Experts Advocate Land Degradation Neutrality at Financing for Development Conference

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  • 2015•07•23     Addis Ababa

    On 14 July 2015, the UNU Land Restoration Training Programme (UNU-LRT) participated in Land Degradation Neutral World – Key to a Successful Sustainable Development Agenda, a high-level symposium co-organised by UNU as part of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The symposium was hosted by the Governments of Iceland and Namibia (on behalf of the Group of Friends on Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought) in cooperation with the State of Qatar, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) secretariat, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Biovision.

    The goal of the event was to carry out high-level advocacy for land degradation neutrality as a key for sustainable development in the context of the upcoming post-2015 development agenda. The symposium brought together decision makers and experts in the field to exchange views and address topics including: the definition of land degradation neutrality (LDN); the economics and cost-benefit analysis of LDN; key policy measures for LDN implementation; capacity building to restore and manage land; and practical examples of how LDN can be achieved.

    Dr Hafdis Hanna Aegisdottir (UNU-LRT Director) and Mr Mulugeta Sebhatleab (former UNU-LRT fellow and lecturer at Mekelle University, Ethiopia) gave talks and participated in the event’s expert panel. Dr Aegisdottir focused on the importance of capacity building and leadership training in ecological restoration and sustainable land management in order to achieve a land degradation neutral world. Mr Sebhatleab talked about land restoration challenges and opportunities in Ethiopia, stressing the importance of farmers’ participation in land restoration activities and the need for training opportunities for gaining experiences and sharing ideas.

    Additional panelists included Mr Simone Quatrini (UNCCD Global Mechanism); Dr Hans R. Herren, (President and CEO of the Millennium Institute and President of Biovision), and Ms Alice Ruhweza (UNDP).

    For more information, see the UNU-LRT website and the event announcement webpage.