G20 Land Initiative makes its presence felt at COP27

Author: admin   |   November 24, 2022

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt: The G20 Global Initiative on Land side event at the Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference (COP27), in Egypt, presented initiatives of land restoration at local, national and global levels, and provided an opportunity to network and meet partners as well as present the Initiative to a new audience.

Dr. Muralee Thummarukudy, Director, G20 Global Land Initiative’s Coordination Office, presented the Initiative and its 2023 and 2024 workplans. Ms Dianna Kopansky, Coordinator, Global Peatlands Initiative at UNEP, spoke about the restoration of peatlands under her Initiative and highlighted the findings of the recent Global Peatland Assessment report.

Dr Khaled Al-Abulkader, Chief Executive Officer, National Center for Vegetation Cover and Combatting Desertification, discussed the Saudi Green Initiative’s opportunities and challenges in land restoration, and how they plan to go about it. Yuri Jain, Isha Foundation, spoke about the importance of soil conservation and the campaign to promote these activities at the local level. He highlighted the social momentum created under the Save the Soil Movement led by Sadhguru during his bike ride early in 2022 from London to New Delhi.

The subsequent discussion focused on how to build momentum for land restoration, the need for coordinated action now, and questions from the floor about how countries and organizations could join and associate with the G20 Global Land Initiative.

The side event titled, “Towards 50 percent reduction in degraded land by 2040” took place in the margins of the 27th session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Over 45,000 delegates from around the world attended COP27.

The side event at COP27 coincided with release of the G20 Bali Declaration issued following the Summit of the G20 leaders met in Bali. They reiterated their shared ambition to reduce land degradation by 50 percent by 2040.

“We will scale up efforts to combat biodiversity loss, deforestation, desertification, land degradation and drought, as well as restoring degraded land to achieve land degradation neutrality by 2030, and in support of the G20’s ambition to reduce land degradation by 50% by 2040 on a voluntary basis. We recognize the effort made by a number of countries to ensure that at least 30% of global land and at least 30% of the global ocean and seas are conserved or protected by 2030 and we will help to make progress towards this objective in accordance with national circumstances,” the G20 Leaders stated this year in their Declaration.

The G20 launched the Global Initiative on Reducing Land Degradation and Enhancing Conservation of Terrestrial Habitats in November 2021. The ambition of the Initiative is to prevent, halt and reverse land degradation and reduce degraded land by 50 per cent by 2040.

A recording of the session is available here