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Launch of UNCCD Policy Brief

“A Sustainable Development Goal for Rio+20: Zero Net Land Degradation”
Launch of UNCCD Policy Brief

23 May 2012, Berlin

What: Policy brief launch by UNCCD Executive Secretary Mr. Luc Gnacadja
When: 10:00-11:00, Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Where: Albrechtshof Hotel (Salon Theodor Fliedner), Albrechtstraße 8, 10117 Berlin

Agreeing on a sustainable development goal on land-use at Rio+20 is a prerequisite for ensuring future water, food and energy security, according to a new policy brief by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

The brief, “A Sustainable Development Goal for Rio+20: Zero Net Land Degradation,” provides a snapshot of the state of the world’s land, explains causes and impacts of land degradation and desertification, details the need for a sustainable development goal on land-use and makes recommendations for its implementation.

The working language of the event will be English. Refreshment drinks will be provided.

Please, confirm your participation by 18 May to:
Ms Komila Nabiyeva, UNCCD Secretariat. Tel: 0228 815 2830, E-mail:

For more information about the policy brief, please see the executive summary

Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development issues to sustainable land management. The UNCCD addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands. The Convention’s 195 Parties are working to improve the living conditions in the drylands, to maintain and restore land and soil productivity, and to mitigate the effects of drought.

LDC’s in climate change talks with strong recommendations

Pa Ousman Jarju

The world’s poorest countries have issued a bold plan to make the UN climate change talks more likely to reach their goal of having an effective and legally binding agreement ready for governments to adopt by 2015.

The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) group’s formal submission to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, under which the talks take place, includes the following demands:

·         The new legally binding agreement should take the form of a new protocol under the convention that builds on and enhances the commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.

·         Parties should agree new rules to allow the adoption of the Protocol by a 75% majority, not by consensus as under current rules.

·         A final negotiating text should be ready a full year ahead of the 2015 deadline rather than the usual six months deadline that the UNFCCC imposes.

·         Raising the ambition of commitments to mitigate climate change before 2020 must be the top priority.

·         The new Protocol should have as a key objective, the full implementation of mitigation, adaptation and finance and capacity building among others.

·         Systems for monitoring, reporting and verifying finance and mitigation actions must not be weaker than but should build upon those that already exist in the Kyoto Protocol.

“At last year’s conference of parties to the convention in Durban, parties agreed to complete negotiations by 2015, but such deadlines have been broken before,” says Pa Ousman Jarju, the chair of the LDC group. “Our countries cannot wait. We are already feeling the effects of climate change, but the time has come for us to be leaders in the international effort to address this global challenge.”

“The creation of a new body to negotiate a second protocol under the Convention represents an overdue acknowledgement by all Parties that the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol alone are insufficient to drive action consistent with the ultimate objective of the Convention,” says Jarju. “Urgent action is needed by all Parties to prevent dangerous interference with the climate system, and in particular to stay below 2°C and keep open the possibility of limiting warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial in the long-term as called for by the most vulnerable countries.”

As negotiators gather in Bonn for the latest round of talks this week, the LDC group also proposes changes to the way the negotiations work to make them faster and fairer.

To ensure that all issues can be dealt with, the group says the number and duration of future negotiation sessions must be agreed in Bonn, along with a timetable to discuss particular issues.

The group also says parties should consider electing officers to the bureau that will run the talks for more than the usual two year period, to ensure continuity – and that the size of the bureau should perhaps be expanded given the urgency of its task and that wide range of topics it must work on.

“The LDC group comes to the Bonn climate change talks with a strong set of recommendations,” says Pa Ousman Jarju. “In the spirit of international cooperation and with our desire to see the UN climate change convention meet its objective, we urge other parties to join our call for these improvements to the negotiating process and its final goals.”

Download the LDC group’s submission to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change [PDF]

For interviews, contact

Pa Ousman Jarju, the LDC group chair at or Sandra Freitas, the LDC group spokesperson at

Report on Nigeria’s progress since Earth Summit underway

Report on Nigeria’s progress since Earth Summit underway
By Ugonma Cokey, Lagos

Mrs Hadiza Mailafia

A comprehensive report that will detail Nigeria’s progress made in the implementation of the outcomes of previous Earth Summits is underway.

The Minister of Environment, Mrs Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia stated this at a forum in Lagos, to seek input from relevant stakeholders on specific issues in line with the overall objectives and focus of the earth summit scheduled for June.

Mrs Mailafia said that Nigeria has since commenced preparation for the Rio +20 Earth summit with a Multi-stakeholders preparatory meeting for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s), media, academia and MDA’s on the Rio+20 organised by the Federal Ministry of Environment.

She said that Nigeria in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country office also organised a forum held in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, to discuss the ZERO DRAFT DOCUMENT being negotiated.

Rationale for report

It is expected that every country produce a national report that will take stock of the progress made in the implementation of the outcomes of the previous summits, identify gaps and challenges and propose action plans to advance sustainable development, particularly in the context of green economy.

The report Mrs Mailafia said , would identify gaps, challenges and propose action plans to advance sustainable development in terms of green economy to be presented at the Rio+20 summit.

To this end, presentations, views from various sectors on how to effectively identify challenges, opportunities and map out the way forward that will be synthesized into the national report are being collated.” The Minister said.

Nigeria since Rio

According to the Minister, since the 1992 Rio summit, Nigeria with its huge environmental challenges of  flooding, desertification, deforestation, pollution, loss of biodiversity has been committed to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and the Rio+20 process and actively participated in the preparatory processes leading to the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992.

She said that Nigeria hosted the first African regional post-Rio Workshop on the implementation of Agenda 21 in 1993 and the West African sub-regional preparatory meeting for the WSSD in Abuja, June 2001 and also participated at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) held in Johannesburg in 2002 (Rio 10).

Nigeria she also said has been participating in all the sessions on the CSD framework and has put in place a number of measures and initiatives in the various thematic areas and cross‐cutting issues.

Preparatory sessions by Nigeria

She listed the preparatory sessions Nigeria has participated in to include:
•Preparatory sessions of the United Nations Conference for Sustainable Development.
• Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting (IPM) of the CSD 19, New York, 28 February – 4 March, 2011
• Africa Regional Meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 21 to15 October, 2011.
• Second Intercessional Meeting, New York, 15-16 December, 2011.
• UNCSD Informal Consultations, New York, 16-18 January, 2012.
• 12th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, which us the most resent, held in Nairobi, Kenya, 20-22 February, 2012.
Rio + 20

The preparations for Rio+20 highlighted seven areas which need priority attention, these include: Decent Jobs, Energy, Sustainable Cities, Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture, Water, Oceans and Disaster Readiness.

Other Areas

The Minister said that the Federal Ministry of Environment has been working assiduously towards environmental sustainability and is committed through her mandate in the pursuit of development that is equitable and socially inclusive for a prosperous, secure and sustainable future for the citizens and planet.

This commitment she said was “evident in the implementation and mainstreaming of relevant national policies, action plans, strategies, programmes and projects over the past twenty years.  Some of the instruments put in place by Nigeria.
“They include: Nigeria Vision 20: 20‐20 – National Agenda 20, Nigeria’s Economic Transformation Blueprint, National Policy on the Environment,” She said.

National Policies

According to the Environment Minister, ”other Government Economic Policies such as policies on Petroleum Pricing; Economic incentives for Gas Production and Utilization, policy on sourcing and granting of loans to small scale producers; Export Promotion Policy etc. have been formulated to enhance green economy, sustainable consumption and production patterns.”

Mrs Mailafia said that “through individual commitments with concrete and time based actions to green our economy and improve the quality of life of our people, we will achieve a “bottom‐ up approach” for effective coverage in our quest to protecting this One Planet – MOTHER EARTH!”

The Forum organised to mark the 2012 Earth Day Program, had its Theme as “ROAD TO RIO+20: THE FUTURE WE WANT!”.   It provided a platform to heighten awareness on specific issues on the upcoming Rio+20 events through Stakeholders’ Dialogue Forum.

Earth Day is marked annually to create awareness on best strategies to protect the Planet.


The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio Summit, Rio Conference, Earth Summit (Portuguese: Eco ’92) was a major United Nations conference held in Rio de Janeiro from  June 3 to June 14  1992.

About 172 governments, 2,400 representatives of non-governmental organizations, and 17,000 people at the parallel NGO “Global Forum participated, with 108 sending their heads of state or government.

Twenty years after the historic summit, the world will come together once again in a global conference,  at the three-day United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCED) popularly known as Rio+ 20 summit holding in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil between June 20 and June 22 further chart the course on sustainable development.

Objectives of Rio+ 20

Part of the objectives of   the summit is to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess progress to date and remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and to address new emerging challenges.

The summit will focus on: Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, Institutional framework for sustainable development and, emerging issues- climate change and development, biodiversity, and land policy initiative among others.