Zhang Jianlong, Minister of State Forestry Administration, China, on Wednesday, September 6, 2017 opened the first ever United Nations conference on sustainable development hosted in China. The 13th session of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), is taking place from September 6 to 16 in Ordos, Inner Mongolia.
The 196 country Parties attending the session are expected to agree on a 12-year Strategy to contain runaway land degradation that is threatening global food and water supply.
Ministers are expected to announce their targets for land restoration and agree on measures to address the related emerging threats of forced migration, sand and dust storms, and on actions to strengthen resilience to droughts.
Close to 80 ministers are attending the Conference during the high-level segment, when most of the emerging issues will be addressed and country commitments of the targets will be announced.
The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the only legally binding international agreement on land issues. The Convention promotes good land stewardship. Its 196 Parties aim, through partnerships, to implement the Convention and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The end goal is to protect land from over-use and drought, so it can continue to provide mankind with food, water and energy. By sustainably managing land and striving to achieve land degradation neutrality, now and in the future, man will reduce the impact of climate change, avoid conflict over natural resources and help communities to thrive.