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Sustainable Development Policy & Practice
Land Policy & Practice

Seventh Rio Conventions Pavilion (RCP)
“Shaping Our Future: Rio+20 Outcome Follow-Up and Moving Towards the Post-2015 Development Agenda”

17-26 September 2013 | Windhoek, Namibia

Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
Highlights for Thursday, 19 September 2013
Rio Conventions Pavilion at UNCCD COP11
The Rio Conventions Pavilion convened for Land Degradation Neutrality Day. The Rio Conventions Pavilion is meeting in conjunction with the Eleventh Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), taking place from 16-27 September 2013, in Windhoek, Namibia. Land Degradation Neutrality Day included sessions on: community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) for sustainable livelihoods; the role of biodiversity in disaster risk reduction (DRR); soils and law - the legal aspects of land degradation neutrality; and understanding land degradation - towards a sustainable development goal (SDG) on land degradation. The day concluded with a reception celebrating two decades of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Africa, which launched a detailed analysis of two decades (1991-2012) of investments in Africa.
L-R: UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja and Sergio Zelaya, UNCCD Secretariat
CBNRM for Sustainable Livelihoods
The first panel on Thursday presented four examples of integrated CBNRM from Africa. A Southern African community representative explained how a community of hunter-gatherers is managing a natural park area with the help of education and capacity-building, and using simple protocols for sustainable resource use such as traditional hunting, magico-medicinal plant harvesting and “walk-abouts.”

A community representative shared experiences of CBNRM in Zimbabwe. He explained how communities in drought-prone areas have implemented multiple methods to provide sustainable livelihoods and food security, such as: intercropping; water and moisture conservation; seed multiplication and fairs; and organic aquaculture and agriculture.

A speaker from Kenya explored the achievements of his community in addressing drought, poverty and human-wildlife conflicts, which are helping to generate revenue and jobs and improve co-existence with the nature, including: a conservation area; guest lodges and camp sites; and land zoning for livestock, conservation and tourism.

A panelist from a Namibian conservancy presented examples of sustainable income generation from natural resources, such as medicinal plants, firewood and timber, wildlife and land management, and tourism. He described challenges including illegal harvesting, hunting and grazing, and community disputes.
L-R: Walter Knausenberger, USAID; Yusuf Ole Petenya, Shompole Community Trust, Kenya; Francis Gomeb, N#A Jaqna Conservancy, Namibia; Dirk Hermanus Pienaar, Khomani San Community, South Africa; and Gladman Chibememe, Chibememe Earth Healing Association, Zimbabwe
Gladman Chibememe, Chibememe Earth Healing Association, Zimbabwe
Francis Gomeb, N#A Jaqna Conservancy, Namibia
Dirk Hermanus Pienaar, Khomani San Community, South Africa

The Role of Biodiversity in DRR
On Thursday afternoon, this panel discussed global, national and local initiatives that integrate biodiversity and DRR into desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) policies. Panelists discussed linkages between biodiversity and DRR under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UNCCD.

One panelist noted the importance of: improving enabling environments; promoting value chain additions of dryland products; diversifying incomes and livelihoods; intensifying climate smart agriculture; reducing transaction costs through payment for ecosystem services (PES); strengthening science-policy-local action interactions; and taking integrated and multi-sectoral management approaches.

Several participants highlighted outcomes of the High-Level Meeting on National Drought Policy (HMNDP), which took place in March 2013, in Geneva, Switzerland, stressing that most countries do not have comprehensive national drought management policies (NMDPs). One said delegates to the conference requested the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UNCCD and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to build national capacity to develop NMDPs.

One participant discussed integration of biodiversity and DRR into national DLDD policies in China and another presented the case study of a community in Northern Kenya, which constructs sand dams, pans, tanks, rock catchments, shallow wells and boreholes to reduce the impacts of drought.
L-R: Jia Xiaoxia, State Forestry Administration, China; Bokayo Sora, Pastoralist Integrated Support Programme (PISP); Charles Nyandiga, GEF/UN Development Programme (UNDP) Small Grants Programme (SGP); Walter Knausenberger, USAID; Robert Stefanski, World Meteorological Organization (WMO); and Emmanuel Chinyamakobvu, UNCCD Secretariat
L-R: Bokayo Sora, PISP, and Jia Xiaoxia, State Forestry Administration, China
Walter Knausenberger, USAID
Veronica Lo, CBD Secretariat

Soils and Law: the Legal Aspects of Land Degradation Neutrality
On Thursday afternoon, an expert panel discussed legal aspects of land degradation neutrality and zero net land degradation (ZNLD) under the UNCCD in context of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) outcome.

UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja opened the session, stating that the Rio+20 outcome provides the context for addressing a gap in international law, particularly an instrument on soil, calling for input from experts on related options.

Legal experts from Australia and Germany discussed possibilities for strengthening the UNCCD in relation to the Rio+20 outcome and ZNLD, including appropriate instruments, suggesting that ZNLD can provide a framework for a target, and a legal basis for an SDG, for a land degradation neutral world (LDNW). One expert explained the benefits of measurable instruments and compliance regimes, and another noted the importance of the principle of subsidiarity in target setting.

Addressing concerns over ZNLD/LDNW serving as a potential excuse for degrading land or trade-offs between regions or countries, a panelist stressed the importance of safeguards, including neutral outcomes at the ecosystem level and protection of high-value ecosystems..

Panelists also explored possible next steps on LDNW/ZNLD under the UNCCD, including a new Annex to the Convention and an intersessional expert group for guidance on target setting, to be considered by the UNCCD COP.
L-R: Jon Davies, IUCN Global Drylands Initiative; Ben Boer, IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL); Harald Ginzky, Federal Environment Agency, Germany; Sergio Zelaya, UNCCD Secretariat; Ian Hamman, IUCN WCEL
Ian Hamman, IUCN WCEL
Sergio Zelaya, UNCCD Secretariat

Understanding Land Degradation: Towards a SDG on Land Degradation
On Thursday afternoon, UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja opened the panel, calling for changing the paradigm of land towards an understanding of land as natural capital and an important foundation for poverty alleviation. This session addressed issues related to both the scientific understanding of land degradation and how to enable sustainable pastoralism through an SDG.

One speaker gave a global overview of the CGIAR programme on sustainable intensification of dryland use, explained the soil carbon transition curve, and described recent work on the concept of rainbow water. Another panelist discussed charcoal as a driver of dryland forest degradation in Africa, noting the benefits of high efficiency kilns.

On moving towards an SDG on land degradation, one speaker described the role of pastoralism in the green economy, saying it contributes highly valuable environmental services, is the most economically viable land use option in many rangelands, and helps to meet global demand for livestock products. He said the greatest challenge in developing an SDG is overcoming misinformation and marginalization related to sustainable pastoralism.

Discussants highlighted the importance of including DLDD in the post-2015 development agenda process. Dennis Garrity, Drylands Ambassador, noted the interminable negotiations on indicators for monitoring and called for “cutting through the mustard,” saying means of measurement need to be practical.
L-R: Meine van Noordwijk, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF); Miyuki Iiyama, ICRAF; UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja; Moderator Philip Dobie, ICRAF; and Jon Davies, IUCN Global Drylands Initiative
Jon Davies, IUCN Global Drylands Initiative
Meine van Noordwijk, ICRAF
L-R: UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja and Moderator Philip Dobie, ICRAF

Reception: Celebrating Two Decades of GEF in Africa
Thursday the Rio Conventions Pavilion concluded with a reception marking the launch of an analysis on the two decades of work by the GEF in Africa, "The GEF and Africa." A GEF representative introduced attendees to an illustrative map showing investment flows and distribution between countries and focal areas, including climate change, biodiversity and land degradation.
Andrew Chilombo, the GEF
“The GEF and Africa” is launched

Mohamed Bakarr, the GEF
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