Voices from the Land: Restoring Soils and Enriching Lives | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
December 2019
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When the UN Convention to Combat Desertification was created at the Rio Earth Summit over 25 years ago, it became the only international convention dedicated to protecting, managing and restoring our land. The environmental benefits of that work are already well documented, particularly when it comes to the inextricablelinks with climate change and biodiversity. But this book goes much further by highlighting the impact on the wellbeing of over three billion people – nearly half the world’s population – who are directly affected by land degradation. Through the remarkable stories of people who decided to fight back rather than become another statistic tracking poverty, conflict or forced migration, it reveals the cost-effective results that can be achieved locally and scaled up globally when the right partners come together. Restoring and sustainably managing degraded land globally could save between USD 4.3 and USD 20.2 trillion annually through the provision of ecosystem services alone. Research consistently shows how well land recovers when the right management practices are introduced, as do the communities whose livelihoods depend on it. But to fully seize the opportunities offered by restoration, we need to build public awareness, support forward-looking policy, back innovation and scale up proven solutions. All of these aims require effective partnerships to be fully realized – science-policy partnerships to bring together the very best in research, technology, traditional knowledge and legislative approaches, and public-private partnerships to connect that expertise with small and medium-sized enterprises that hold potential solutions.

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The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, the GEF has provided $14.5 billion in grants and mobilized $75.4 billion in additional financing for almost 4,000 projects. The GEF has become an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organizations, and private sector to address global environmental issues.


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The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD) is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.