CSO Final Statement at UNCCD COP12

Mr Chair, Dear delegates of the Parties, dear colleagues of the UNCCD, ladies and gentlemen,

The CSOs that took part in COP12 are pleased to take the floor and share the views and concerns of the accredited CSOs to the UNCCD, and indeed of the wider CSO community.

Firstly, we have to thank those Parties that have enabled support for the participation of 35 CSOs by providing funding for the UNCCD, and enabled the selection of these observers by a panel, based on specific criteria. The process of selection and effective work undertaken before and during the COP enabled more contributions of substance to be made from civil society than has been the case in the past.

The discussions at COP12 have taken place in the context of emergent global challenges in an era in which humanity is endangering the ecosystems on which we all depend. This demonstrates that a change of trajectory which arises in the minds of people, and is informed by some indisputable facts. Those who in the past thought themselves immune to environmental disasters elsewhere in the planet are rediscovering they are part of a human community that has to face its destiny. Our awareness of a world with finite limits is a necessary element for our effective cooperation to conserve its scarce resources.

It is the responsibility of this Convention and thus our collective responsibility to ensure that the people of the drylands do not become the victims of the ultimate injustice of human-induced calamities that would add to the precariousness of natural conditions.

Among these challenges food security is paramount, as without it human dignity is impossible. In a world of enormous means, it is no longer acceptable that a significant part of the population lacks access to the food they need for survival. The populations of drylands are among the most vulnerable and therefore should have priority consideration by the international community.

The issue of inequality among women and men as was discussed at the Rio Pavilion during Gender Day undoubtedly remains one of the most deeply rooted problems in our societies. We must overcome these inequities and support the women of the world more effectively, particularly those in drylands, who each day pay too high a price for their motherhood, the food security for their families, and the terrible strain of the on-going quest for water and food.

Peace and security are increasingly threatened by the ungoverned appetites of a few: for political power, for wealth, for military dominance or for religious domination, all of which will lead us to certain ruin. The long lines of refugees and migrants crowding parts of the world, often originating from degraded lands, are our responsibility. They are our children, whether we want them or not.

Mr President let us return to the work of the Conference of the Parties and appreciate its good organization that has enabled the civil society organizations to fully participate.

We note that the contact groups that were established in the early stages of this COP operated exclusively in English and did not allow the systematic presence of CSOs. This is not in keeping with the spirit of participation of which the UNCCD should be the champion.

Regarding the CST, CSOs recall that they played an important role in improving the efficiency of the Committee and have contributed local and traditional knowledge in order to strengthen links between technology and policy making, particularly in the crucial fields of sustainable land management, resilience and adaptation of communities. We want to thank the parties who supported this view in decision-making.

Regarding the round tables of the High-level segment CSOs appreciated the intention of arriving at a more fruitful discussion in this segment rather than a series of statements. However facilitation arrangements should lead to more interactivity.

During the High Level Segment, the CSO community was invited to organize a dialogue on the burning issue of land rights.  On that occasion, it drew the attention of country Parties to the fact that it is time to take action to adequately address recognition of land rights of land using communities by implementing, inter alia the following:

  • Securing land rights as a prerequisite to achieving LDN
  • Securing land tenure systems for the drylands through locally appropriate, participatory and multi-stakeholder processes that take into account the dynamic nature of the dryland ecology and also take into consideration the dynamic nature of the multiple land uses of dryland communities.
  • Providing government recognition of the ownership and control of land by indigenous peoples and local communities.
  • Recognizing the collective rights of land users, especially with regard to the livelihoods of pastoralists, indigenous peoples and women, as a first step to supporting community-based management systems to prevent degradation and restore land
  • Giving equitable access and rights to land to men and women, especially vulnerable and indigenous peoples, in order to eradicate poverty.
  • Tackling the weak governance and corruption endemic to the land governance system, which in many countries favour the status quo and harm the interests of poor people.
  • Democratizing and securing land rights so as to ensure the continued sustainable management of natural resources, and to sustain the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities.
  • Restoring degraded lands that are used by land-insecure communities in ways that avoid land grabbing, but rather improved tenure security, especially for indigenous p
  • Developing legal principles and guidelines for ensuring social protection, food security, security of indigenous peoples and local communities, land tenure, ecological integrity, transparency and accountability, in order to overcome social and historical inequities.

