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Stakeholder Day and 6th Session of the Plenary of the
Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES-6)

17 and 18-24 March 2018 | Medellín, Colombia

Media Release of the Thematic Assessment on Land Degradation and Restoration

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Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment Co-Chair Bob Scholes, South Africa; IPBES Executive Secretary Anne Larigauderie; and IPBES Chair Robert Watson

On Monday morning, members of the media fraternity gathered in Medellín, Colombia for the official launch of the thematic assessment on land degradation and restoration, moderated by Robert Spaull, IPBES Secretariat.

Anne Lariguaderie, Executive Secretary, IPBES, highlighted that the assessment authors had analyzed 3000 scientific publications, and that the report had been reviewed by 200 registered peer reviewers to enhance its quality. She noted that the assessment had further been discussed by governments to enhance its policy relevance.

Robert Watson, IPBES Chair, welcomed the assessment as the most comprehensive report on land degradation and restoration, underscoring its importance in addressing the implications of land degradation to the 3.2 billion people living on these lands. He highlighted the assessment’s links to conflict, human security, migration, food and water security, and noted it’s significance in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 15.3 on a zero-net land degradation neutral world.

Bob Scholes, Co-Chair, Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment, highlighted that a team of 150 scientific experts as well as indigenous and local knowledge holders had provided input into the assessment. He stressed that the three year assessment reflects the broad status of knowledge in the area of land degradation and restoration, and is complemented by the “co-generation” of knowledge with policy makers through IPBES-6.

Highlights of the Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment include the following:

  • Land degradation undermines the wellbeing of 3.2 billion people worldwide.
  • Land degradation is an underlying issue that can contribute to migration.
  • Land restoration is a journey whose end-point may or may not be the original state of the land.
  • It is important to be to be cognizant of the impacts of our consumer choices on land degradation.
  • Ultimately, the cost of land restoration needs to be built into the "cost of doing business," and should be an ongoing consideration.
  • The Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment is an effort towards achieving SDG Target 15.3 on a zero-net land degradation neutral world by 2030.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, provided daily digital coverage and daily reports from IPBES-6. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has produced a summary and analysis report of IPBES-6, which is now available in HTML and PDF.

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Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment Co-Chair Bob Scholes, South Africa; IPBES Executive Secretary Anne Larigauderie; and IPBES Chair Robert Watson

IPBES Executive Secretary Anne Larigauderie

IPBES Chair Robert Watson


Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment Co-Chair Bob Scholes

Robert Spaull, IPBES Secretariat


Judy Fisher, IPBES Expert

Mariette Le Roux, Agence France-Presse (AFP)


Matthew Potts, IPBES Expert

Lisbeth Fog, Freelance Journalist


Participants during the press conference





Specific funding for coverage of IPBES-6 has been provided by the European Union (EU) and the IPBES Secretariat
EU IPBES

IISD Reporting Services is grateful to the many donors of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) and recognizes the following as core contributors to the ENB: the European Union and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2018 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Switzerland (Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)), and SWAN International. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, Québec, and the Institute of La Francophonie for Sustainable Development (IFDD), a subsidiary body of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF).