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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

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Highlights for Tuesday, 24 September 2013
Rio Conventions Pavilion at UNCCD COP11

The Rio Conventions Pavilion convened for Landscape Approach Day on Tuesday, 24 September. 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. Landscape Approach Day included sessions on: the partnership creating an EverGreen Agriculture; sustainable wood energy production – innovative approaches to combat land degradation and strengthen the resilience of rural people; a Southern African Development Community (SADC) operational platform to enhance synergies between the biodiversity, land management and climate change pursuits of the three Rio Conventions; ecosystem based adaptation (EBA) - synergies in implementation of the Rio Conventions; and valuing the biodiversity of dry and sub-humid lands.

David Ainsworth, CBD Secretariat, and Simone Quatrini, Global Mechanism, launch "Valuing the Biodiversity of Dry and Sub-Humid Lands."
The Partnership Creating an Evergreen Agriculture

On Tuesday morning, the panel discussed the EverGreen Agriculture concept, which works to regenerate land and improve food security through a science-based and community-led process of intensified farming that integrates trees into crop and livestock production systems.

Sharing experiences on addressing drought in the Sahel, a panelist mentioned: participatory forest policies; village-level natural resource management vision and projects; and rehabilitation plans and projects. Defining re-greening as “increased agricultural productivity and resilience through better management of soils, water and vegetation,” he discussed successes in implementing rainfall capture technologies, and the correlation between tree ownership and increasing tree intensity in the region.

Among lessons learned from the Sahel, a panelist stressed the importance of: empowering communities to determine their development priorities; tenure and tree ownership by farmers; village and inter-village institutions; and mainstreaming sustainable land management (SLM) into rural development policies.

One speaker called for reframing areas defined as wastelands as potential land, and eliminating the perception that trees compete with crops. For scaling up and allowing for successful farmer-managed natural regeneration, the speakers agreed on the need for enabling environments, access to markets, diversifying and “densifying” existing systems, and multi-stakeholder cooperation.

Panel (L-R): Dennis Garrity, UNCCD Drylands Ambassador and Chair, EverGreen Agriculture Partnership; Sergio Zelaya, UNCCD Secretariat; Larwanou Mahamane, African Forest Forum; and Tony Rinaudo, World Vision.
Adamou Bouhari, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
Larwanou Mahamane, African Forest Forum
Tony Rinaudo, World Vision

Sustainable Wood Energy Production: Innovative Approaches to Combat Land Degradation and Strengthen the Resilience of Rural People

On Tuesday afternoon, this panel addressed the status of wood energy in Africa and the trends and challenges of wood energy in drylands, with case studies presented from Cameroon and Madagascar. One panelist highlighted that trends demonstrate growing demand for wood fuel and underscored challenges including the lack of reliable baseline data.

Another speaker discussed a local-community centered and voluntary project in Madagascar, involving planting coppicing tree species, primarily Eucalyptus, to provide stock for wood fuel production. A panelist highlighted government policies to manage wood fuel production in northern Cameroon.

One panelist emphasized matching species to particular sites, while saying that efficient conversion technologies are critical in order to prevent deforestation. Another panelist stressed assessing the benefits of afforestation for degraded lands, noting that it may not be beneficial in all areas. She highlighted that land rights and local community involvement is crucial.

A speaker called for assessing the use of native species for wood production, underscoring that while Eucalyptus is beneficial in some cases, it is a non-native species and can pose problems in areas of water scarcity. One panelist said governments routinely ignore biomass as an economic driver and noted the under-pricing of wood energy, which makes it challenging for other energy sources to compete.

Panel (L-R): Nora Berrahmouni, UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO); Steve Sepp, ECO; Jeanne Balamong, Forestry Ministry, Cameroon; James Onchieku, Kenya Forestry Institute; Susanne Wallenoeffer, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Jeanne Balamong, Forestry Ministry, Cameroon
Nora Berrahmouni, FAO, and Steve Sepp, ECO
Susanne Wallenoeffer, GIZ

A SADC Operational Platform to Enhance Synergies between the Biodiversity, Land Management and Climate Change Pursuits of the Three Rio Conventions

A panel on Tuesday afternoon explored an operational platform for harmonizing the implementation of the Rio Conventions and supporting the implementation of the UNCCD 10-Year Strategic Plan and Framework to Enhance the Implementation of the Convention (2008-2018) by mobilizing resources for effective partnerships between national and international actors in the SADC region.

Presenting the key features of the platform, a UNCCD expert explained that it benefits from an existing inter-institutional coordination mechanism and includes an integrated spatial planning software tool that addresses a number of institutional tasks relating to transforming scientific data into data usable for decision making. He said that the pilot phase of the project is focusing on the Limpopo River basin, with next steps including work in other river basins and the establishment of a regional coordination unit.

Another speaker discussed the need for evidence-based support tools for planning and implementation in South Africa, including: undertaking primary ecological research to quantify the impact of land use on natural infrastructure and ecosystems; translating it into economic consequences; and incorporating the results into investment decisions and institutional processes.

One panelist also noted that the collaboration tool addresses two challenges of the Rio Conventions, capacity-building, and technology development and transfer. Another underscored that the ongoing review of the 10-Year Strategy provides an opportunity for scaling up the platform to the entire region.

Panel (L-R): Marco Falcetta, UNCCD Expert; Fabio Attore, UNCCD Scientific Advisor and Sapienza University of Rome; Marcello Vitale, UNCCD Expert; Christo Marais, Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa; Pier Francesco Zazo, Italian Development Cooperation and UNCCD National Focal Point (NFP); Boubacar Cissé, UNCCD Secretariat; and Sibongile Mavimbela, SADC Secretariat.
Pier Francesco Zazo, Italian Development Cooperation and UNCCD NFP
Christo Marais, Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa
Boubacar Cissé, UNCCD Secretariat

EBA: Synergies in Implementation of the Rio Conventions
On Tuesday afternoon, this panel addressed synergies between the UNCCD, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on adaptation, in particular EBA.

A panelist from the UNFCCC Secretariat noted the catalyzing effect of the Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) and highlighted that it will be relaunched at COP 19 taking place in November 2013, in Warsaw, Poland. She identified entry points for collaboration between the Rio Conventions, including through the Joint Liaison Group, and development of National Adaptations Plans (NAPs) under the UNFCCC.

A panelist from the CBD Secretariat discussed EBA in the context of the CBD. She said that the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHEG) on Biodiversity and Climate Change found that EBA can generate multiple benefits. She underscored the Hyderabad Call for a Concerted Effort on Ecosystem Restoration, which was endorsed by the Rio Conventions.

One panelist from the UNCCD Secretariat said the basis of synergies for the Rio Conventions includes the natural processes that link biodiversity loss and climate change to desertification. He identified the need for: increased coordination of the NFPs of the Rio Conventions at the national level; integration of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) schemes; and better sharing of knowledge and best practices.
Panel (L-R): David Ainsworth, CBD Secretariat; Rojina Manandhar, UNFCCC Secretariat; Victor Castillo, UNCCD Secretariat; and Veronica Lo, CBD Secretariat.
Rojina Manandhar, UNFCCC Secretariat
Veronica Lo, CBD Secretariat
Victor Castillo, UNCCD Secretariat

Valuing the Biodiversity of Dry and Sub-Humid Lands
Simone Quatrini, GM
David Ainsworth, CBD Secretariat

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