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UNCCD COP15: Focus on land to safeguard climate, sustain life

Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa is hosting the first major conference in 2022 to tackle the interconnected challenges of land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss.

The fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) will take place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from May 9 to 20, 2022. Heads of State, ministers and delegates from 196 countries are expected to attend the event on the future of land management, alongside private sector, civil society, women and youth leaders.

The COP15 theme, “Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity”, has been described as a call to action to ensure land, which is the lifeline on the planet, continues to benefit present and future generations.

The Conference will focus on the restoration of one billion hectares of degraded land between now and 2030 and tackling the growing impacts of droughts, sand and dust storms, and wildfires. COP15 will also act on key policies that can enable action on restoration, particularly land rights, gender equality and the role of youth in future land stewardship.

In addition to formal negotiations, COP15 will include a high-level segment on May 9 to 10. UNCCD COP15 will be the first of the three Rio Conventions meetings to be held in 2022, with Biodiversity COP15 and Climate change COP27 convening later this year in Kunming, China and Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, respectively.

The Convention unites governments, scientists, policymakers, the private sector and communities around a shared vision to restore and manage the world’s land. The last Conference of the Parties took place in New Delhi, India, in 2019. It was preceded by COP13, which took place in Ordos, China.

Detailed information on COP15, including the provisional agenda, is available here: cop15.

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