Climate Change

Delhi Declaration might downplay international finance institutions’ role in mitigating desertification

A key paragraph has been proposed for deletion in the draft declaration

By Ishan Kukreti
Published: Monday 09 September 2019
Green finance. Photo: Getty Images

The Delhi Declaration, to be finalised and released on September 10, 2019, at the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification’s (UNCCD) Conference of Parties (CoP) 14, might downplay many issues like the role of the international financial institutions and forest ecosystems.

A draft of the Delhi Declaration has been accessed by Down to Earth. The draft is currently being worked upon and the final document might have some changes.

Paragraph 18 of the draft Delhi Declaration, which talked specifically about the role of the international financial mechanisms like Green Climate Fund (GCF), Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Adaptation Fund in addressing the issues of land degradation and desertification, has been proposed for deletion.

In its place, a paragraph, which doesn’t mention these institutions specifically, has been introduced in the draft.

The paragraph, which said, “International financial mechanisms, including the GCF, GEF and Adaptation Fund, and relevant development partners to put in place a rapid and flexible process for allocating increased financial and technical support to Parties implementing projects that combat DLDD and deliver co-benefits,” is proposed to be replaced.

The replacement text will be: “Invite also development partners, international financial mechanisms, the private sector and other stakeholders to develop financing vehicles to boost investments that support the implementation of the Convention and the achievement of land degradation neutrality, create green jobs and establish sustainable value chains for products sourced from the land.”

Moreover, the draft has deleted the importance of peatland and forest ecosystems in creating multiple benefits from undertaking land restoration practices. From the following paragraph (paragraph 7), the words “including in peatland and forest ecosystems” has been removed:

“Acknowledging those practices, which conserve and restore land and soil affected by desertification, land degradation, drought and floods, including in peatland and forest ecosystems, contribute towards achieving land degradation neutrality and can also have long-term multiple benefits for the health, well-being and socio-economic development of the entire society, especially for the livelihoods of the rural poor.”

The draft Delhi Declaration also emphasises on aligning the United Nations-mandated Sustainable Development Goals, Convention on Biological Diversity and findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on Land and Climate Change.

It also talks about the recognition of tenurial rights, “in accordance with national laws, of legitimate tenure rights, including customary tenure rights, (that are not currently protected by law and the facilitation, promotion and protection of the exercise of tenure rights).”

The Delhi Declaration will set the direction for how the convention will move forward.

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