The Mediterranean region is characterized by an acute scarcity of land resources suitable for production, due to aridity, inherently poor soils in many areas, and poor land management. To tackle desertification, the 14th session of Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is taking place from 2-13 September 2019 in New Delhi, welcoming over 3,000 participants, under the theme “Restore land to sustain life”. The Union for the Mediterranean is collaborating to the side event “Regional initiative to counter land degradation in the Mediterranean, Near East and Eastern Europe, LANDMEDNET” with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), which took place on 5 September.
The side event draws attention to the need to identify the main challenges to sustainable land resources use and management and to map out regional actions to counter land degradation, enhance resilience and promote sustainable production landscapes in the Mediterranean, Near East and Eastern Europe.
The UfM also partnered with the UNCCD to foster cooperation on drought, desertification and land rehabilitation in the Mediterranean region, within a wider circular economy approach. In particular, UfM contributed to developing National Drought Plans to enhance societal resilience within UfM non-EU Mediterranean countries. UfM country-parties from Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania, Jordan and Algeria have already joined the Drought Initiative and have developed a National Drought Plan.