30 billion dollars to fight against desertification

The UN estimates that 70% of the land surface of the planet has been transformed by humans and that 40% of the land is degraded

More than 30 trillion dollars needed to achieve the objectives of the fight against desertification and avoid higher costs in the long term.
The benefits of action against land degradation far outweigh the costs of sustainable land management

It would take more than $30 trillion to achieve the goals of the United Nations Convention. United Nations on the fight against desertification (CNULCD), but inaction could cost even more, underlined participants at a session organized on the sidelines of the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention of United Nations on the fight against desertification (CNULCD).

Camilla Nordheim-LarsenSenior Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Coordinator at the CNULCD, noted that the $30 trillion cost included action in the land sector, which could generate 400 million new jobs. The Sustainable Development Goal for life on land is the least funded, but it can contribute the most to resilience, she said, during a session on innovative financing mechanisms for sustainable landscapes, organized over there African development bank and its partners.

The cost of achieving the goal may seem high, but governments could pay an even higher price if they do nothing. “The benefits of action against land degradation far outweigh the costs of sustainable land management. In sub-Saharan Africa, it is up to seven times more! Inaction costs sub-Saharan countries $490 billion a year, while according to the Economics of Land Degradation initiative, action to reverse land degradation could yield benefits worth up to $1,400 billions of dollars,” warned Luc Gnacadja, former executive secretary of the CNULCD and former Minister of Environment of Benin, currently Co-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Adaptation Benefits Mechanism.

Rishabh Khanna, Senior Impact Manager at Earthbanc and steering committee member of the Initiative of Land, Lives and Peace, presented a new initiative launched jointly with the UNCCD at this conference on digital sustainable land bonds, which enable carbon buyers to buy at an earlier stage of development.

“Funding for land and ecosystem restoration represents less than 1% of all climate finance due to the lack of universal capital market products for these activities. This is partly because monitoring, reporting and verification of sustainable land management is labor intensive, sometimes imprecise and uses fragmented measurement and accounting methodologies,” he explained. .

The adaptation benefit mechanism, driven by the African development bank for the period 2019-2023, certifies and monetizes the environmental, social and economic benefits of adaptation measures, in particular for sustainable and resilient landscapes. “Unlike mitigation, where profitability is the driving factor for investments, revenues from monetizing adaptation benefits are likely to be directed to actions in vulnerable communities that are most needed, because that they offer compelling stories,” said Gareth Philips, head of climate and environmental finance at the African development bank.

Dr Peter Minang, Director for Africa of the International Agroforestry Center and Global Coordinator of ASB Partnership for the Margins of Tropical Forests, visualized the revolutionary role that sustainable agroforestry measures and better environments can have in empowering local communities through a case study video on financing sustainable community forest enterprises in Cameroon. “We are the first organization to pilot the adaptation benefit mechanism through a project in the cocoa sector in Côte d’Ivoire. In Cameroon, we are using a similar approach and more concrete steps have already been taken to enable certification in the near future, which can bring new funding for the development of sustainable and resilient agroforestry systems for local communities, Dr Minang said. . One of our best practices is the use of manual machines to monitor all the indicators, which we could check once a year, for example with Earthbanc’s remote sensing and satellite technology,” he said. .

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