Country Consultant Support to the Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting Process in Somalia – Mogadishu, with travel to other locations in Somalia

Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting Process in Somalia

Desertification, along with climate change and the loss of biodiversity were identified as the greatest challenges to sustainable development during the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Established in 1994, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management. The Convention addresses specifically the arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, known as the drylands, where some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and peoples can be found. In the 10-Year Strategy of the UNCCD (2008-2018) Parties to the Convention further specified their goals: “to forge a global partnership to reverse and prevent desertification/land degradation and to mitigate the effects of drought in affected areas in order to support poverty reduction and environmental sustainability”.

In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, including goal 15, which aims to “protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”. As main expected results it defines under target 15.3 to “combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world” by 2030.

In October 2015, the 12th session of the Conference of Parties (COP) of the UNCCD, organized in Ankara, Turkey, agreed to:

  • Define Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) and endorse the concept as a strong vehicle for driving implementation of the UNCCD;
  • Invite country Parties to formulate national voluntary targets to achieve LDN and to integrate LDN targets into UNCCD National Action Programmes; and
  • Establish LDN partnerships recognizing the unique role of UNCCD in addressing target 15.3 and the contributions required from other bodies, agencies and Conventions to achieve LDN.

In September 2017, the 13th session of the COP of the UNCCD further decided to:

  • Continue to support Parties in their efforts to achieve land degradation neutrality, including the formulation and implementation of voluntary land degradation neutrality targets and the alignment of national action programmes with the UNCCD 2018–2030 Strategic Framework, and
  • Continue to strengthen international cooperation for the achievement of land degradation neutrality, including inter alia, by fostering synergies and increasing coherence among the three Rio conventions and other related initiatives contributing to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

In response to the above decisions, the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD (GM) has established a global initiative in support of Voluntary Target Setting for LDN – i.e. LDN Target Setting Programme (LDN/TSP) – to enable Country Parties to define national baselines and identify targets and measures to achieve LDN. As of 31 August 2018, 118 countries have committed to set LDN targets and are supported by the LDN/TSP. The UNDP Global Policy Centre on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification (GC-RED) is a partner of the LDN/TSP, supporting its implementation of several countries including Somalia.

The LDN/TSP is based on four “Building Blocks ” which form the basis for LDN target setting:

  1. Leveraging LDN: To identify country-specific opportunities and mobilize a wide range of stakeholders and sectors for LDN target setting and implementation;
  2. Assessing LDN: To establish a baseline on the state of land degradation and assess the legal and institutional framework for sustainable land management and restoration;
  3. Setting LDN Targets: To define national and sub-national targets to achieve LDN by 2030; and
  4. Achieving LDN: To identify transformative projects/programs and potential financing to achieve the agreed LDN targets.

The country consultant will support the implementation of the LDN/TSP by providing technical backstopping to the national LDN target setting process in Somalia.

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