From 6-16 september, the 13th Conference of Parties' of the UNCCD (UN Convention to Combat Desertification) took place, this time in Ordos, China. The UNCCD is the global convention of the United Nations on combating desertification and drought. Every country in the world has signed this convention. Canada withdrew in 2012, but in 2016 - under the Trudeau administration - started a process to re-enter the convention. Both ENDS is a member of Drynet, a network of local organisations and communities in dry regions searching for ways to use land in a sustainable manner.
October 10th the fifth board meeting of the Green Climate Fund took place, this time in Paris. The Green Climate Fund is an international fund set up and commissioned by the United Nations in order to help developing countries combatting the negative effects of climate change. Possibly, developing countries are granted with an amount of $100 billion a year! Although the financial support is very promising, opinions differ widely on how that money should be spent. Therefore Anouk Franck and Annelieke Duma of Both ENDS attended, along with Titi Soentoro of the Indonesian organization Aksi! and Jorge Daneri of M'Bigua from Argentina, to make sure that the money gets where it is most needed.
A large part of earth's surface is covered by dry areas: some 40%, in fact, and over two thirds of Africa. Most of the poorest people on earth, some 70% of the undernourished - over 600 million people - live in these areas. Funding and initiatives to fight desertification and other forms of land degradation and to improve food productivity are of vital importance. However, there seems to be no urgency to do so within the international development cooperation world.
"My idea of 'good' is that people can make decisions about their own development; that they are able to decide what happens to their environment. That we all respect the boundaries of our ecosystems and that women, just like men, are able to develop in the way that they want". Daniëlle Hirsch is responding to a question from the audience where she just gave a lecture on her views for a future sustainable economy.