Expert panel discussion on drylands:

Drylands are not wastelands: Boosting their potential for a better world

World Conservation Congress, Barcelona, 6th October 2008, 16:30pm

Barcelona Congress Photo: IUCN

Six renowned global experts discuss in a professionally moderated debate the challenges and economic potential of the world’s drylands and their ecosystem services. The debate will address common stereotypes of drylands, discuss the impact of climate change and demonstrate, with examples, how drylands can be sustainably used to lift people out of poverty and create economic wealth.

The purpose of the high-level panel discussion is to come up with ways of increasing investment in sustainable drylands management, given the adverse effects of climate change. The objectives of the debate are to:
• Highlight the stereotypes about, and the impact, of climate change on drylands;
• Demonstrate how the drylands can be restored and sustainably used to lift people out of poverty, food insecurity and create greater wealth;
• Identify actions required for a stronger commitment to sustainable drylands management.

• Abdelazim Mirghani Ibrahim, Director General, Forest National Corporation, Sudan
• Camilla Toulmin, Director General, International Institute for Environment and Development
• Mohammed Mukhier, Head, Disaster Policy and Preparedness Department, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
• Gus Le Breton, CEO PhytoTrade - the Southern African Natural Products Trade Association
• Masse Lo, Coordinator, ENDA LEAD Afrique Francophone
• Zafar Adeel, Director, United Nations University International Network on Water, Environment and Health & Co-Chair Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Desertification Synthesis
The Expert Panel Discussion will be facilitated by Veronica Muthui, Regional Technical Advisor, Land Degradation UNDP-GEF.

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