UNCCD News Focuses on UNGA High-level Event, Economics of Land Degradation Initiative

UNCCDNovember 2011: The Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has released the latest issue of its UNCCD News publication. Issue 3.4 contains a summary of deliberations during the 20 September 2011 UN General Assembly (UNGA) high-level meeting on desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD), and a report on the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative.

In his opening column, UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja notes that the high-level meeting was "a milestone in the international community's pursuit of sustainable development. It shone a spotlight on the growing threat of land degradation, which is taking place at an unprecedented rate outside the drylands." He writes that "land degradation has remained a blind spot in sustainable development," and suggests that the issue be moved to the center stage of policy including through the UN Conference on Sustainable Develpment (UNCSD, or Rio+20). He also calls for setting "measurable sustainable development targets aiming for zero-net land degradation."

The report on the ELD Initiative indicates that it will compare the costs of inaction with those of action, defined as prevention, mitigation and rehabilitation measures, and that the Initiative will involve a broad coalition of partners. [Publication: UNCCD News Issue 3.4]