At the occasion of the CRIC 9 Meeting of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in Bonn, Germany, GRF Davos and UNCCD held a joint side event on „Advocating Integrative DLDD Risk Management“.
The burden of progressing Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD) – particularly heavy in the context of poverty, food insecurity, migration and social conflict – still lacks awareness among not only the population but also policy and business leaders. Participants of the well-attended side event have gained insight on the importance and discussed on the economics of DLDD, how DLDD related risks can be managed and what the essentials of leadership are for the successful implementation of inter-disciplinary projects on sustainable land management.
Walter J. Ammann led through the discussion with Joachim von Braun, Stefan Schmitz, Jose Armando Alanis de la Rosa, Sergio Zelaya-Bonilla and Douglas Pattie. The main messages highlighted the benefits of an economical DLDD perspective and education-driven DLDD risk management: Firstly, as there is evidence that the costs of sustainable land management might be less than the costs of not preventing degradation, public awareness of the total costs of DLDD is still lacking. An economic assessment of the costs of DLDD and as such an identification of the strings between DLDD and poverty would, however, facilitate policy relevant decisions making, which at the point is still very uncoordinated, and flag investment targets for socio-economic development. Secondly, leaders who understand the complexity of the systemic relations between the human factor and DLDD are needed. Building up a community of such leaders requires integrated and problem-based education with multi-levels perspectives.
The new initiative of GRF and UNCCD is directly addressing these issues in DLDD assessment and training programmes. A first project will be implemented in Mexico. Also, the German government has assured its interest and engagement in assessing the socio-economics of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought. Meanwhile GRF Davos is open for third party’s ideas for future projects.