Mr President, CSOs present at COP12 welcomed the adoption of the land degradation neutrality and believe that this is a potentially powerful concept for ensuring that the land sector is understood not only as part of the problem, but as part of the solutions in the crucial debate on climate change. In the context of the Sustainable Development Goal 15 and its Target 15.3, we urge Parties, donors and international organizations to integrate it in any policy or action to address climate change, any development action and any action concerning agriculture.

The CSOs urge the CST and SPI as well as scientists around the world to define and agree upon a universal definition of LDN and its scope, and its benchmarks and indicators at all levels from global to local.

In order to deliver real benefits to people and planet, LDN must not:

  • lead to trade-offs that would lead to sustainable development being compromised to conserve the environment;
  • result in resources being used inefficiently to restore degraded landscapes when they can be used more efficiently to conserve landscapes that are not yet degraded;
  • create ‘rights’ to degrade through off-set mechanisms;
  • lead to the degradation of water resources;
  • undermine the rights of land users, especially in the lands used by communities;
  • lead to land grabbing or land transfer;
  • undermine the land rights of landless farmers, pastoral communities and indigenous land users..

In this context, any funds that are mobilized must be specifically targeted and must governed transparently and not left in the hands of the private sector, which is driven by the profit motive.

Mr President, Mrs, distinguished delegates,

In all cases, neutrality in terms of land degradation must first serve the populations that the Convention is intended to protect. It should offer these nearly two billion people opportunities for productive work and better incomes, in ways that can make them proud of their contribution to two major issues of global concern: climate change and poverty, and bolster their rights to benefit from the land.

Thank you

Delivered by Serkan Aykut of the Foresters’ Association of Turkey on behalf of CSOs

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The Key Outcomes of the Discussion at the High Level Segment of the UNCCD COP12

Boosting stakeholder engagement in the implementation of the UNCCD: Land rights (a dialogue with civil society)

Key outcomes of the discussion

To undertake adequately the problem of land rights it is necessary to do the following:

  1. Secure land rights are a prerequisite to achieving LDN
  2. The implementation of land tenure systems for the dry lands must become participatory and multi-stakeholder process, locally appropriate and more strategic; not only taking into account the dynamic nature of the dry land ecology, but also considering the dynamic nature of the multiple users who depend on dry lands.
  3. Narrowing the gap between land which indigenous peoples and local communities claim and land which governments recognize as owned and controlled by communities is a vital step.
  4. Recognize collective rights of land users, especially regarding the livelihoods of pastoralists, indigenous peoples and women, as a first step to supporting community-based management systems to prevent degradation and restore land
  5. Give access and rights to land for men and women, especially vulnerable and indigenous peoples, in an equitable manner to achieve the eradication of poverty.
  6. Tackle the weak governance and corruption endemic to the land governance system in many countries which often favor the status quo and harm the interests of poor people.
  7. Champion reforms and investments to document all communal lands and prime lands that are individually owned.
  8. Democratize and secure land rights are key to continue sustainable management of natural resources, and to sustain indigenous peoples and local communities traditional knowledge.
  9. Challenges of undocumented land particularly in Africa which results in land grabs and corruption in land allocation
  10. Mapping the land can help the restoration of the land, and land tenure
  11. All relevant international obligations should prioritize the protection, maintenance and restoration of natural ecosystems while respecting customary and sustainable land use.
  12. Restoring degraded lands should not be a step towards land grabbing, but rather improved tenure security for Indigenous Peoples and local communities
  13. Governments should develop legal principles and guidelines for ensuring social protection, food security, security of indigenous peoples and local communities, land tenure, ecological integrity, transparency and accountability, in order to overcome social and historical inequities.
  14. Building on the growing consensus on what has been done, now is the time for action.

Chair: Ms. Barbara Thomson, Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs of South Africa.

Moderator, Mr. Paddy Woodworth.

Panellists: Mr. Kevin Kamuya, from Utooni Development Organization; Ms. Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim from the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC) and Mr. Michael Taylor from the International Land Coalition.

Gender issues addressed in Mali

sinsi gender

The women in Sinsibere project work to elaborate their livelyhoods and to protect trees in Mali. The project supports the ecological entrepreneurship of women to avoid the common activity of selling firewood. Instead, the women working in the Sinsibere co-operative are protecting karite trees and producing karite butter.

