Ibrahim Thaw

Accelerating Action Around Land for Enhanced Climate Action

Action around land use to slow climate change and biodiversity loss gets vital boost from Commonwealth and United Nations partners 

A virtual gathering on 17 September has galvanized political backing among Commonwealth countries to tackle the key challenge of land degradation linked to climate change and biodiversity loss, which is impacting ecosystems across the globe and over half of the global population.

Alongside the United Nations General Assembly meetings, ministers, high commissioners, officials and experts from across the Commonwealth met for a high-level event organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). 

With only months before 2021 – a crucial year marked by a series of global summits focused on the environment – the discussions paved the path for sustainable land management to feature as a top priority for enhanced climate action and living in harmony with nature. 

Delegates agreed to explore how Commonwealth member states can act jointly on the Rio Conventions, and forge a positive, action-based agenda around land use in the run-up to the United Nations Biodiversity Conference, CBD COP15 (May 2021), the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (June 2021), the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26 (November 2021) and UNCCD COP15 in late 2021. 

At their summit next June, Commonwealth leaders are expected to adopt a ‘Living Lands Charter’, including a programme of action on climate change impacts on land.  

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