Executive Secretary of the United Nations Conference to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Ibrahim Thiaw, and a high-level representative of Côte d’Ivoire, will at a conference on Friday, May 20, 2022, present the outcomes of the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UNCCD taking place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
The key outcomes expected from COP15, which opened Monday, May 9, and closes on May 20, include a set of decisions agreed by 196 countries and the European Union that are Parties to the UN’s land management treaty.
The treaty seeks to:
- restore one billion hectares of degraded land between now and 2030,
- boost drought preparedness, response and resilience,
- future-proof land use against the impacts of climate change,
- tackle escalating disaster risks such as sand and dust storms,
- address desertification and land degradation as drivers of forced migration and displacement,
- strengthen land rights and gender equality as important enablers for effective land restoration, and
- promote decent land-based jobs for youth and strengthen youth participation in the UNCCD process.
In addition to the formal COP15 decisions, two political declarations were issued, namely:
- The Abidjan Call issued by the Heads of State and Government attending the Summit hosted by Côte d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara on 9 May, and
- Abidjan Declaration on achieving gender equality for successful land restoration, which emerged from the Gender Caucus chaired by the First Lady Dominique Ouattara.
UNCCD COP15 is the first Conference of the Parties of the three Rio Conventions meetings to be held in 2022. The fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the twenty-seventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will convene later this year in Kunming, China and Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, respectively.
During the Heads of State Summit, President Alassane Dramane Ouattara also launched the Abidjan Legacy Programme, which aims to boost long-term environmental sustainability across major value chains in Côte d’Ivoire while protecting and restoring forests and lands and improving communities’ resilience to climate change, which will require mobilisation of US$1.5 billion over the next five years.
Heads of State, ministers and close to 7000 delegates from 196 countries attended the conference on the future of land management, alongside private sector, civil society, women, youth leaders and media representatives. A high-level segment took place from May 9 to 10.
The COP15 theme, “Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity”, is a call to action to ensure land, which is the lifeline on this planet, continues to benefit present and future generations.
UNCCD unites governments, scientists, policymakers, the private sector and communities around a shared vision to restore and manage the world’s land.