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COP 14: Parties Commit To Reduce Climate Change

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The Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, Ibrahim Thiaw and the Indian Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and the president of COP 14, Prakash Javadekar at a joint press briefing at the end of the meeting in India.

The curtain fell on the14th Conference of Parties (CoP) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) with parties renewing commitment to further encourage a proactive approach to reduce risks and impacts of desertification/land degradation and drought.

The COP member-states rose from the meeting which held in India, declaring the inpact could be reduced through the implementation of drought preparedness plans and increased risk mitigation for drought and sand and dust storms.

They made commitment to encourage the development of community-driven transformative projects and programmes that are gender-responsive, at local, national and regional levels to drive the implementation of the convention.

It was resolved at the convention to encourage the transition and increased access to energy in rural and urban communities, within the scope of the UNCCD amongst others.

At a joint press briefing at the end of the convention, the Indian Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change who was also the president of COP 14, Prakash Javadekar and the Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, Ibrahim Thiaw, Javedekar told journalists the meeting was flawless, pointing out that parties had woken up to the realities of desertification/land degradation and drought.

Saying 160 countries, 70 ministers and over 8500 delegates participated at the meeting, he asserted that restoration of land which had not been possible in the past had become possible because of science, technology and innovation (STI).

He underscored member- countries’ commitment to achieving land degradation neutrality by the SDG target year 2030.

In his remarks, Thiaw said countries had woken up to the fact that the world could witness more frequent and severe droughts, a phenomenon that would be exacerbated by climate change.

He contended that a global movement of restoration, anchored in nature-based solutions would deliver benefits for the three Rio conventions and for many of the world’s most pressing issues.

Thiaw drew attention to the role the private sector can play in land restoration, including promoting sustainable value chains as well as the incentives that will draw them in, such as the regulation in support of innovation for sustainable land management and rewarding conservation, restoration and sustainable use of resources.

He said African and Asian countries that are the most affected by land degradation had shown great commitment to actions to mitigate climate change, saying 53 out of the 54 member-countries in Africa had set targets aimed at land restoration.

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