A week ago, the twelfth ‘Conference of the Parties’ (COP12) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) took off in Ankara, Turkey. This convention originated from the Rio Conventions of 1992 and specifically focuses on desertification and land degradation. Karin van Boxtel of Both ENDS was there, and today, together with several other organizations that also attended the conference, she launches a document with recommendations for policymakers about the financing of the so-called ‘Land Degradation Neutrality’-concept, one of the many topics that fueled the discussions during the convention. So what is it, and why is it so important?
Even as climate change intensifies these challenging conditions, the Sahel need not become a desert. Unsustainable agricultural practices and overgrazing are among the main factors causing land degradation in the Sahel, which is threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. Fortunately, organisations like CRESA in Niger have shown that with the right approach, desertification of the Sahel can be reversed.
After five years of equivocation the European Commission has proposed a ‘roadmap’ for stepping-up EU action to address its contribution to global deforestation. Despite the escalating impact of EU trade in forest-risk commodities, regardless of repeated calls from the European Parliament for regulatory measures and contrary to the conclusions of the Commission’s own feasibility study in support of legislative intervention, the Commission has ruled-out out any new initiatives, let alone any legislative measures. The Commission’s solution to this complex problem: policy coherence.