By Sharon Atieno

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has joined the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) as its 33rd Charter Member.

This move comes at a time when drought and desertification continue to  pose a serious threat to the African continent.

As of 19th April, the World Food Programme  had warned that up to 20 million people could go hungry in 2022 due to delayed rainfall which is worsening extreme drought in the Horn of Africa region.

According to the African Group of Negotiators Experts Support (AGNES), desertification is affecting about 45% of African continent’s land mass, out if which 55% is at high or very high risk of further degradation.

“The UNCCD Secretariat and the GLF have been working closely on advancing our shared vision of land restoration as a prerequisite for bringing about a sustainable future for all,” says UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw.

“I appreciate the support and commitment that the GLF has brought to the land agenda and look forward to taking our collaboration to the next level, starting with the UNCCD COP15 in Côte d’Ivoire.”

“By addressing the interlinked challenges of land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss, UNCCD will make an invaluable contribution to the GLF partnership’s mission to create prosperous, productive, equitable and resilient landscapes,” says John Colmey, director of the GLF.

The initiative comes in the lead-up to the UNCCD’s 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15), which will take place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 9-20 May this year, and the GLF Africa 2022 Digital Conference, slated to run virtually on September 15th.