the Declaration of Fortaleza, A Drylands Call for Action, adopted at ICID+18 in Fortaleza, Brazil, in August 2010, and the Declaration of Mendoza, adopted at the ICID+19 in Mendoza, Argentina, in September 2011.

Recommendations in the Declaration of Niamy include that: measures and policies to be implemented should integrate, among others, water availability and management, soil conservation, and sustainable land use; the path to sustainable development requires a greening of the economy of drylands; that the green economy approach should fully incorporate needs for sustainable land management and not be used as trade barriers against exports coming from developing countries; renewable energy (solar, wind, biomass) should be enhanced in drylands; and developing countries be encouraged to take advantage of financial opportunities offered by existing or emerging mechanisms such as the ones derived from the Rio Conventions process (carbon market, Global Environment Facility (GEF) enabling funds).

In addition, participants called for encouraging interdisciplinary research programmes and strengthening links between research and innovation, as well as public-private partnerships. Beyond Rio+20, participants proposed that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that will be defined for the period following 2015 should pay special attention to drylands and consider them high-priority targets. [Declaration of Niamy] [IISD RS Coverage of ICID+18] [ICID+19 Mendoza]