Decisions by Topic: Desertification, land degradation and drought
SIDS 2014 Conference - SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action [S.A.M.O.A.] Pathway
A/CONF.223/3 - Desertification, land degradation and drought

92. We recognize that addressing desertification, land degradation and drought challenges will be critical for the achievement by small island developing States of food security and nutrition, their adaptation to climate change, the protection of their biodiversity and the development of resilience to natural disasters. We also strongly support the efforts of small island developing States in designing and implementing preparedness and resilience policies relating to desertification, land degradation and drought as a matter of priority and in catalysing financial resources from a range of public and private sources, as well as in promoting the sustainability of their limited soil resources.

93. We acknowledge the decision of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification entitled “Follow-up to the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)”,[30] in which the Conference of the Parties established an intergovernmental working group to, inter alia, establish a science-based definition of land degradation neutrality in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas.


The Future We Want - Rio+20
Reference
A/RES/66/288
[Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish] United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20
A/RES/66/288 - Desertification, land degradation and drought

205. We recognize the economic and social significance of good land management, including soil, particularly its contribution to economic growth, biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and food security, eradicating poverty, women?s empowerment, addressing climate change and improving water availability. We stress that desertification, land degradation and drought are challenges of a global dimension and continue to pose serious challenges to the sustainable development of all countries, in particular developing countries. We also stress the particular challenges this poses for Africa, the least developed countries and the landlocked developing countries. In this regard, we express deep concern for the devastating consequences of cyclical drought and famine in Africa, in particular in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel region, and call for urgent action through short-, medium- and long-term measures at all levels.


206. We recognize the need for urgent action to reverse land degradation. In view of this, we will strive to achieve a land-degradation neutral world in the context of sustainable development. This should act to catalyse financial resources from a range of public and private sources.

207. We reaffirm our resolve in accordance with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification to take coordinated action nationally, regionally and internationally, to monitor, globally, land degradation and restore degraded lands in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. We resolve to support and strengthen the implementation of the Convention and the 10-year strategic plan and framework to enhance its implementation (2008-2018), including through mobilizing adequate, predictable and timely financial resources. We note the importance of mitigating the effects of desertification, land degradation and drought, including by preserving and developing oases, restoring degraded lands, improving soil quality and improving water management, in order to contribute to sustainable development and poverty eradication. In this regard, we encourage and recognize the importance of partnerships and initiatives for the safeguarding of land resources. We also encourage capacity-building, extension training programmes and scientific studies and initiatives aimed at deepening understanding and raising awareness of the economic, social and environmental benefits of sustainable land management policies and practices.

208. We stress the importance of the further development and implementation of scientifically based, sound and socially inclusive methods and indicators for monitoring and assessing the extent of desertification, land degradation and drought, as well as the importance of efforts under way to promote scientific research and strengthen the scientific base of activities to address desertification and drought in accordance with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. In this respect, we take note of the decision of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention, at its tenth meeting, to establish an ad hoc working group, taking into account regional balance, to discuss specific options for the provision of scientific advice to its parties.

209. We reiterate the need for cooperation through the sharing of climate and weather information and forecasting and early warning systems related to desertification, land degradation and drought, as well as to dust storms and sandstorms, at the global, regional and subregional levels. In this regard, we invite States and relevant organizations to cooperate in the sharing of related information, forecasting and early warning systems.


Commission on Sustainable Development
Reference
E/CN.17/2009/19
[Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish] 17th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
E/CN.17/2009/19 - Land

9. Land plays a crucial role for achieving poverty eradication, food security and sustainable development. Sustainable land management provides multiple benefits, such as sustaining agricultural productivity and food security and enhanced living conditions for local populations, providing ecosystem services, sequestering carbon and contributing to the regulation of climate. Land policies need to promote sustainable land management, effective administration, integrated planning and equitable land access, in keeping with Rio principle 2 on the sovereign right of States to exploit their natural resources. Actions are needed to:

