World changemakers to gather in Côte d’Ivoire for a major land stewardship conference

One month ahead of its 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) taking place from 9-20 May 2022 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has unveiled the highlights of the event’s programme and high-level participation.

From the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed to Grammy award winning Indian musician and UNCCD Land Ambassador Ricky Kej, and from the African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat to Kenyan youth leader and UNCCD Land Hero Patricia Kombo, leaders from all walks of life will convene for this major event focusing on the future of land stewardship.

The COP15 theme, ‘Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity', is a call to action to ensure land, which is the lifeline on this planet, continues to benefit present and future generations.  

Programme highlights include a high-level segment on 9-10 May with the participation of Heads of State, environment ministers, private sector and civil society representatives who will discuss how to accelerate the global land restoration agenda, future-proof land use and tackle the growing impacts of drought. The ambitious Abidjan Legacy Programme will also be announced by Côte d’Ivoire as COP host.

The Gender Caucus, taking place from 10-12 May, will bring together leaders, including the first female President of Finland Tarja Halonen who is also a UNCCD Land Ambassador and the First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire Dominique Ouattara, to consider the differentiated impacts of land degradation on women and men and advancing the gender equality agenda in the implementation of the Convention.

The Green Business Forum on 10-11 May will focus on sustainable land management and securing value chains of key commodities. Participants include Malian musician and UNCCD Land Ambassador Inna Modja, who has lent her support to women-led business initiatives in the Sahel through an innovative NFT auction.

The third UNCCD Youth Forum on 8-9 May will offer a platform for youth to voice their commitments toward achieving land degradation neutrality and share their experiences in combating desertification. A major focus of the Forum will be on generating decent land-based jobs for youth. Forum participants will include UNCCD Land Heroes from Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as youth champions from the 11 countries that are part of Africa’s Great Green Wall Initiative.

Together with the UN Climate Change and UN Biodiversity Conventions, UNCCD will organize the Rio Conventions Pavilion at COP15 to address the interlinked challenges of land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss, with the participation of Presidencies and Executive Secretaries of these major multilateral treaties that emerged from the Rio Earth Summit. The UNCCD COP15 is the first of the three Rio Conventions meetings to be held in 2022, with Biodiversity COP15 and Climate Change COP27 convening later this year in Kunming, China and Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, respectively. 

For more information and to register, please visit: https://www.unccd.int/cop15

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