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UNCCD Releases Land Day 6 Report

24 October 2012: The Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has released a report from Land Day 6, which convened under the theme "Land-degradation neutrality – a response to the 2020 Aichi biodiversity targets."

Land Day 6 convened as part of the Rio Conventions Pavilion at the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in Hyderabad, India.

In his opening statement, Luc Gnacadja, UNCCD Executive Secretary, noted that participants would consider: how can the Aichi Biodiversity Targets build capacity to improve soil biodiversity and how can the pursuit of land-degradation neutrality accelerates biodiversity restoration and conservation?; how do we measure the true economic value of land?; and what production models have greatest potential to bridge agriculture, food and land policies?

Braulio Ferreira de Souza-Dias, CBD Executive Secretary, underlined the links between the desertification and biodiversity conventions, noting that soil biodiversity is one of the strongest components for ecosystem restoration.

B.M.S. Rathore, Joint Secretary Ministry of Environment and Forestry, India, noted that the ecosystems that are most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change are the arid and semi-arid areas.

Vandana Shiva, Founder of Navdanya, and keynote speaker at Land Day 6, called for bringing trees back to the farm, noting that biodiversity in agriculture is a win-win solution to multiple crises.

Three panel sessions discussed the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, measuring the true value of land, and alternative agricultural production methods. Among other topics, participants discussed the need: for community engagement and fostering long-term stewardship; to give attention to the role of NGOs in financing; for restoration of multi-functional landscapes; and for restoration as a pre-requisite for sustainable use. Participants also discussed the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) initiative. [Publication: UNCCD Report for Land Day 6]