(a) Promote sustainable and integrated land-use planning and land management practices. In that context:
(i) Ensure a balance between sustainability in its social, economic and environmental aspects, rural and urban livelihoods and food productivity in land policies and land management;
(ii) Encourage the development and implementation of systems to inventory, assess, monitor and further understand the capacity of the land to support ecosystem functions, including by integrating new tools such as the Global Soil Map with indigenous and local knowledge;
(iii) Implement long-term strategies for land-use and spatial planning, taking into account the ecological potential and availability of the land to support ecosystem functions;
(iv) Strengthen national and subnational capacities for implementing an integrated and sustainable approach to land management, including in the planning of rural and urban areas;
(v) Further strengthen the role of domestic authorities at all levels in implementing sustainable land policies consistent with national priorities;
(vi) Strengthen partnerships, networks and the participation of all relevant stakeholders in land planning and management, to facilitate a common understanding on community land resource management, including by taking into account community goals and traditional knowledge, including indigenous knowledge;
(vii) Incorporate sustainable development principles in land-use planning to enable land development and identify potential areas for conservation;
(viii) Promote transparent and decentralized land tenure and administration that is equally accessible to all citizens in accordance with national sustainable land management priorities;
(ix) Provide science-based, targeted incentives, including financial resources, for public and private investment in infrastructure and research for sustainable land management and reducing land degradation, and enhance access to credit for farmers, especially for small-scale farmers, particularly in developing countries;
(x) Enhance access to microcredit to support initial start-ups of small-scale and especially resource-poor farmers in acquiring land management technologies and adopting sustainable practices;
(xi) Promote the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity as well as sustainable forest management as an integral part of sustainable land management and combating deforestation and forest degradation;
(xii) Promote the improvement of existing and establishment of new centres of excellence in developing countries in land policy, tenure and management to enhance the knowledge and expertise necessary for the implementation of sustainable land planning, administration and management;
(xiii) Encourage the development, as appropriate, of a set of domestic land policy indicators for policy review, monitoring and evaluation, taking into account existing initiatives;
(xiv) Utilize the best available, useful and cost-effective technologies for the implementation of sustainable land management, including Geographic Information Systems for land administration and municipal planning and satellite imagery for land-use mapping;
(xv) Improve existing and develop new risk management tools that build landscape resilience, including resilience of land to natural disasters, and the impacts of climate change and systematically integrate them into land-use and spatial planning strategies;
(xvi) Strengthen and fill gaps concerning national and regional knowledge management networks and a database of land experts;
(xvii) Include key stakeholders in the establishment of knowledge management networks and a database of land experts to achieve optimum land-use sustainability while ensuring land ownership;
(xviii) Promote the exchange and transfer of information on new and improved technologies and best practices, as appropriate, through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation;
(b) Reduce land degradation and rehabilitate degraded land. In that context:
(i) Strongly encourage the development of policy measures to reduce land degradation that also contribute to poverty eradication and the creation of employment opportunities in developing countries;
(ii) Conserve and protect land and soil resources through land-use and spatial planning which promotes sustainable development in rural and urban areas as well as through measures such as sustainable agricultural practices, establishment of perennial vegetation land cover, agroforestry, ecoagriculture and diversification and reduced tillage, and provide capacity-building in developing countries for these purposes;
(iii) Implement policies that address the direct and indirect drivers of land degradation, such as desertification, erosion, loss of soil organic matter, salinization, pollution and unsustainable urban growth;
(iv) Implement policies that lead to the recovery of the soil?s physical integrity, improving the nutrient status and increasing the amount of organic matter in the soil;
(v) Work together to strengthen capacities especially in developing countries, to apply new and existing tools and technologies for monitoring soil quality and land degradation, including by addressing the lack of current data on the extent of land degradation, and evaluating biophysical and socio-economic information.
(c) Promote policies to manage water and land resources in an integrated manner. In that context:
(i) Promote integrated land and water resource management in addressing land degradation, water scarcity and adapting to impacts of climate change;
(ii) Promote efficient, effective and sustainable use of water resources, including water diversification by exploring the sustainable use of groundwater and effluent waste, sustainable desalination, rainwater harvesting and support water conservation and demand management initiatives, balancing among different water uses in all ecosystems;
(iii) Strengthen the coordination and cooperation among authorities responsible for managing water and land resources;
(iv) Improve the efficiency of irrigation and water management practices, such as the use of rainfall harvesting, so as to help to address water shortages;
(v) Address the threat of coastal erosion and land losses caused by sea-level rise, in particular in small island developing States and low-lying coastal States and areas, through land-use planning and climate change adaptation programmes;
(vi) Address the problems, in particular in small island developing States, of saltwater intrusion into freshwater supplies and agricultural land;
(d) Promote equitable access to land and clear and secure land tenure, in particular for women, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups. In that context:
(i) Encourage the establishment of effective and cost-effective land administration systems that include transparent tenure and registration systems to help to promote investments and good land management, making use of the latest appropriate information technologies;
(ii) Recognizing the existence of different laws and/or systems of land access and tenure among States, strengthen the institutional and legal framework for the long-term administration of property rights and tenure systems, that take into account the established land tenure of indigenous peoples, smallholder farmers, and the rural poor as well as customary tenure arrangements and local practices, without discrimination against women and girls; and adopt policies and implement laws that promote secure and equitable access to land, and land tenure, particularly to the poor, through the recognition of equitable land rights and guarantee enforceable and secure land rights, in particular for women, indigenous people and other vulnerable groups;
(iii) Encourage the establishment of additional collaborative knowledge and information dissemination mechanisms and civic education campaigns on land rights;
(iv) Provide recognition for other use rights such as grazing and gathering wood, which are often critical sources of livelihood, especially for women;
(v) Ensure that pastoralist grazing rights are adequately protected, including facilitating mobility, as appropriate;
(vi) Promote and enable women?s equitable role in decision-making related to land management and planning and access to land;
(vii) Resolve to take further effective measures to remove obstacles to the full realization of the rights of the peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation, which are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person and must be combated and eliminated;
(e) Enhance capacity-building, technology transfer and financing. In that context:
(i) Mobilize financial resources, including new and additional resources from all sources, for land policies in developing countries in order to promote sustainable land management, effective administration, integrated planning and equitable land access;
(ii) Provide technical and financial assistance to developing countries as well as countries in transition that are undertaking land tenure reforms in order to enhance sustainable livelihoods;
(iii) Promote and scale up the development, transfer, as mutually agreed, dissemination and adoption, as appropriate, of safe and science-based practices, products and technologies, including advanced technologies and corresponding know-how, that enhance the sustainable use of land resources, particularly for developing countries taking into account local conditions;
(iv) Support countries? efforts, particularly in developing countries, to enhance the scientific understanding of land resources systems through strengthened technological capacity, including, as appropriate, support for testing research findings through pilot projects;
(v) Further develop and improve human resources and capacities, particularly in developing countries, for sustainable land management through education and training activities.