Meanwhile in Helsinki, Finland, another band of women (men are also more than welcome) work in a voluntary based group following the project, gathering funds and sharing information of the environmental issues in Mali. This group works under an environmental organization, Dodo ry. Sinsibere project gets together the women of the co-operative close to Bamako, Mali, the voluntary work based group in Helsinki and the environmental organization MFC Nyeta operating in Mali.

The UN Convention to Combat Desertification does address questions of gender in it’s Articles 5., 10. and 19. In the COP12, Ankara, gender based questions were issued the 16th of October in the Gender Day seminar held in the Rio Pavilion. This seminar recognized the role of women in the management of natural resources. One of the main discussions in the COP12 is to look for synergies between the three Rio Conventions. Still it would also be needed to look for synergies between the environmental conventions and other UN and national sustainable development goals, which include social questions like aim towards gender equality and women empowerment. The three key messages addressed in the Gender Day are about policies;

  • recognition of women rights, transformation of the images of rural women, viable action plans with chances for funding,
  • institutions (co-operation between all stakeholders, removal of institutional barriers)
  • capacity building (of both women and men so that they have the knowledge and possibilities of financing to burst their concerns out as projects)

One of the panelists of Gender Day expressed the feminist project as follows; “We always concentrate on negative sides”. Year 2015 is the last year that Sinsibere co-operative works in co-operation with the Finnish Dodo ry. The project has given a lot to the people participating in it, both in Helsinki and in Mali. “Being involved working in the co-operative has encouraged me to participate in the decision making in my own village. I have seen how the gains coming from karite butter have made the position of women better”, Awa Traoré tells from the Sinsibere co-operative in Mali.

Raitamaria Mäki, Dodo ry, raitamaria.maki@helsinki.fi+358 41 5471441

This article and more are available in the ECOs.

AGRONOMOS Y EL CONCEPTO NEUTRALIZACION DE LA DEGRADACION DE LA TIERRA

La tierra es el recurso natural primario para la seguridad alimentaria, la paz, el crecimiento y el progreso social y económico de cada país. La degradación de la tierra es un problema a nivel mundial que afecta a más de 500 millones de hectáreas, implica la perdida de la productividad del suelo, la biomasa y la biodiversidad en diferentes medio ambientes, la migración de las personas hacia las grandes ciudades en busca de nuevas oportunidades (se diluye la cultura, las tradiciones, los oficios artesanales y la identidad de los pueblos), tiene un alto impacto negativo en la economía y la política de diferentes países, colocando en riesgo la seguridad alimentaria.

En Argentina, la tierra se ha considerado durante mucho tiempo como un recurso prácticamente ilimitado cuando la realidad nos marca lo contrario. En los últimos 100 años la superficie forestal natural disminuyó más del 70%, a causa de la sobreexplotación para distintos fines (madera, leña o carbón entre otros), sin duda el de mayor avance es la frontera agropecuaria. El 40% de las tierras irrigadas presenta problemas de desertificación debido a procesos de erosión eólica e hídrica y salinización. Las actividades mineras e industriales producen desertificación por sus malas prácticas y contaminan los recursos naturales especialmente el agua y el suelo. En Santiago del Estero, la tenencia de la tierra es un problema de larga data y por otro lado el efecto de la expansión agropecuaria sobre los ecosistemas, las actividades socioeconómicas y la calidad de vida de la población.

El Colegio de Ingenieros Agrónomos de Santiago del Estero (CIASE) es una organización civil sin fines de lucro conformada por Ingenieros Agrónomos matriculados. Entre sus funciones se encuentra la actualización profesional permanente, la Jerarquización de la profesión, la aplicación del Manejo Sostenible de Tierras (MST), las certificaciones de maquinaria pulverizadora, la aplicación de una receta fitosanitaria, el desarrollo de zonas degradadas por la mala aplicación de tecnologías, el monitoreo y la aplicación en los controles de redes fitosanitarias, entre otras actividades.

A su vez el CIASE es miembro de FADIA (Federación Argentina de Ingeniería Agronómica) es decir es una asociación civil que esta interconectada con la actualidad de todos los colegios del país.

