World leaders must set ambitious targets for Desertification at the Rio+20 Earth Summit, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification has said.
Writing for RTCC for Desertification Week, the convention’s Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja said that the conference will offer an important opportunity to increase political momentum.
“First and foremost, world leaders need to set an ambitious target that will bring desertification to a halt and empower a land-degradation neutral society,” he said.
He stressed that combating desertification will be a key component for ensuring a sustainable future for communities across the world.
“In no other ecosystem are the interactions between the challenges of climate change and the conservation of biodiversity so closely linked to food security and poverty reduction,” he warned.
“In the drylands, we need to address these issues jointly and to adopt practical solutions that work for affected communities.”
Practical solutions are available to combat desertification including sustainable land and water management as well as agroforestry and re-greening initiatives with examples of project successes from around the world available to learn from.
Gnacadja said these solutions had to offer support at a political level, which will help correct the image people have of desertification as a problem without an answer.
“We need to correct the image of desertification as an unstoppable monster slowly consuming the world’s fertile lands, plants, livestock and people,” he said.
“Practical solutions to desertification already exist at many levels and are being successfully employed by communities around the world.”
Read Gnacadja’s full blog here.