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New Delhi Declaration: Investing in Land & Unlocking Opportunities at UNCCD COP14; More Focus on Finance, Financial Institutions Needed

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan

The New Delhi Declaration is been adopted in the plenary meeting in the closing ceremony of the UNCCD COP 14. The New Delhi Declaration is the political statement that gives us a broad sense of the direction in which the countries, the multi stakeholders, as appropriate at local, sub-national, national and regional levels and from all sectors of society, including civil society organisations, local government and the private sector, will be crucial to achieving the objectives of the UNCCD.

Keeping in mind the objectives for the effective implementation of the convention, the Declaration encourages the development of community driven transformative project and programmes that are gender responsive at all levels. They will encourage projects that work towards restoring degraded lands, drought and achieving land degradation neutrality and resilience building, proactive approaches in reducing risks of drought, creating green jobs, and establishing sustainable value chain products sourced from land.

The Declaration takes into account land based solutions for climate action and bio-diversity conservation. It will be committed to adopt integrated best practice approaches to land restoration based on scientific evidence and traditional knowledge.

The Declaration does not give an idea of the financial support as to how they will achieve the restoration activities. The declaration sees them inviting development partners, the private sector and other stakeholders to boost investments  and technical support for the implementation  of the convention, but they do not mention the agencies which will help them in the long run. Ibrahim Thiaw in his answer to a query in press conference had already mentioned about the fact that there weren’t enough funds to restore the growing desertification looming in the World. He also mentioned about funds with GEF, but that isn’t enough.

As we see it, the Declaration is inviting private partnerships along with public funds. The cost to combat the drought is seen to be dollar 450 billion annually. Land degradation and desertification is a problem that is everyone’s problem and so the Delhi Declaration should help.

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