Ramsar Convention at the UNCCD COP 14

Ramsar Convention at the UNCCD COP 14

3 October 2019

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Director of Science and Policy, Francisco Rilla at the UNCCD COP14 in India stresses the importance of healthy wetlands to help reduce land degradation and combat desertification.

The fourteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 14) convened in New Delhi, India, from 2-13 September 2019.

Key facts:

- Land restoration is the cheapest solution to climate change and biodiversity loss;
- Land restoration makes business sense if regulations and incentives to reward investment are in place;
- Drought preparedness and response are critical in the face of climate change.

The adopted decisions included guidance on how to implement four thematic policy frameworks approved at the last COP13, addressing drought, gender, sand and dust storms, as well as desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) as a driver for human migration.

Francisco Rilla, Ramsar Director of Science and Policy made interventions highlighting that:

  • Wetlands are prominently addressed in UNCCD assessments, as well as in its future work programme; the role of the UNCCD in the wise use of wetlands;
  • IPCC Special Report on Land and Climate Change recognizes wetlands, including peatlands, as critical resources for their multiple ecosystem services and functions, including climate change adaptation and conservation of biodiversity;
  • Resolutions of Ramsar Convention COPs XII and XIII on enhancing the Convention‘s visibility and synergies with other MEAs and other International Organizations request the Secretariat to continue working to strengthen collaboration with the United nations Convention to Combat Desertification (among others);
  • The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands provides a platform for stepping up action to reach the ambition of the SDGs, the Global Landscape Neutrality, and the Paris Agreement;
  • Substantive work have be done through science and policy cooperation through the Global Wetlands Outlook and the Global land Degradation.