El nuevo enfoque que se está discutiendo en estos momentos entre los países miembros de la COP 12 mediante la aplicación de 3 indicadores a través del uso de la tierra y el uso de la tierra LULUC, la productividad de la tierra LDN y los stocks de consumo de carbón en el suelo, con un adecuado financiamiento internacional, permitirán generar una herramienta muy interesante en la neutralización de la degradación y rehabilitación de las tierras.

La capacidad que tiene el CIASE de reunir y disponer de los recursos humanos para la puesta en marcha de estas herramientas y la difusión ética de los resultados obtenidos a través de las buenas practicas agrícolas y con la intervención de los diferentes actores gubernamentales, no gubernamentales, privados, académicos, científicos y productores, se podrá implementar los sitios pilotos con el análisis adecuado de los datos a nivel regional, nacional, y local.

El mundo tiene una gran oportunidad en la lucha contra la desertificación, ya que es un proceso constante y dinámico que requiere de compromiso y concientización. La neutralidad en la degradación de las tierras podrá ser posible cuando se encuentre un equilibrio entre lo degradado y lo que se puede llegar a rehabilitar en un tiempo adecuado a las necesidades básicas de la población y en ecosistemas similares, permitiendo áreas productivas consolidadas logrando balancear las demandas socio-económicas y la seguridad alimentaria de los pueblos.

Mr Octavio Perez Pardo, President Ciase, Santiago del Estero, Argentina, ciasesantiagodelestero@gmail.com

English version is available here

Genre et Dégradation des Terres

L’égalité des sexes et l’autonomisation des femmes sont universellement reconnues comme étant  au cœur des Objectifs du Développement  Durable. La prise en compte de la participation des femmes dans le cadre de l’objectif de la neutralité des Terres (LND) constitue une dimension fondamentale de sa réalisation.

Dans le cadre d’une étude portant sur la pauvreté et la participation populaire dans une localité de mon pays, je me suis permis de poser la question suivante à l’Assemblée:

Q: d’après vous, pourquoi votre localité est pauvre?

-Dégradation des Terres, penser Eau et Femmes

Réponse1:nous sommes pauvres parce que nous manquons d’eau. Le, mari quand il est fâché contre sa femme, renverse tout simplement sa bassine d’eau. C’est la plus grosse punition qu’on puisse infliger à une femme. Il n’y a pas d’eau et le point d’eau qui existe se trouve assez loin du village.

– Lien entre  pauvreté des Femmes et GDT

Réponse 2:  nous sommes pauvres aujourd’hui parce que nos femmes sont pauvres, elles sont obligées d’aller dans les zones d’orpaillage, récupérer la terre, qu’elles gardent dans les greniers( qui, en principe servent à conserver les céréales), terre qui sera pilée pendant les périodes de soudure aux fins de récupérer quelques grammes d’or qui seront vendus pour subvenir à la nourriture familiale….

Réponse 3: nous les femmes, sommes pauvres parce que nous n’avons pas de terre de cultivables. C’est vrai que la tradition y est pour quelque chose mais, on peut nous aider. Nous cultivons sur des terres qui ne nous appartiennent pas. Ce qui nous fatigue le plus, c’est le fait ne pouvoir ni creuser un puits, ni planter un arbre.

En Afrique, la répartition par sexe de la population donne une proportion plus forte des femmes (52 % environ). Cet écart entre les sexes est encore plus important en zone rurale où les femmes représentent environ 53 % de la population. Ces différences selon les zones s’expliquent par la forte migration des hommes  jeunes comme vieux , laissant aux femmes la charge des enfants et l’essentiel des tâches domestiques et économiques.

Les inégalités genre au détriment des femmes sont particulièrement sensibles dans les  domaines de l’accès à la terre, à la technologie et au crédit.

Sur le plan économique, les femmes sont les plus affectées par ce contexte de pauvreté généralisée car elles sont les plus pauvres parmi les pauvres. Les femmes sont les plus vulnérables, les moins dotées de capacité et de ressources  leur permettant de faire prévaloir leurs droits et leurs intérêts. De manière générale, plus une activité est de haute technologie, de forte intensité de capital et génératrice de revenus importants, plus elle est largement dominée par les hommes.

Les femmes consacrent environ 80 % de leur temps à des tâches agricoles, en particulier pour la production vivrière et dans les activités connexes de transformation, de stockage et de commercialisation de produits agricoles.