Reference
E/CN.17/2009/19
[Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish] 17th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
E/CN.17/2009/19 - Drought

10. Drought continues to threaten the livelihoods of millions of people. Combating drought is necessary to achieving sustainable development goals, including the maintenance of ecosystem services, and improving the livelihoods of millions of people living in drought-prone regions. The effects of climate change heighten the risk of droughts and drought severity and increase the need for effective drought management and disaster risk reduction. Drought must be addressed in an integrated fashion with the other themes of the current Commission on Sustainable Development cycle, considering social, economic and environmental aspects. Strategies for drought management, including contingency planning should be incorporated into sustainable agricultural practices, soil conservation, crop diversification and integrated water resources management and combating desertification, taking into account the legal framework and mandate of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and its role in mitigating the effects of drought. Actions are needed to:

(a) Create a robust enabling environment for drought preparedness and mitigation. In that context:
(i) Prepare national drought management plans and/or risk reduction strategies and invite donors to assist developing countries in their efforts to integrate issues related to drought into national, regional and global sustainable development strategies and plans;
(ii) Support more proactive drought risk-management approaches;
(iii) Integrate policies and strategies for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, taking into account the Hyogo Framework for Action, 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters and the Millennium Development Goals into national drought management plans and/or risk reduction strategies;
(iv) Highlight the importance of integrated water resources management as called for in the resolution of the Commission at its thirteenth session;
(v) Promote and implement effective national, regional and global drought information, forecasting and early warning systems that disseminate reliable information for communities living in drought-prone regions to enable them to take appropriate and proactive measures, with adequate support from their respective Governments, relevant institutions such as new and existing drought observatories and the international community;
(vi) Implement sustainable forest management, in particular reducing deforestation and promoting conservation and rehabilitation of vegetation cover, to combat desertification, mitigate drought effects and reduce land degradation as well as the adverse impacts of climate change;
(vii) Promote sustainable management of soil as one means for mitigating drought effects;
(viii) Promote North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation and partnering for capacity-building and improving effectiveness in planning, monitoring and implementation of drought management plans, including data gathering, information management, modelling, and forecasting;
(ix) Continue to mobilize financial resources from all sources to mitigate the effects of drought, including in accordance with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, particularly articles 5, 6 and 20;
(b) Strengthen the knowledge base and information-sharing on drought, water stress and drought risk management. In that context:
(i) Invest in research and development, robust data collection, including through remote sensing, and information to assess and identify risk and to predict, plan for and manage droughts across time scales from seasonal to multi-year events, including short-, medium- and long-term events, taking into account traditional knowledge;
(ii) Promote the exchange of information, experiences and lessons learned in relation to drought risk management and reduction and increase public awareness about traditional and adaptable practices;
(iii) Encourage, and where appropriate, establish scientifically based drought- and desertification-related local, national, and where appropriate, regional indicators and benchmarks and related web-based information systems, bearing in mind the set of indicators under development within the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification regarding the ten-year strategic plan and framework;
(iv) Establish guidelines for the development of drought indices for use in different parts of the world to facilitate the compilation and reporting of drought conditions;
(v) Increase knowledge-sharing and information on weather forecasts and climatic conditions among relevant key stakeholders, and increase the capacity to use such information before, during and after drought events;
(vi) Mobilize and enhance funding and support research and development on the underlying causes and effects of drought, including social, economic and environmental perspectives, as well as for improved techniques and practices that can improve food security and reduce human vulnerability;
(vii) Facilitate access to climate-related data relevant to mitigating the effects of drought, in accordance with national legislation, to relevant stakeholders for sustainable development;
(c) Enhance the resilience of communities to drought. In that context:
(i) Enhance social and economic resilience in drought-prone communities by encouraging community-based land tenure based on good governance principles, mixed livestock production and cropping, the implementation of water management schemes and the expansion of weather insurance schemes;
(ii) Continue to mobilize funding for research on and development of drought-tolerant seed varieties targeted towards national specificities, and facilitate access to such varieties, especially in drought prone countries in the developing world, while bearing in mind the use of improved irrigation techniques and enhancing water efficiency measures;
(iii) Encourage support for new and current strategies of rural communities to cope with and increase resilience to drought;
(iv) Promote sustainable land-use practices, including sustainable agricultural practices aimed at mitigating the effects of and adapting to drought;
(v) Promote globally improved information communications and data sharing, modelling and forecasting capabilities, including indigenous knowledge and improved user-based community resilience planning and implementation for rural and other communities, particularly in developing countries;
(vi) Promote innovative technical solutions and practices, combining them with traditional knowledge, for drought forecasting, impact assessment and early warning information systems and sustainable integrated water management;
(vii) Promote the participation of local communities in mitigating the effects of drought, combating desertification and land degradation, in particular by encouraging the involvement of vulnerable groups, including women, youth, pastoralists and indigenous peoples in decision-making processes leading to policies related to drought risk reduction;
(d) Enhance capacity-building, technology transfer and financing. In that context:
(i) Promote access to affordable, appropriate and necessary technology, and provide corresponding capacity-building to enable drought forecasting and planning, development of user-based drought-related management triggers across time scales, and sustainable management, including efficient use of scarce resources and arable land, as mutually agreed;
(ii) Provide technical support and enhance financial means to implement national and regional early warning systems to address drought, allowing for, inter alia, improved drought management plans, preparation, rapid mitigation and adaptation to drought, especially in developing countries;
(iii) Invite the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification to continue to include drought risk reduction strategies and drought management plans in its work;
(iv) Strengthen cooperation and coordination among the three Rio Conventions to mitigate the effects of drought, while respecting their individual mandates.


