Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries attends high-level segment of 14th Session of Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in India

09 September 2019

The Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Ms. Maggie Sotyu will lead South Africa’s delegation to the high-level segment of the Fourteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification scheduled to take place on 09 and 10 September 2019 in New Delhi, India.

The Conference of the Parties is expected to bring together at least 100 ministers and over 3000 delegates from 196 Country Parties. The Conference of the Parties will deliberate on various matters including drought-related issues in particular gender and drought resilience; restoration, rehabilitation and conservation of degraded landscapes; the land - climate nexus; health and land management; rural and urban communities in the context of land degradation; resource mobilisation and financial flows as well as the role of Civil Society Organisation and the private sector in the implementation of the Convention.

The deliberations will be guided by the theme “restore land, our sustainable future. The outcomes of this COP will focus on the following aspects; people first, turning plans into action, enhancing drought resilience, science at the service of nature amongst others. These outcomes will further elaborate actions on the ground needed to ensure that Convention goals for 2018-2030 are achieved.

In line with Sustainable Development Goal 15, and more specifically target 15.3, countries are committed to combatting desertification, restore degraded lands and soil including land affected by desertification, droughts, and floods while striving to achieve a land degradation neutral world by 2030. The conference of the Parties will receive an update on efforts made to support countries in the integration of SDG 15 (Life on Land) and target 15.3 into the implementation of the Convention as well as recommendations on future priorities.

South Africa is negotiating for an outcome that will enable the nations of the world, particularly the African countries to effectively and efficiently address the challenges of desertification, land degradation and drought on the people’s livelihoods and sustainable development. It is for this reason that South Africa is working within the collective of African countries who are pursuing positions consistent to the conditions in our African continent.

Addressing desertification, land degradation, and drought will involve long-term integrated strategies that simultaneously focus on the improved productivity of land and the rehabilitation, conservation and sustainable management of land and water resources. In this regard, the UNCCD plays a central role in capacity-building, the sharing of successful experiences, technology transfer, the provision of scientific support, awareness-raising, mobilisation of resources and the provision of assistance to countries in implementing policies at national, sub-regional, regional and international levels.

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