EU

Event: First Great Green Wall Global Conference [viewed]

Since its inception in 2007, the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI) has evolved into a pan-African sustainable landscape program to address land degradation and desertification, boost food, environmental and economic security, and support communities' adaptation to climate change. The First Conference on the GGWSSI will gather representatives from more than 20 Sahelian countries and partners to discuss the further scaling-up of implementation based on commitments made at the Paris Climate Change Conference with a view to: develop a “road map for transformational action on 
the ground,” including a Great Green Wall results framework; confirm political commitments in support of the initiative; strengthen the GGWSSI Community of 
Practice; and set new strategic directions for GGWSSI 
communication and knowledge management. The Conference will be organized around three days of technical sessions to exchange and share knowledge about programs and projects in support of the Great Green Wall, and a one-day high-level segment bringing together African Ministers and development partners. Practical interactive seminars will also take place on innovation, communication and knowledge services. Coordinated and sponsored by diverse partner organizations, the conference will draw on experiences from ongoing Great Green Wall projects, including: the World Bank and Global Environment Facility (GEF) supported Sahel and West Africa Program (SAWAP); the AAD programme, which is implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and funded by the partnership programme between the EU and Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP-EU); and the Front Local Environnemental pour une Union Verte (FLEUVE), an EU-funded Great Green Wall project coordinated by the Global Mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).  

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EU FLEGT Facility Releases Factsheet on VPAs and the SDGs [viewed]

euflegt30 March 2016: The EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Facility has released a factsheet and a briefing exploring how Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) between the EU and timber-exporting countries contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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EEA Assesses State of Water, Forests in Europe [viewed]

EEA21 March 2016: The European Environment Agency released two publications before World Water Day on 22 March. The reports indicate that forest cover has increased in Europe since 1990, but water stress is increasingly common in many countries, with more than 14% of the population living under conditions of water stress during the summer months.

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World Water Day Marked Globally, WWDR 2016 and IRP Reports Highlighted [viewed]

world_water_day22 March 2016: On the occasion of World Water Day, UN agencies highlighted water stress as a problem for economic growth and human health, and called for decoupling water use from economic growth through holistic water management plans that take into account the entire water cycle.

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Event: Second International Legume Society Conference [viewed]

Organized under the auspices of the 2016 International Year of Pulses (IYP 2016), the Second International Legume Society Conference aims to encourage connections throughout the food chain with a view to enhancing the utilization of pulse-based proteins, increasing the global production of pulses, improving crop rotations; and addressing trade challenges in the pulses sector. The conference will address the following themes: legume quality and nutrition; farming systems/agronomy; abiotic and biotic stress responses and breeding; legume genetic resources; and new “Omics” resources for legumes. Cross-cutting themes will include health and environment benefits and legumes markets. As the final meeting of the EU-FP7 ABSTRESS project, the conference will also share results and conclusions from this, and related European research programmes.  

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UN Calls for 'Stepping it Up' to Achieve Gender Equality, SDGs [viewed]

womenday20168 March 2016: The world must take immediate actions to close gender gaps and promote women's empowerment to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and leave no one behind, said UN leaders on the occasion of this year's International Women's Day (IWD), marked on 8 March 2016. UN agencies and other international organizations called for gender equality and women's empowerment at special events and in new publications.

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New Data and Policy Tools to Support Implementation of Soil- and Land-related SDGs [viewed]

globa-soil-biod-ecFebruary 2016: Consultations around a “zero draft” of proposed Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management, new global atlases on desertification and soil biodiversity, and a call for soil experts, are among recent initiatives aimed at supporting the implementation and monitoring of sustainable soil and land management in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Mediterranean Ministers Renew Commitment to Protect Marine Environment [viewed]

unep_map_4012 February 2016: Ministers from 21 Mediterranean countries and the European Union (EU) adopted the Athens Declaration, in which they pledge to protect biodiversity, manage coastal zones, increase resilience to climate change and prevent pollution from marine exploration, marine transport and land-based activities. The Declaration reaffirms Party commitments to implement the instruments of the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols and the Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP). The Athens Declaration will be forwarded to the second meeting of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-2).

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Port State Measures Agreement on IUU Fishing Moves Closer to Entry into Force [viewed]

USA Flag11 February 2016: US President Barack Obama has signed the instrument that will allow the US to join the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, following the passage by Congress of the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015 and bringing the US in line to become the 20th party to the Agreement. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate IUU Fishing aims to strengthen international efforts to address IUU fishing and to contribute to sustainable fisheries management and governance at all levels.

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African Union and FAO Expand Great Green Wall Partnership [viewed]

au_fao5 February 2016: The African Union Commission (AUC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) have launched a €41 million ‘Action Against Desertification' project that aims to support six African countries - Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal - with the large-scale restoration of production landscapes affected by desertification and land degradation. The project is funded under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) programme of support to the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States.

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