Reference
E/CN.17/2009/19
[Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish] 17th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
E/CN.17/2009/19 - Desertification

11. Desertification and land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas are global problems that require a global response through concerted efforts, as recognized in the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. Desertification and land degradation continue to adversely affect agricultural activities, rural and urban development, land use, water resources and efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger and promote health and well-being. Combating desertification and land degradation and mitigating the effect of droughts require policies that, inter alia, link land use, food security and livelihoods to the goals of sustainable development, taking into account the adverse impacts of climate change and land use on land degradation, biodiversity losses and desertification and on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Actions are needed to:
(a) Strengthen the institutional framework for policy implementation. In that context:
(i) Enhance cooperation among the Rio Conventions, while respecting their individual mandates, concerned by the negative impacts that desertification, land degradation, loss of biodiversity and climate change have on each other, and recognizing the potential benefits of complementarities in addressing these problems in a mutually supportive manner;
(ii) Call upon Governments where appropriate in collaboration with relevant multilateral organizations, including the Global Environment Facility implementation agencies, to integrate desertification and land degradation into their plans and strategies for sustainable development;
(iii) Integrate national action plans related to drought and desertification into national development strategies;
(iv) Ensure that national action plans in small island developing States address desertification of coastal areas;
(v) Support the implementation of the provisions of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification as well as the ten-year strategic plan, including through regional and international cooperation, provision of adequate and predictable financing, technology transfer and capacity-building;
(b) Implement practical measures to combat land degradation and desertification. In that context:
(i) Recognize the interrelationship between climate change, biodiversity loss and desertification and the need to intensify efforts to combat desertification and promote sustainable land management;
(ii) Promote sustainable land use and livelihoods, enhanced soil productivity, water use efficiency and greater tenure security for people living in the affected areas, including pastoralists;
(iii) Protect land resources through community-based sustainable natural resources management, based on scientific and indigenous knowledge;
(iv) Promote the rehabilitation and improved management of degraded lands, including increased integration of pastoral and agricultural land uses and the use of best farming and rangeland management practices;
(v) Promote sustainable water management and efficient irrigation, water conservation and utilization of alternative water sources, including flood water and subsurface flows;
(vi) Encourage land users to invest in soil and water conservation, including through land tenure security and access rights to land and natural resources for the rural population, particularly women, indigenous people and other vulnerable groups;
(vii) Reduce soil erosion and promote soil water retention through sustainable forest management and sustainable agroforestry practices;
(viii) Undertake measures and provide international assistance, promote national action and encourage subregional, regional and international cooperation to prevent sand dune movement, and reduce the frequency and severity of sandstorms, inter alia, by strengthening early warning systems and restoring vegetation and supporting related initiatives of rural communities in affected areas, particularly in developing countries;
(ix) Support appropriate traditional practices and local knowledge concerning land use, water management and agricultural activities;
(x) Harmonize various sectoral policies and programmes at the national level for arresting and reversing land degradation, and build coordination through convergence;
(c) Enhance capacity-building, transfer technology and financing. In that context:
(i) Promote scientific research and strengthen the scientific base on desertification and drought, which is essential for informed decision-making on sustainable land management and to measure the results and monitor the impact of programmes combating desertification;
(ii) Support the improvement of existing and the establishment of new centres of excellence and monitoring in developing countries to combat desertification and promote capacity-building to adopt and implement, inter alia, integrated techniques for the conservation of natural resources and their sustainable use, and invite regional and international programmes and funds as well as donors to provide support to affected countries in their endeavours to combat desertification;
(iii) Support the establishment of and strengthen existing disaster management capacities at all levels, including information and early warning systems that allow effective management of the risks associated with drought, desertification, land degradation and the adverse impacts of climate change;
(iv) Expand access to appropriate technologies to assess, analyse and quantify the nature, severity and impacts of land degradation and desertification and remedial actions, using remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems;
(v) Support developing countries in the development, deployment and diffusion of technologies on mutually agreed terms, including the sharing and scaling up of best practices and lessons learned in approaches undertaken at all levels to combat desertification such as sustainable agricultural practices, and conservation and rehabilitation of vegetation cover;
(vi) Build the capacity of affected communities to address the impacts of desertification by promoting participation, including through participatory approaches that involve civil society, local communities, indigenous people and other major groups, in particular women in decision-making and policy formulation;
(vii) Invest in sustainable land management, including land-use planning, sustainable management of forests and other natural resources, as it relates to combating desertification and land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas;
(viii) Mobilize adequate, predictable and timely financial resources for the implementation of the ten-year strategic plan of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, in accordance with article 20 of the Convention, and continue to support the awareness-raising and policy work of the Convention secretariat;
(ix) Encourage developed countries and invite the Global Environment Facility Council to provide in the fifth replenishment of the Global Environment Facility adequate, timely, and predictable financial resources, including new and additional financial resources, for the focal area on land degradation;
(x) Invite the Global Environment Facility to facilitate access by affected countries, particularly those in Africa, to the full range of Global Environment Facility funds relating to land degradation and desertification;
(xi) Enhance regional cooperation in particular within the framework of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, including through its five regional implementation annexes, and support regional initiatives and related national programmes for combating desertification, including the environment programme of the New Partnership for Africa?s Development and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, the TerrAfrica Programme and other regional initiatives;
(xii) Strengthen international development cooperation, taking into account the relevance of addressing desertification and land degradation in accordance with the commitments under paragraph 18 of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation to mobilize adequate and predictable financial resources from all sources.


