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UNCCD and UNDP Prepare Report on MDG Achievement in the Drylands

17 September 2010: During the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit at UN Headquarters in New York, US, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) will release a report titled “The Forgotten Billion: MDG Achievement in the Drylands.”

The report maps the ‘forgotten billion' drylands inhabitants from a natural endowments perspective. It finds that drylands are one of the world's granaries and support half of the world's livestock. It suggests that, to achieve the Goals set for 2015, a strong coalition pursing five drylands-focused policy approaches will be required. These approaches are: country-led development and effective governance addressing the specific needs and conditions of drylands populations; inclusive and pro-poor economic growth policies that improve farming systems and soil productivity; climate adaptation to help small holder farmers manage risk and reduce climate-driven shocks; tailored and targeted interventions for social assistance; and investment in education, health and basic services.

Climate-related policies to help households manage risk and reduce climate-driven shocks could include: developing more climate-resilient varieties of crop and livestock; reducing vulnerability by improving market access; and underwriting livestock insurance schemes. The report also suggests that policy-makers should pursue projects involving carbon sequestration and renewable energy, as well as explore ecotourism. [The report]