En outre, les tâches domestiques des femmes sont également un aspect déterminant du profil de leur pauvreté. Elles sont, avec leurs enfants, les plus impliquées par les activités liées à l’approvisionnement en eau potable, à l’énergie domestique (principalement constituée par le bois), à l’assainissement de l’environnement domestique, à l’éducation et à la santé maternelle et infantile etc.

Cette surcharge de travail est renforcée par le fait qu’une partie importante des femmes rurales y sont des chefs de ménages, en raison notamment de la forte émigration masculine vers les villes

En conclusion, si nous prenons du point de vue  de l’objectif LDN dont les objectifs sont la lutte pour  la sécurité alimentaire, la gestion durable des terres  et la restauration des écosystèmes, nous sommes fondés pour affirmer que le rôle de la femme est primordiale pour l’atteinte des objectifs du LDN..

La femme est au cœur des pratiques du LDN. C’est pourquoi il faut que ce concept fasse une large place aux mécanismes de financement des activités féminines en matière de Gestion Durable des Terres.

Par Aïssatou Billy SOW, Chercheur, Présidente de l’ONG AGUIPER (Association Guinéenne pour la Promotion des Energies Renouvelables), Guinée-Conakry

Open Letter to Mrs Barbut, UNCCD Executive Secretary

Dear Mrs. Barbut,

The “Land Restoration Project” that you are trying to promote seems a fantastic opportunity to us. Restoring up to 500 million hectares of land all over the world is what we call a very ambitious target. It could strongly contribute in solving many of today’s key issues that humanity will be facing in the near future: climate change, lack of food sovereignty, threats of forced migrations, floods, conflicts, biodiversity risks, underdevelopment,… To summarize, your project is nothing less than contributing to ensure human life on Earth.

We, as the Danaya association, therefore strongly appreciate your willingness to push for appropriate decisions in this direction. We fully support your efforts in “standing for it”.

Nevertheless, we are afraid there might be some “bugs” in the way this project is currently being developed: amongst other issues, the main concern is the financing of this project. We understand that you are confronted to a supposedly lack of public financing (in our view a lack of public motivation) which leads to no other choice but mainly promote private financing. Maybe one could think that the source of financing is just a detail. But as you well know, “the devil lies in the details”

What is the main driver of a private company? We would say, ‘to earn as much money as possible’, which is completely understandable, as this is their role. Of course, they can be a bit motivated to act for the long term general interest: but only if it does not have negative impacts on their financial interest. How can we ask them to pay interest on the money they will borrow from the LDN Fund, raising profits to pay the dividends, and on top of that, spending money on land restoration? Having said that, many concerns arise from this ascertainment: risk of land grabbing, as well as environmental, social and human risks, (the list raised by the CSO’s is long enough…). The biggest risk is that it could be inefficient and that it could simply not work the way it is envisaged…

On the other hand, using mainly public financing and working on this project together with the CSO’s eliminates most of the issues. You mentioned there is not enough public money? And how much is necessary? Two billion USD a year? One should see the OECD study showing that states provide grants to oil companies every year for a total amount of 500 billion USD: we only need 0.5% of this amount to finance the project… One could say…that is “peanuts”! Not talking about the estimated 20 000 billion USD that is lost every year for tax-evasion…..

Mrs. BARBUT, we are pretty sure that, by changing the economic model, most of (if not all) the CSO’s would be ready to fully support your project and work closely with you to help you achieving it….

Bernard TERRIS – Association DANAYA, bernard.terris@danaya-france.org

Special Event: Dervish Dance

dervish

During the COP12, with the support of many members of CSOs, the civil society community attending the session held in Ankara, Turkey have the greatest pleasure of inviting all the delegations to join us for a special event, Dervish Dance.
The show will take place on Thursday 22nd on the terrace of Congressium at 20:15 following the Desertif’actions 2015 special event at 18:15 in Rio Pavillion.

CSOs Statement at the Round Table 1: From Global to Local

Translating land degradation neutrality into action

I would like to remind us that “land degradation neutrality” is a concept, an inspirational concept that should become an objective for the UNCCD and help to raise the concerns of land in the current international debate on climate change.  It is a hypothetical state whereby the amount and quality of land resources necessary to support ecosystem functions and services, as well as the enhancement of food security remains stable or increases within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems. It is not a reality in any country in the world at this time, and as such it is an aspirational concept.

For the CSO community, this concept is promising. It aims to promote sustainable development of affected lands and the people living in these lands.