Reference
E/CN.17/2009/19
[Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish] 17th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
E/CN.17/2009/19 - Interlinkages and cross-cutting issues, including means of implementation

13. Following the significant work already undertaken, coherence should continue to be enhanced between and within international processes and institutions having an impact on agriculture, food security and rural development, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Food Programme and International Fund for Agricultural Development, while noting the work already undertaken by the United Nations Secretary-General?s High-level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis.

14. Policy options and practical measures to expedite implementation should be participatory, multidisciplinary, multisectoral and mutually reinforcing. Policy options should take into consideration the interlinkages among the issues of the thematic clusters as well as cross-cutting issues in order to realize synergies and co-benefits.

15. The eradication of poverty and hunger remains the overarching objective of sustainable development. To this end, the immediate objective should be to meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving, by 2015, the proportion of the world?s people whose income is less than one dollar a day and the proportion of people who suffer from hunger in accordance with the Millennium Declaration target.

16. National sustainable development strategies should address in an integrated manner the social, economic and environmental pillars. These strategies should address, inter alia, the social dimension of globalization, the challenges of international migration, gender equality, multi-stakeholder engagement and policy coherence, as well as strategic assessments, in accordance with national legislation.

17. Revitalizing agriculture and promoting rural development can make an important contribution to eradicating poverty and hunger and to achieving food security as well as to improved health, the empowerment of women and the creation of productive employment opportunities for women, youth, indigenous peoples and local communities. Actions are needed to:

