UNCCD COP 14 India – GEF Day
From 1:30 pm to 6 pm
Transformational Change in practice: Where are we coming from? Where we are going to?
During this side event, Mathilde Bourjac from CARI spoke at the Ecosystem Restoration Roundtable to share CSO perspectives on the subject.
« Mister Chair, Distinguished delegates, Dear colleagues,
My name is Mathilde Bourjac, I am from CARI, a French CSO.
Thank you for providing me with this opportunity to speak in this round table on behalf of more than 500 CSOs accredited to the UNCCD that are actively involved in the implementation of the Convention together with people and grassroots communities.
From oases scattered in the Sahara to the vast rangelands of the Sahel … from the savannahs of South America to the Amazonian forest … from the drylands in the Indian subcontinent to the steppes of Siberia, it is important to recognize the specificity of each ecosystems, and of all land users living in these ecosystems. There is no 1 solution to all challenges that humanity faces, no blueprint for land governance and management.
We therefore urge the Parties to recognize as such the value of the diverse initiatives on sustainable land management and on restoration from people and communities living in these ecosystems. These are the actions on the fields that really contribute to Land Degradation Neutrality.
We urge the parties to engage with farmers, with pastoralists, with indigenous peoples, with men and especially women to better understand what is needed for them to replicate sustainable land use and restoration practices.
To enable a global movement for ecosystem restoration, land tenure for communities must be secured. This is especially important for Oasis ecosystems which rely on scarce land and water resources and are exposed to climate change pressure. Progressive land policies exist, but they are not often implemented. Land tenure arrangements regarding inheritance cause fragmentation of the oasis’s parcels, preventing economic viability and therefore threaten the survival of these fragile ecosystems.
We ask our governments to adopt appropriate approaches to assess legislation, policies and institutions regarding the actual use of resources in vulnerable ecosystems, like oasis. Inclusion of civil society and research in such a review of oasis governance should be enabled through multi-stakeholder dialogue. FAO’s Voluntary Tenure Guidelines can be of great guidance.
For a global movement in ecosystem restoration, civil society must have the means to support people and local communities in their pursuit of SLM and restoration. We see a growing movement of farmers and pastoralists in the Sahel being inspired by Farmers Managed Natural Regeneration techniques showing tremendous results on landscape level and food production.
To stimulate this change at scale, what is needed is:
- Knowledge and experience sharing organized by a CSOs between people and communities that want to engage in natural regeneration.
- Support to CSOs to create platforms at village level for dialogue about where to graze and where to grow.
- Facilitation of CSO engagement with policy makers to contribute to creating an enabling policy environment.
The CSOs gathered here in India call upon the Parties to make more appropriate funds available for the replication of these kinds of practices and to help creating an enabling policy environment for upscaling.During this COP, we see a lot of focus on the “Restore” response. However, the SPI’s LDN response hierarchy for land degradation emphasizes that preventing land degradation is far cheaper than curing land degradation. Restoration inevitably implies greater expense: the Avoid response in the LDN response hierarchy should remain the unequivocal priority.
Finally, we all need to act together to sustainably use and restore the land, for our children and our children’s children. We all need to engage together in the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration. Only this engagement will result in a transformative global movement for land restoration. »
Place: The Rio Conventions Pavilion