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UNCCD’s Land Day Discusses Linkages between Climate Change and Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought

© ENB7 June 2009: On 6 June 2009, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Secretariat hosted “Land Day” at the Gustav-Stresemann-Institut, in Bonn, Germany.

The event, attended by 170 participants, aimed to help climate change negotiators and other stakeholders attending the concurrent Bonn climate change talks consider the linkages between climate change and desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD).

The event was opened by Luc Gnacadja, UNCCD Executive Secretary, Yvo de Boer, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, and Adolf Kloke-Lesch, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Director-General. Jeffrey Sachs, Earth Institute Director, Columbia University, offered a pre-recorded keynote address. Gnacadja argued that soil restoration and soil carbon sequestration offer “win-win-win” opportunities for climate change, biodiversity and desertification. De Boer highlighted possibilities including: reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD); improved crop and grazing management; and restoration of organic soils. Sachs called for, inter alia: better science on the effects of climate change in dryland regions; increased understanding of human systems, such as the impacts of climate change on herders' livestock assets; and increased understanding of intervention measures that are needed for adaptation and climate change preparedness.

Participants then attended three panels, entitled: “How does sustainable land management support climate change adaptation?”; “What options can soil carbon sequestration offer for mitigating and adapting to climate change?”; and “Sustainable land management in climate change policy frameworks: what is the way forward?” Executive Secretary Gnacadja closed the event by highlighting that: adaptation financing is a sound way to secure everybody's future; synergies will not occur by accident but must be promoted and monitored; carbon sequestration is measurable, cost-effective and provides multiple co-benefits; agriculture must be integrated into a future climate regime; and a comprehensive study on the economics of sustainable land management should be conducted. [IISDRS ENBOTS Report from Land Day] [Land Day Programme]