(a) Improve funding and strengthen public health systems in order to better combat, in particular, communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS;
(b) Increase investment in education infrastructure, and promote universal and free access to primary education and development of human resources capacity through appropriate education and training programmes in particular for rural youth in poor and vulnerable communities and expand access to education opportunities at all levels;
(c) Promote education and extension services related to agriculture and the food value chain in rural areas at all levels;
(d) Improve the knowledge base for national and regional policy responses to environmental threats to health by strengthening international capacity-building initiatives that assess health and environmental linkages;
(e) Undertake measures to improve and sustain the livelihoods of vulnerable groups such as women, youth, children, seniors, nomadic pastoralists, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and people living in very remote areas in developing countries;
(f) Empower rural women and promote land ownership and secure land tenure for women farmers; target capacity-building strategies at women farmers and women-headed households;
(g) Strengthen the human resources and institutional capacity of small island developing States and Africa for integrated rural development and sustainable management of natural resources, including in coastal zones and marine fisheries, wetlands, and build the capacity of small island developing States and Africa?s rural communities to help themselves, including by empowering women and youth;
(h) Promote the role of local authorities in partnership with other major groups to exchange information, build networks and create markets for small farmers, especially women and youth.
18. All countries and the international community should strive to manage biodiversity, water, land, and forest in a sustainable manner that also supports ecosystem functions, for the benefit of present and future generations and to facilitate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
19. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation sets out three overarching objectives of, and essential requirements for, sustainable development. Fundamental changes in the way societies produce and consume are indispensable for achieving global sustainable development. Actions include:
(a) Promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns, taking actions, including through the Marrakech Process, with developed countries taking the lead, with all countries benefiting from the process and taking into account the Rio principles including, inter alia, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities;
(b) Encouraging and promoting the development of ten-year frameworks of programmes in support of regional and national initiatives, to accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production, to promote social and economic development within the carrying capacity of ecosystems by addressing and where appropriate, delinking economic growth and environment degradation through improving efficiency and sustainability in the use of resources and production processes and reducing resource degradation, pollution and waste, for deliberation at the eighteenth and nineteenth sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development. In this regard, all countries should take action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development needs and capabilities of developing countries through mobilization, from all sources, of financial and technical assistance and capacity-building for developing countries;
(c) Supporting sustainable agricultural production including alternative methods of farming;
(d) Encouraging science-based approaches, such as life cycle analyses, which can help promote more sustainable production practices and offer consumers more sustainable consumption choices;
(e) Promoting education, awareness raising and information, as these can change consumers? behaviour and thus function as a means towards more sustainable lifestyles.
20. Climate change is an urgent global priority that has emerged as a key interlinkage that must be addressed in the context of sustainable development in accordance with the principle of common and differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. It impacts all themes under consideration in the current Commission on Sustainable Development cycle namely agriculture, land, rural development, drought, desertification, and Africa. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the key instrument for addressing climate change. Deliberations on this issue at the Commission should not prejudice the ongoing negotiations under the Framework Convention. In this regard, take actions to:
(a) Support the integration of climate change adaptation measures and disaster risk reduction strategies in agricultural and rural development strategies, sustainable land management and action plans to combat drought and desertification, in particular in developing countries;
(b) Support the development, transfer and diffusion of new technologies in developing countries, across the six themes as appropriate, including, inter alia, for resilient crop varieties and soil management methods to decrease vulnerability to climate change;
(c) Implement the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States in a manner that addresses climate change adaptation needs.
21. As contained in many outcomes of major United Nations conferences and summits such as the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the provision of means of implementation is critical to achieving global, regional and national policies in various areas, including the thematic areas of this cycle. The means of implementation encompass a range of policy options and practical measures. To complement local and national actions, international cooperation is essential. The internationally agreed development goals including those contained in the Millennium Declaration and Agenda 21, as well as in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, will require significant financial resources as elaborated in the Monterrey Consensus, including through new and additional financial resources, in particular to developing countries, to support the implementation of national policies and programmes developed by them, improve trade opportunities, access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies, awareness-raising, and capacity-building. Actions are needed to:
(a) Enhance availability and effective use of finance for sustainable development. In that context:
(i) Call for the fulfilment of all official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income for official development assistance to developing countries by 2015, and to reach the level of at least 0.5 per cent of gross national income for official development assistance by 2010, as well as the target of 0.15 0.20 per cent of gross national income for official development assistance to least developed countries, and urge those developed countries that have not yet done so to make concrete efforts in this regard in accordance with their commitments, recognizing the essential role of official development assistance, and the importance of other sources of financing for development, and deliver on commitments made in the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development;
(ii) Increase efforts to improve the quality of official development assistance and to increase its development impact. The Economic and Social Council Development Cooperation Forum, along with recent initiatives, such as the High-level Forums on Aid Effectiveness which produced the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and 2008 Accra Agenda for Action, make important contributions to the efforts of those countries, which have committed to them, including through the adoption of the fundamental principles of national ownership, alignment, harmonization, and managing for results. Bearing in mind that there is no-one-size-fits-all formula which will guarantee effective aid assistance, the specific situation of each country needs to be fully considered;
(iii) Enhance multilateral support, in particular from the Global Environment Facility and international financial institutions, and simplify Global Environment Facility procedures;
(iv) Create an enabling environment at all levels for public and private capital flows, including foreign direct investment, taking into account national policies, to boost economic growth and contribute to technology transfer, employment generation and infrastructure development;
(v) Continue to address all relevant issues regarding external debt problems, including through the United Nations, and consider ways to explore enhanced approaches of sovereign debt restructuring mechanisms based on existing frameworks and principles, with broad creditors? and debtors? participation and ensuring comparable burden-sharing among creditors, with an important role for the Bretton Woods institutions;
(vi) Improve access to finance, including microfinance, in particular to local communities, farmers, and small businesses;
(vii) Support and encourage good governance at all levels recognizing that it is essential for achieving sustainable development;
(b) Support the world trading system, recognizing the major role trade plays in achieving sustainable development. In that context:
(i) Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory, and equitable multilateral trading system;
(ii) Provide duty-free and quota-free market access for all least developed countries in accordance with previous commitments;
(iii) Assist developing countries, particularly least developed countries, with the aim to help developing countries with trade policies and regulations, trade development, building productive capacities, trade-related infrastructure, trade-related adjustment and other trade-related needs;
(c) Enhance and promote capacity-building efforts and promote the transfer of technologies to developing countries. In that context:
(i) Implement targeted capacity-building programmes in areas relevant to the thematic cluster, their interlinkages and the cross-cutting issues, in coordination with local, national and regional institutions;
(ii) Strengthen South-South, North-South and triangular cooperation and enhance support from the United Nations development system in promoting such cooperation to enhance financial resources, comprehensive capacity-building, exchange of information and know-how and technology transfer;
(iii) Implement fully the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-building, and continue to work towards achieving the goals contained in Agenda 21, including those in chapter 34;
(iv) Increase investments in training, research and development, in particular on sustainable practices and technologies, including agricultural technologies, and accelerate the transfer and diffusion of such technologies, information, methods, practices to reach all users, including farmers, women, youth and indigenous people and those in remote rural areas;
(v) Build capacity for land-use planning aimed at managing land within ecological capacity taking into account long-term potential, soil information and integrating scientific and indigenous knowledge;

Follow-up on agriculture and rural development

2. Calls upon Member States to strengthen the capacities of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme, within their mandates, to provide increased assistance to developing countries, in particular in Africa, on sustainable agriculture and rural development and food security, and requests the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme to follow up the implementation of the provisions of this decision on agriculture and rural development;

Follow-up on land, drought and desertification

3. Further calls upon Member States to support and strengthen the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification for the implementation of the Ten-Year Strategic Plan and Framework to Enhance the Implementation of the Convention, and encourages enhanced coherence among United Nations programmes, funds, agencies and entities working on desertification, drought and land issues, in cooperation with the Convention secretariat;

Follow-up on Africa

4. Decides to devote, in 2012 and 2016, without prejudice to the programme, organization and methods of work of the Commission adopted at its eleventh session, a separate segment at its review sessions, to monitor and follow up the implementation of its decision on Africa taken at the Commission?s seventeenth session.


Reference
E/CN.17/2000/20
[Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish] 8th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
E/CN.17/2000/20 - Land

Decision 8/3
Integrated planning and management of land resources


1. Introduction

1. The main objectives of activities in the area of integrated planning and management of land resources must be pursued in full accordance with Agenda 21 and the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21. It is important that countries address sustainable development through a holistic approach, such as ecosystem-based management. This approach would address interactions among land resources, water, air, biota and human activities, in order to meet the priority challenges of desertification and drought, sustainable mountain development, prevention and mitigation of land degradation, coastal zones, deforestation, climate change, rural and urban land use, urban growth and conservation of biological diversity. Integrated watershed management provides one of the commonly understood frameworks for achieving a holistic approach to sustainable development. The application of the ecosystem-based approach should take into consideration the livelihood opportunities of people living in poverty in rural areas, and a balance should be found through the use of policy instruments between environmental conservation and rural livelihood.
2. The importance of integrated planning and management of land resources derives from the unprecedented population pressures and demands of society on land, water and other natural resources, as well as the increasing degradation of resources and threats to the stability and resilience of ecosystems and the environment as a whole, in part as a result of climate change. These trends highlight the need for each country to ensure for its citizens within the limit of its national legislation, equal access and rights to land, water and other natural and biological resources, and to resolve competition among various domestic sectors for land resources.


