Under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, the first stakeholder consultation on Integrating land tenure security to achieve land degradation neutrality (LDN) took place virtually on this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, 17th June 2020.
In the opening session, the FAO reminded participants of the context of the UNCCD COP14 decision 26 on land tenure and its mandated task to prepare a technical guideline on how to integrate VGGT into the implementation of the Convention and LDN for consideration by COP 15 in 2021. The consultation was the first of a planned series of multi-stakeholder and expert consultations for the preparation of the guide. The FAO expressed the view that, if all facets of the enabling environment are addressed, land tenure security can lead to good land stewardship. Accelerating the implementation of the VGGT is thus a means to optimize land use for the benefit of all while ensuring the achievement of land degradation neutrality.
Following inputs from Eduardo Mansur and Marcela Villarreal of the FAO, Louise Baker of the UNCCD recalled the major breakthrough as COP14 adopted the landmark Decision 26 on land tenure rights, drawing on the unique voices of CSOs and resource partners/donors, such as Switzerland.
Christina Blank of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) noted that land is crucial to the livelihood of billions of smallholders, especially women, who depend on tenure security for their food security and nutrition.
Christopher Hegadorn, Secretary, Committee on World Food Security (CFS) made a call to link land tenure with land degradation and biodiversity for achieving food security and nutrition, and to look at it with a gender lens.
Marioldy Sanchez Santivañez, on behalf of CSO representatives to UNCCD drew attention to the role played by CSOs in pursuing the agenda of land tenure within the context of UNCCD since its inception and emphasized the importance of high level political willingness, intersectoral, multi-level coordination and inclusive participation in creating an enabling environment.
Insights from case studies from five countries were shared with participants: Governance of pastureland in Mongolia, National Land Policy Reform in Sierra Leone, introducing VGGT in integrated land management in Senegal, linkages of LDN and land use planning in Tunisia and land consolidation and conservation in Guyana.
The FAO intends to prepare a draft of the Technical Guideline with key messages by April 2021, and to present it with recommendations at the UNCCD COP 15 in October 2021.
Stakeholders have the opportunity to contribute to the process by submitting country case studies, providing expert knowledge co-authorship for specific chapters or reviewing of the draft guideline
Submissions of expressions of interest, and any enquires or comments, can be made by email to the following contact persons:
Stefan Schlingloff – Stefan.Schlingloff@fao.org (FAO, Land and Water division)
JeanMaurice Durand – JeanMaurice.Durand@fao.org (FAO, Partnerships Division)
Marcos Montoiro – firstname.lastname@example.org (UNCCD, External Relations, Policy and Advocacy)
The recording of the consultation can be downloaded along with all documents from Google Drive here
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