The Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism

United global call to act on land degradation and drought concludes major UN meeting in Côte d’Ivoire


A united global pledge to boost drought resilience and invest in land restoration for future prosperity today concluded the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

This two-week meeting on the future of land management drew nearly 7,000 participants, including Heads of State, ministers, delegates from the UNCCD’s 196 Parties and the European Union, as well as members of the private sector, civil society, women, youth leaders and media.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of UNCCD COP15, Patrick Achi, Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire, said: “Each generation faces this thorny question of how to meet the production needs of our societies […] without destroying our forests and lands and thus condemning the future of those on whose behalf we endeavour.”

He also drew attention to the US$2.5 billion raised for the Abidjan Legacy Programme launched by Côte d’Ivoire President Alassane Ouattara at the Heads of State Summit on 9 May, which has already surpassed the US$1.5 billion anticipated for it.

At a news conference, Alain-Richard Donwahi, COP15 President, highlighted that it was the first time Côte d’Ivoire hosted a COP for one of the three Rio Conventions, and emphasized his country’s continued commitment to keep land issues high on the international agenda.

Ibrahim Thiaw, UNCCD Executive Secretary, said: “Meeting against the backdrop of multiple global challenges, including the worst-in-40-years drought in Eastern Africa, as well as food and economic crises fuelled by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and conflicts, countries have sent a united call about the importance of healthy and productive land for securing future prosperity for all.”

UNCCD COP15 adopts 38 decisions, including on tenure, migration and gender, that highlight the role of land in addressing multiple crises:

  • Robust monitoring and data to track progress against land restoration commitments
  • New political and financial impetus to help nations deal with devastating impacts of drought and build resilience
  • US $2.5 billion Abidjan Legacy Programme will help future-proof supply chains while tackling deforestation and climate change
  • Regional initiatives launched in support of the Africa-led Great Green Wall
  • Nearly 7,000 participants at two-week meeting included delegations from 196 countries and the European Union
  • Future UNCCD meetings to be held in Saudi Arabia, Mongolia, Uzbekistan.

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