However, concept is one thing. Transforming it in a public policy and defining its modalities of implementation is another.

It is clear that one of the main restrictions to promoting sustainable land management is the absence of adequate financing, hence the attraction of private funding to support the fight against desertification.

Mr. Chair, the CSO community is very much concerned about the possible outcomes of a financing system of LDN which is essentially based in private sources.

To begin with, financing LDN should not primarily be directed at rehabilitation initiatives, but should focus on the crucial aspects of preventing and reducing land degradation, i.e. sustainable land management (SLM). This is the most cost-effective approach to conserving the global commons. Without concerted efforts to conserve healthy ecosystems, we will only partly address LDN.

Another important consideration is that financing LDN mechanisms should not only be directed to the rehabilitation of large scale areas, driven by a business model that seeks for profitable commercial investment. Financing LDN must also contribute to the objective of reducing poverty and food insecurity as stated in the UNCCD.

And of course, financing LDN should primarily focus on supporting efforts by small-scale farmers whose livelihoods are critically affected by land degradation: they should be first beneficiaries and also active actors in achieving land degradation neutrality.

Mr. Chairman, the CSO community refuses to see the land rights of populations being endangered by financing LDN systems.

We want neither to see land increasingly becoming  a commodity in financial or speculative markets, nor the private sector taking over responsibilities which are actually the duty of states and public stakeholders: to foster and finance sustainable land management.

In other words, we do not want to see LDN as a license to degrade the soils in other areas, or to see an unbalanced consideration between financial profit and environmental and social concerns.

delivered by Tanveer Arif on behalf of CSOs

CSOs Statement at the Round Table 2: Drought adaptation

Mainstreaming drought management policy in national agendas and mitigating the effects of drought

Globally, drought is an insidious hazard of nature, referred as a “creeping phenomenon” and its impacts vary among regions.  Drought is a cyclical phenomenon, with some cycles taking extremely long, and with climatic change affecting the duration and intensity of these phenomena. Drought often results in severe production shortfalls and food and nutritional insecurity in the world’s poorest countries and drylands communities who have developed efficient pastoral and mixed cropping systems adapted to the difficult conditions of drylands and sustained their livelihoods for centuries.

Drylands have an immense scientific, ecological, economic and social value.  They take up 41.3% of the land surface, 40% of the world’s population and 44% of all the world’s cultivated systems.

Having this in mind and the impact of drought on drylands communities and its unavoidable cost, we as CSO community call for urgent and immediate attention of all policy and decision makers to enable our dryland societies to be more resilient in the face of drought.

With regards to the governance of drought and climate change issues, an effective and enabling policy should be developed to promote local governance systems and mechanisms to reduce drought risk. It is crucial to strengthen the customary institutions and building the capacities of drought affected communities to ensure their participation in the governance system. Foremost, involving drylands communities in decision and policy making process at all levels is key to an effective reaction to droughts and other environmental tensions.

Furthermore, Strengthening Community Resilience to cope with the drought and other natural disasters should be the key objective. Therefore, a better understanding of the indigenous knowledge of drylands communities, their local adaptation resilience strategies and innovations and know-how to manage their drylands territories is crucial.  Participatory documentation on drought affected communities on their valuable biodiversity would provide a credible database with respect to communities rights.

Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems for Climate Resilient Development and adaptation to climate change in particular at local levels is crucial. Therefore, these early warning systems should be easily accessible for drought-affected communities. The high diversity of domestic flora & fauna and local genetic resources resistance to drought and environmental tensions should be strongly promoted and pressure to shift the natural ecosystems (lands) for agricultural, industrial, business and other development purposes should be halted.

Earlier approaches to range ecology in drylands should be halted and adequate attention should be given to introduce the concept of non-equilibrium ecosystems (NEE) as the basis for range management in drought affected areas and communities.  Furthermore recognition of Indigenous Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs) and governance of those area should be given to drought affected communities.

In conclusion we as CSOs want to draw your attention once more to drought affected communities, who are the stewards of drylands with their precious indigenous knowledge, customary laws, practices and spiritual and material sense of ownership. Practically and ethically, they should be deeply involved in policy and decision making process as well as in design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of SLM to cope with the drought and climate change issues.

delivered by Remi Hemeryck on behalf of CSOs on October 20, 2015