IUCN statement on UNCCD COP15 and International Day for Biological Diversity
The 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) closes today, 20 May 2022.
IUCN congratulates the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire for hosting the first UNCCD COP since the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration began. The past 12 days saw powerful commitments to Land Degradation Neutrality.
In particular, IUCN welcomes the Abidjan Call adopted by Heads of State. The Call urges countries to give the highest priority to tackling drought and reinforces the commitment towards achieving Land Degradation Neutrality by 2030. This aligns with IUCN’s work to show how drought can be reduced through land health and ecosystem-based approaches.
IUCN also welcomes the fuller consideration of gender issues; especially the recognition that the impacts of land degradation fall disproportionately on girls and women, and the important role girls and women should play in land restoration.
Restoring one billion hectares of degraded land between now and 2030 was key to discussions. IUCN is contributing to this global effort by supporting the setting and implementation of national Land Degradation Neutrality and Bonn Challenge targets. This sets the scene for Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity to adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework that includes a strong restoration target and indicators.
The closing of UNCCD COP15 coincides with this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity on 22 May, which inspires us with its theme of building a shared future for all life.
This is a crucial aim as we move to adopt the post-2020 global biodiversity framework at the upcoming UN Biodiversity Conference. After all, the 30 x 30 target (to protect 30% of land and ocean by 2030) must include global restoration action to prevent and reverse the degradation of ecosystems worldwide; including of grasslands and rangelands, and production landscapes and seascapes.
As the next phase of negotiations approaches, we must remember that we need a framework that is fit for purpose. We need a framework that will unite stakeholders all over the globe to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2030, and put nature on a path to recovery for the benefit of all people and the planet.
We are in a race against time, but it is not yet too late.