News about the GEO-LDN Flagship
Planned: E-learning course on land cover by FAO / UNCCD / GEO
The course will help understanding the use of land cover data for monitoring progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 15, adopted by all UN Member States in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The course will cover the main concepts associated with the use of land cover data for international reporting processes with a practical focus on two SDG indicators: SDG 15.3.1 (proportion of land that is degraded over total land area) and SDG 15.4.2. An overview on the importance of land cover change as a degradation process in terrestrial ecosystems as well as the main strengths and limitations of using land cover data to both monitor degradation and the outcomes of restoration actions will be provided. Additionally, it will explain how land cover data is used in the calculation of SDG indicators 15.3.1 and 15.4.2. In the course the most significant negative or positive land cover changes and their direct and/or indirect drivers will be discussed, as well as how land cover change can be an indicator of land degradation and ecosystem recovery.
The course is primarily intended for government technical officers responsible for monitoring and reporting for SDG Indicators, in particular for SDG 15.3.1 and/or 15.4.2, as well as professionals working on sustainable management of natural resources with an interest in the topic. It will also inform researchers and experts in land cover on why land cover is a critical variable for these two SDG indicators.
This e-learning course is planned to launch on the FAO elearning Academy by the end of 2023.
Training in Accra: Perspectives on LDN –
monitoring and beyond by UENR and GEO-LDN
A two-day international workshop was conducted in Accra under the theme “Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN)”. The programme was discussing solutions to combat desertification and land degradation to boost food production. The Workshop was attended by more than 30 experts from across the world including Ghana, Senegal, USA, United Kingdom and the Netherlands and formed part of activities to mark the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Week 2022, which was held 01.-04.11.2022.
It was lead by the theme “Global Action for Local Impact,” which is aimed at coming out with tools to monitor and control desertification and land degradation. The training was organised by University of Energy and National Resources (UNER) in collaboration with the GEO-LDN Flagship and the Government of Ghana, sponsored by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Opening the programme, the Dean of International Relations Office of the UNER, Professor Amos Kabo-Bah, said desertification and land degradation were becoming a problem to Ghana and the global community. He said productivity of lands in Ghana was declining to due to degradation of the land through illegal mining and urbanisation and haphazard construction of houses. Prof. Kabo-Bah, who is also the Co-Chair of the GEO LDN Initiative, indicated that one in five hectares of land in the world was degraded and the situation in Ghana was worse. “Once our population is bound to increase over time, it means that the cost of land and even the productivity of the land will become a challenge”.
The Co-Chair of GEO LDN Initiative said the training was to build the capacity on LDN of the participants who are policy makers, academics and civil society actors and expose them to strategies and measures to enhance food production. “The training also feeds into a programme UNER will be organizing in 2023, where experts from Africa will come to the UNER to learn about sustainable land use and management,” he said. Treated topics included tools to access data on degradation and desertification, strategies on restoring degraded lands and prevent desertification, and policies to combat land degradation and desertification.
The Lead Scientist of the United Nations Conservation to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Dr Barron J. Orr, said the governments across the world adopted LDN to control land degradation and desertification in 2017 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. He said LDN emphasized the need to halt land degradation, mitigate it and restore the degraded lands. He stressed its support in adopting holistic measures to promote a healthy eco system and biodiversity through sustainable land use management and good agronomic practices.
Dr Orr said land degradation was spreading desertification, declining productivity of land and creating cracked and barer soil surfaces and emphasized the need for organic farming to preserve the land and environment to promote food production.
He advised farmers to use fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides in their right quantities and proportions to preserve the environment.
UNER to host international postgraduate programmes
on Land Degradation Neutrality
The Group on Earth Observation Land Degradation Neutrality (GEO-LDN) Secretariat, hosted by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), expresses its strong support for the international postgraduate programme on LDN hosted at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), Sunyani – Ghana.
This was made known when the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako led a team from the University comprising the Acting Dean of International Relations, Prof. Amos T. Kabo-Bah and Dr. Abdul-Wadood Moomen at the School of Built and Mines to visit the Secretariat in Bonn, Germany to further discuss and seek support for effective implementation of the programme.
The Staff of the GEO-LDN Secretariat will, therefore, be closely engaged throughout the programme. GEO-LDN commit to supporting the programme and being involved in discussions on how to build on the activities and outcomes in the longer term. In particular, the GEO-LDN secretariat will use its international networks, newsletters, website and email list to promote the programme. GEO-LDN will, as needed, provide written and verbal input into project plans, outputs and long-term sustainability and work closely with the Co-Chair and Co-Leads of the GEO-LDN Capacity Development Working Group and UENR.
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