Lawmakers Focus on Restoring Land for a Better World

August 30, 2023

Bonn, 29 August 2023 – The inaugural Global Changemaker Academy for Parliamentarians (G-CAP) concluded on 25 August 2023 in Bonn, Germany, following an intense five-day gathering involving 29 parliamentarians from 24 countries.

G-CAP provided a platform for lawmakers to delve into the significance of land preservation and restoration, which are vital for the well-being of both people and the planet. These challenges, along with their ripple effects like food shortages and irregular migration, are urging lawmakers to proactively restore land. It is becoming ever more urgent for the land not only to produce more but to be able to withstand more extreme, more frequent and more severe weather.

Organized by the United Nations Systems Staff College (UNSSC) in collaboration with the G20 Global Land Initiative (GLI) under the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), G-CAP began on August 21, 2023.

GLI, created during the Saudi Presidency in November 2020, aims to reduce land degradation by 50 percent by 2040 and strengthen the protection of natural habitats.

G-CAP united Parliamentarians committed to revitalizing land in their communities, aiming to catalyze changes needed to help countries achieve the global target of restoring one billion hectares of degraded land by 2040.

At G-CAP, Parliamentarians engaged in private discussions, sharing insights about environmental laws to shield communities from the adverse impacts of climate change. Participants interacted with high-ranking government officials, land experts, seasoned media professionals, and even visited a large mining site in Germany, Eschweiler, currently undergoing restoration by the private sector support.

The lawmakers heard from various stakeholders on a range of topics, including:

  • The enormity of the challenge and the need for large-scale restoration efforts by 2030.
  • The key principles of successful restoration.
  • The essential conditions for effective land restoration, drawing from the Ramsar Sites of the Convention on Wetlands.
  • The involvement of youth and civil society in restoration efforts, presented by Anali Bustos, Co-Chair of Generation Restoration Youth Hub.
  • The importance of gender in land restoration discussions.
  • The crucial role journalists play in reaching communities, fostering positive change, and holding policymakers accountable for their commitments.

Distinguished speakers included figures such as H.E. Carlos Alvarado Quesada, Former President of Costa Rica; Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of UNCCD; Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Indian Member of Parliament and former UN Under-Secretary-General; Dr. Musonda Mumba, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands; Ms. Andrea Meza Murillo, Deputy Executive Secretary of UNCCD; and Dr. Arjoon Suddhoo, Deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Lawmakers praised the event not just for its in-depth knowledge sharing, but also for the practical ideas presented for taking action and the opportunities to connect with peers who share their goals.

For more information about G20’s ambition to restore land, you can visit the page:

For inquiries about G-CAP, you can contact:

About the G20 Global Land Initiative

The G20 Global Land Initiative was launched in 2020 by the leaders of the Group of Twenty of the largest economies in the world (G20), under the Presidency of Saudi Arabia. The ambition of the leaders is to achieve a 50 per cent reduction in degraded land by 2040. The G20 Global Land Initiative is hosted by United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.