3. The challenge is to develop and promote sustainable and productive land-use management systems as part of national and local strategies for sustainable development and to protect critical natural resources and ecosystems through balancing land, water and other natural resources. Governments are encouraged to provide transparent, effective, participatory and accountable governance conducive to sustainable development and responsive to the needs of people. Social and health aspects of land-use systems deserve particular attention and should be integrated into the overall planning process.

2. Priorities for future work

4. The review of implementation of Agenda 21 in 2002 will benefit from the outcome of the eighth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Priority areas for future work should be defined by CSD and should include the following:
? Prevention and/or mitigation of land degradation;
? Access to land and security of tenure;
? Critical sectors and issues: biodiversity, forests, drylands, rehabilitation of mining areas, mountain areas, wetlands and coastal zones, coral reefs, natural disasters, and rural-urban and land management interactions;
? Access to information and stakeholder participation;
? International cooperation, including that for capacity-building, information-sharing and technology transfer;
? Minerals, metals and rehabilitation in the context of sustainable development.

3. Prevention and/or mitigation of land degradation

5. Governments and the international community are urged to make concerted efforts to eradicate poverty and to review unsustainable patterns of production and consumption as a crucial means for reducing land degradation, desertification, deforestation and destruction of biological diversity. Appropriate policies for planning and development are essential for ensuring the sustainable livelihoods of people living in poverty, inter alia, among rural communities.
6. Governments and the international community are encouraged to promote soil, water and vegetation conservation, protection, restoration and enhancement measures as a prerequisite of sustainable land management, agricultural production, food security and the protection of biological diversity, as well as of the prevention and mitigation of land degradation and natural disasters. In this regard, Governments, the international community, international organizations and other stakeholders are encouraged to develop partnerships to share information on and promote access to appropriate technologies and traditional knowledge.
7. The Commission recognized the important role that the international community, particularly States involved in the deployment of mines, can play in assisting mine clearance in mine-affected countries through the provision of necessary maps and information and appropriate technical and material assistance to remove or otherwise render ineffective existing minefields, mines and booby traps. Governments, the international community and other relevant actors are encouraged to formulate and implement strategies that specifically deal with the rehabilitation of land degraded by landmines, which cause human and environmental hazards and obstruct development plans, in accordance with international norms, standards and agreements.
8. Governments are encouraged to strengthen national, regional and local institutional frameworks for cross-sectoral cooperation in the formulation and implementation of land policies, taking into account specific national conditions and legislation.

4. Access to land and security of tenure

9. Recognizing the existence of different national laws and/or systems of land access and tenure, Governments, at appropriate levels, including the local authorities, are encouraged to develop and/or adopt policies and implement laws that guarantee to their citizens well-defined and enforceable land rights and promote equal access to land and legal security of tenure, in particular for women and disadvantaged groups, including people living in poverty and indigenous and local communities.
10. Governments are encouraged to develop adequate land administration systems supporting sustainable land tenure on the basis of land cadastres, land management, land valuation, land planning and monitoring and supervision of land use, where appropriate.
11. Governments are encouraged to include traditional landowners, land users and the landless, when undertaking land tenure reform, including the development of land cadastres, so as to focus on making traditional landowners and the landless active participants in the planning and development of land resources.
12. The international community and United Nations agencies and organizations are encouraged to provide technical and financial support to Governments? efforts to minimize socio-economic obstacles related to access to land and security of tenure.

5. Critical sectors and issues


(a) Biodiversity

13. Governments are urged to sign and ratify the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity and to support its effective implementation.
14. Governments and United Nations organizations are encouraged to promote only those applications of biotechnology that do not pose unacceptable risks to public health or the environment, bearing in mind ethical considerations, as appropriate.
15. Appropriate authorities are encouraged to ensure that land management plans and policies reflect priority consideration of: (a) areas containing high concentrations of biological diversity; (b) threatened ecosystems; and (c) species at risk.

(b) Forests

16. Governments and the international community are urged to effectively implement proposals for action emanating from the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF)/Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.

(c) Drylands

17. Governments and the international community are urged to undertake appropriate measures to address recurring droughts, desertification, the degradation of fragile land resources, and the depletion of scarce water resources in drylands. Priority is to be given to areas where there are high-population pressures and droughts.

(d) Mountain areas

18. Governments are urged to adequately plan and manage land resources in mountainous areas and associated lowlands, whose ecological processes are highly interdependent, and which are crucial for the integrated management of watersheds. In this regard, Governments and other mountain key players are also urged to recognize that small-scale livelihood systems are best suited to the niche economies that characterize fragile and complex mountain environments.
19. In cases where general use of mountain resources occurs, Governments are further urged to ensure that a significant proportion of derived benefits is reinvested locally for continued conservation and sound management of these critical land areas by local communities.

