Sustainable Forest Management Impact Program on Dryland Sustainable Landscapes

The DSL-IP flies to UNCCD CRIC 21!


On 15 November, the GEF-7 Dryland Sustainable Landscapes Impact Program (DSL-IP) travelled to Samarkand, Uzbekistan to co-host a side event within the context of the twenty-first session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 21) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).  

With the DSL-IP mission fully embodying the three concurrent actions needed to achieve land degradation neutrality (LDN) stated by the UNCCD (avoid, reduce and reverse), the FAO Program co-organized this event with executing partners - the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) - with contributions delivered also by the Committee on Forestry Working Group on Dryland Forests and Agrosilvopastoral Systems, to raise awareness on the link between green value chains, livelihood opportunities, and scalable, sustainable gender-responsive land and forest management good practices, seen as key vehicles to achieving national LDN targets.  Two DSL-IP countries joined the panel to show how LDN is achieved in practice within their landscapes through the DSL-IP.  

To contextualize, we have been hearing for years that in order to achieve our LDN targets, we cannot continue to work in silos, and that business-as-usual approaches will not suffice to turn ambitions into action. Land, forests and their people are linked by more than the goods and services they provide. We cannot achieve land degradation neutrality without incentivizing smallholders to implement practices that provide income generating opportunities that also protect, restore and conserve our lands and forests while feeding a growing population.   


To accomplish this demanding task in a way that empowers and fosters resilience of dryland communities,the DSL-IP has established the One Country, One Champion Theme approach where the 11 participating countries tackle common management challenges through green value chains and income generating opportunities. The Impact Program's programmatic and country driven approach shows us in practice how LDN targets can be achieved through transformational, durable and replicable change in three eco-regions across drylands: in the Miombo Mopane landscapes of Southern Africa, the Savannas of East and West Africa, and the temperate grasslands, savannas and shrublands of Central Asia.    


The event, Accelerating achievements of national targets through scalable practices within dryland landscapes, zoomed in on 7 out of the 11 participating countries belong to the ecologically rich Miombo-Mopane landscapes, home to the biggest dryland forest ecosystem in Sub-Saharan Africa. The woodlands and livelihoods that depend on it, face several management challenges that are very common to this particular region ranging from a decline in agricultural productivity, the heavy and increasing reliance of households on woodfuel (in particular charcoal, linked to urbanization) that increases the pressure on the remaining forest resources.  


Among the partners of the Program, the panel was also enriched by two countries speakers from Malawi and Zimbabwe, who both highlighted how the DSL-IP is supporting their efforts towards LDN and environmental conservation, improved livelihoods, and increased gender equality, while underscoring opportunities for up, out and deep scaling. 


The panel of this side event showcased a small snapshot of the wider DSL-IP global community that is working closely to transform to support dryland communities to be recognized as the hub of traditional knowledge they are and accelerate action through cross-sectoral, multi-level cooperation amongst a wide community of stakeholders that recognize the value of this rich ecosystem, the landscape and its people.  

Read more about FAO's engagement in CRIC 21