Science, Assessment & Monitoring

Event: European Ecosystem Services Conference [viewed]

The European Ecosystem Services Conference will meet under the theme, ‘Helping nature to help us,' and will focus on the role that healthy ecosystems play in supporting human well-being and the protection of nature. The meeting agenda includes: keynote presentations from policy, practice and science; a networking day where businesses, practitioners, policymakers and researchers will showcase their work; interactive sessions to demonstrate working examples of ecosystem services and natural capital; field excursions to see ecosystem services in action; and scientific sessions. The conference is being organized by the EU-funded research projects ECOPLAN and the Ecosystem Services Partnership, among others, and hosted by the University of Antwerp.  

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Event: ELD Strategy Workshop: Developing a Roadmap for Future Action [viewed]

Following the conclusion of the first two phases of the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative, this workshop aims to bring together various ELD partners and stakeholders to critically reflect on achievements, challenges and lessons learned so far. The meeting will develop a roadmap towards the next implementation phase of the Initiative, which will seek to further enhance the integration of economic cost-benefit analyses of land degradation within national and international policy strategies and decision making, and increase the capacity of technical experts and policy makers to use ELD data and methodologies. The meeting also aims to identify new research projects to supplement the international debate on the economic benefits of land and land-based ecosystems.  

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Geospatial Forum Calls for “Fit-for-Purpose” Land Information Systems to Guide SDG Implementation [viewed]

uneca_unggim22 April 2016: More than 300 geospatial experts and representatives of governments and other interested parties attending the 4th High-Level Forum on UN Global Geospatial Information Management adopted the 'Addis Ababa Declaration,' in which they committed themselves to “advocate for and increase political awareness and value of geospatial information in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 2063 African Union Agenda as a collective vision and roadmap to secure land and property rights for all.”

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UNCCD, GM Publications Discuss Land Restoration and SDG Achievement [viewed]

unccd_gm28 April 2016: The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and its operational arm, the Global Mechanism (GM), have published three booklets showcasing partnerships on the restoration of degraded land, a cornerstone of the Convention's implementation within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The booklets are titled: 'A Natural Fix: A Joined-Up Approach to Delivering the Global Goals for Sustainable Development;' 'Land Degradation Neutrality: The Target-Setting Programme;' and 'The Great Green Wall: Hope for the Sahel and the Sahara.'

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GSP ITPS Finalizes Draft Voluntary Guidelines on Soil Management, Plans for Monitoring Soil-related SDGs [viewed]

gsp_itps_fao21 April 2016: The 5th working session of the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS) of the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) finalized the draft ‘Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management (VGSSM),' planned for implementation of the first Status of the World's Soil Resources Report (SWSR), and reviewed ongoing efforts to develop indicators to monitor progress on soil-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In other events held in March 2016, GSP partners elaborated regional implementation plans for the Eurasian and European Soil Partnerships.

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Event: Fourth Plenary Assembly (PA) of the Global Soil Partnership [viewed]

The Global Soil Partnership (GSP) Plenary Assembly is the main annual meeting of the Partnership charged with reviewing and prioritizing GSP actions, and facilitating a balanced regional decision-making process. The GSP brings together members of the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS), the GSP Executive Secretariat, and representatives and partners of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO).  

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ESCAP Toolkit Builds Capacity for Flood Forecasting and Early Warning [viewed]

un_rimes25 April 2016: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has launched a toolkit to help flood management practitioners in transboundary river basins improve their flood forecasting and early warning capabilities, drawing on real-time satellite data and flood modeling techniques.

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IYP 2016 Events Promote Pulses as “Climate-Smart” Food of the Future [viewed]

icp_fao20 April 2016: Two events organized as part of the International Year of Pulses (IYP 2016) have called for increased efforts to scale up global production of pulses, such as beans, chickpeas, and lentils, due to their multiple benefits as nutrient-dense, soil improving and “climate-smart” crops. The International Conference on Pulses for Health, Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture in Drylands (ICP 2016) took place from 18-20 April in Rabat, Morocco, while the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) hosted a seminar in Rome, Italy addressing the links between pulses and soils (the focus of international efforts in 2015), on 19 April 2016.

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CGIAR Discusses Agricultural Research's Role in Poverty Reduction in a Changing Climate [viewed]

CGIAR14 April 2016: The third Science Forum of the Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) of the CGIAR Consortium discussed pathways through which agricultural research can support the inclusive development of rural economies under conditions of climate change.

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Countries Pursue National and Regional Actions on Land Degradation Monitoring and Restoration [viewed]

eld_fao_unep_ittoApril 2016: Capacity development efforts by the Action Against Desertification (AAD) programme in West Africa, the first-ever nationwide assessment of contaminated soil in Serbia, a handbook for community restoration of degraded coastal dune ecosystems in the Mexican state of Veracruz, and cost-benefit analyses of sustainable soil fertility management practices in Kenya are among recently-announced initiatives to boost local monitoring of land degradation and desertification as well as community-level adaptation efforts.

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