(e) Wetlands and coastal zones

20. Governments at all levels are encouraged to take into account the importance of conserving wetlands and critical coastal zones, including protected areas and other fragile ecosystems, in the formulation of national and subnational sustainable development strategies. Governments and the international community are encouraged to implement the recommendations of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities.

(f) Natural disasters

21. Governments and the international community are encouraged to formulate and implement strategies, in particular preventive ones, both short-term and long-term, for disaster management ? including the development of appropriate early warning systems and intervention plans ? to address phenomena associated with natural disasters, which result, inter alia, in land degradation and other negative social and economic impacts. In this regard, Governments and relevant regional and international organizations are urged to provide financial and technical assistance for relief and remedial support to developing countries and those with economies in transition.

(g) Rural-urban and land management interactions

22. Governments at national and local levels are urged to take strategic land management approaches aimed at creating enabling conditions, inter alia, for rural-urban interactions in which the development of human settlements can benefit disadvantaged groups, especially people living in poverty in rural and urban areas. Governments at national and local levels should also take strategic urban planning approaches aimed at managing urban growth and limiting urban sprawl.
23. Governments at national and local levels are encouraged to take into account land-use interdependence between rural and urban areas, and undertake implementation of integrated approaches to their administration, which is essential to sustainable rural and urban development and a more sustainable livelihood for people living in poverty. Governments at national and local levels and the international community are encouraged to adopt strategic urban planning approaches and to integrate them into urban land management planning with strategies for sustainable development, with particular reference to transportation, housing, infrastructure and urban agriculture. In this context, Governments are also urged to promote sustainable development at the peripheries of existing urban areas including informal settlements and urban sprawl.
24. Governments are urged to take into account the strategic role and responsibilities of local authorities and stakeholders in sustainable land use and are encouraged to empower local governments and local communities in the formulation and implementation, through, inter alia, financial and technical support, of sustainable land-use practices that promote interaction between rural and urban areas.

(h) Minerals, metals and rehabilitation in the context of sustainable development

25. Governments, the international community and other relevant actors are urged to examine the social, economic, and environmental impacts of minerals extraction and metals production and are encouraged to formulate and implement strategies that provide for the rehabilitation of land degraded by mining.

6. Stakeholder participation

26. Governments are urged to develop and strengthen capacity and institutional frameworks for effective participation of all stakeholders, including women, land workers, people living in poverty, indigenous and local communities and young people, in rural and urban land-use planning and management, and their access to information thereon.
27. Governments are invited to pursue or strengthen, as appropriate, the participation of all stakeholders in land-use planning and management.

7. International cooperation, including that for capacity-building, information-sharing and technology transfer

28. Governments and the international community are urged to fulfil the financial commitments as set out in chapter 33 of Agenda 21 to effectively support the implementation of integrated planning and management of land resources in developing countries, taking into account priorities identified by those countries.
29. The United Nations system is urged to support Governments in further promoting the implementation of the Habitat Agenda, adopted by the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) (Istanbul, June 1996) and in linking it to the implementation of Agenda 21, including local Agenda 21 programmes. Support for the five-year review of Habitat II is encouraged.
30. Governments, in particular those of developed countries, and international organizations are further urged, inter alia, through appropriate arrangements, to provide technological assistance to developing countries and countries with economies in transition in implementing the integrated planning and management of land resources, as recommended in Agenda 21.
31. Governments and relevant international institutions are encouraged to develop and to use at all levels appropriate land-use indicators, best practices and related monitoring systems.
32. Governments are invited to consider cooperating, as appropriate, in the area of integrated planning and management of land resources, through information- and experience-sharing.
33. Governments, in particular those of developed countries, are urged, through appropriate arrangements, to further strengthen the use and transfer of appropriate technologies that are best adapted and suited to local conditions in developing countries, including decision support systems, such as geographical information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS), for integrated planning and management of land and other natural resources. In addition, Governments are urged to strengthen the capabilities of developing countries for the application of these technologies.
34. Governments are urged to promote land-related research, and extension and dissemination of technological information and innovative practices, and to undertake training programmes for land users, including farmers and agro-food industries, women and local communities, where appropriate, and other relevant stakeholders. In this regard, developed countries and the international community are urged to improve access to up-to-date information and technology by developing countries.
35. Governments are encouraged to sign, ratify and support the effective implementation of relevant international agreements, including the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa, as vital instruments for achieving integrated planning and management of land resources, and calls for additional support for their implementation.
36. States that have not yet done so are encouraged to sign and ratify the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and to take account of the complementarities among the relevant international instruments in order to improve land-use and land management, to promote sustainable forest and land-use practices and to generate the multiple benefits that may accrue from the implementation of these instruments, in particular with respect to combating desertification, loss of biodiversity and degradation of freshwater resources and carbon sequestration.
37. Governments are urged to ratify the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
38. The United Nations and other international development organizations are urged to assist developing countries in their efforts to achieve integrated planning and management of land resources, through financial support, transfer of environmentally sound technologies on mutually agreed terms, capacity-building and education and training.
39. Governments are encouraged ? taking into account work being done by, inter alia, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), the regional commissions, other United Nations bodies and the Commission on Sustainable Development, as well as national and regional organizations, as appropriate ? to further consider the development and use of appropriate land-use indicators and monitoring systems for the purpose of assessing progress in the implementation of programmes for sustainable development, with special attention to the gender perspective.


Copyright United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs