Namibia’s Prime Minister Hage Geingob, via a representative, today urged participants at the UNCCD COP 11 to ensure that the conference leads to a legacy that “is significant and meaningful in terms of impact at all levels from the local to the international”.
Speaking on behalf of Geingob, Deputy Prime Minister Marco Hausiku, spoke this morning at the start of the two day high level segment meeting of the 11th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 11).
This high level segment of the conference will involve the input of Ministers and other key stakeholders on how to build a stronger UNCCD and how to overcome the hurdles of scaling up and disseminating good practice. The Ministers will also debate evidence emerging from the work on the economics of land degradation.
Luc Gancadja, the outgoing Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, said at the opening today that “land is the vital natural capital resource at the nexus of food, energy and water security, and it is very often the sole asset of the rural poor. Yet we routinely take it for granted. For present and future generations, we need to consider the impact of our land use decisions …”.
Gancadja emphasised the need for urgent interventions as desertification, land degradation and drought processes are “still accelerating at 36 times historical rates”.
Hausiku noted that the UNCCD is a perfect nucleus for synergies and complementaries with the other two Rio Conventions, namely biodiversity and climate change. “The question we need to ask is how can we ensure synergies between these three conventions … The missing link here is the fundamental role of soil for biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation, agriculture and food security”. He said that for those reasons he strongly feels that “soils and land degradation need to be integrated within the post 2015 sustainable development goals framework”.
Hausiku said that he was confident that through consensus and co-operation between the 195 Parties attending the convention “we will be able to push towards a stronger UNCCD for a land degradation neutral world”.