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UNCCD to hold COP15 on Monday to address land degradation

A two-week global summit on land degradation organised by United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) would open in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire on Monday.

UNCCD in a statement on Friday said that more than a dozen heads of state and government, ministers and at least 2,000 delegates from 196 countries were expected to be at the two-week conference.

The 15th session of the Conference of Parties (COP15) to the UNCCD will start with a heads of state summit and high-level segment to create political will for the 2030 global actions that build the resilience of communities that are vulnerable to drought.

It said that Leaders were meeting in Abidjan against the backdrop of a stark warning issued by the UNCCD that up to 40 per cent of all ice free land is already degraded, with dire consequences for climate, biodiversity and livelihoods.

UNCCD said the COP15 theme was, ‘Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity’, a call to action to ensure land, which is the lifeline on the planet, benefit present and future generations.

“The conference will focus on the restoration of one billion hectares of degraded land between now and 2030, future-proofing land use against the impacts of climate change, and tackling escalating disaster risks such as droughts, sand and dust storms and wildfires.

“High-level delegates expected at the conference includes Alassane Ouattara, President of Côte d’Ivoire, Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations,Abdulla Shahid and President of the United Nations General Assembly among others.

“UNCCD COP15 is the first of the three Rio Conventions to be held in 2022, with Biodiversity COP15 and Climate Change COP27 convening later on in Kunming, China and Sharma El-Sheikh, Egypt, respectively.

“UNCCD said the conference highlights included the announcement of the Abidjan Legacy Programme on May 9 by the President of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, focusing on job creation and the restoration of degrading land in Côte d’Ivoire, “it said.

It said others were the launch of a new report on the differentiated impacts of desertification, land degradation and drought on men and women, the Green Business Forum on May 10 and 11.

UNCCD said the programme would also include the launch of drought land, a global campaign to rally action on drought on May 11and the launch of the regional Global Land Outlook reports on May 18 among others.

It said that press conferences would also be conducted with interpretation in English, French and Spanish but webcast in the floor language.

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