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- [April 2019] Another great experience with young people as we discussed the importance of land!

On 12 April the Team of the Capacity Building Marketplace (CBM) visited the high school students of the CJD Christophorusschule in Königswinter, Germany. The main purpose of this visit was to raise awareness about the importance of engaging the youth in sustainable development and the value of the land to our lives.

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The multinational/multicultural CBM Team comprising Anna Berecz (Hungary), Lina Pérez (Colombia), Jorge Sanz (Spain), Raissa Tadia (Cameroon) and Ines Belhous (France) engaged around 80 students between the ages of 15 and 18 on several issues including the importance of proper land management, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the work being done under the Convention, and the opportunities that  the Marketplace offers, such as scholarships, university programs, vacancies, and much more. They also demonstrated through video and stories of personal experiences what it means to be an intern at the UNCCD, and doing daily work at the Marketplace.

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The students and professors then participated in interactive talks asking their many questions of the CBM Team. It was explained to them that capacity building is one of the many tools that the UNCCD uses to connect people with opportunities to improve themselves and help the world at the same time.

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Many students wanted to know more about the UN in general, while some asked questions about such matters as the effects of drought in Germany. They also did the 'Moringa Challenge' and planted Moringa seeds as one way of trying to have a real impact on the reduction of their everyday footprint on the environment. Moringa is a tree used to combat land degradation because it is resistant to drought, improves soil fertility, grows fast, and helps with food security.

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Three of students won the contest 'A Day with the CBM Team', and as a result will spend a day at the UN headquarters interacting with UN staff and observing the work of some of the UN Agencies based in Bonn working on issues related to achieving sustainability and the SDGs.

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This event also included an exhibition where materials from the UNCCD library were displayed as well as information about the SDGs Global Festival of Action taking place in May, and the World Day to Combat Desertification to be observed on the 17th of June.

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For those that are interested in the full coverage of the event in Königswinter, you can see the videos of the presentations, pictures, and interviews in the link below:

All Videos of the CBM's visit to the CJD Christophorusschule in Königswinter

All pictures of the CBM's visit to the CJD Christophorusschule in Königswinter

This event could not have been possible without the great cooperation of the school’s management team. Therefore, the CBM Team expresses its heartfelt appreciation to the entire CJD Königswinter Christophorusschule. A very special thank you goes out to Ms. Beate Schöndube, Coordinator for the Promotion of Talented and Highly Talented Students, who facilitated the coordination of this experience. A special thanks to all the students who showed interest in and passion for all that was done, and who remained totally engaged throughout the entire exercise. Additionally, the CBM Team is grateful to all who were involved and supported the exercise from the first day of planning to the final execution.

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Following up, in Bonn, Germany - On 6th May, the Capacity Building Marketplace (CBM) of the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) hosted four very special guests. Three students from the CJD Christophorusschule Königswinter: Elena Bomm, Isabelle Tillenburg and Philipp Erdmann, and their teacher Beate Schöndube came to spend a day with the CBM Team at the UNCCD headquarters.

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Their visit was the grand prize of a quiz game that took place on the 12th of April, when the CBM visited their school as part of our 2019 outreach programme. The students and their teacher interacted with several United Nations (UN) staff members sharing their views on land issues and the environment in general and were given the opportunity to observe the work of some of the UN Agencies based in Bonn.

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The day with the CBM Team was a completely new experience for the students, as they could engage with the international and multicultural environment of the UN while getting a sense of some of the many different functions the UN carries out including supporting policy making and capacity building at the international level. They were shown how the CBM functions, and the significant role it plays in connecting people with opportunities that help them improve themselves while contributing to the overall sustainable development process.

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The visitors saw how the CBM is helping to empower the youth preparing them to play their role as future leaders, in sustainable land management. They were informed of some of the actions they can take to have an impact on such important matters as climate change, achieving land degradation neutrality, food security and the conservation of biodiversity.

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The visitors were also engaged in a very active discussion about the Global Mechanism’s activities in the mobilization of financial resources to implement the Convention effectively. Our guests also had a very interesting visit to the offices UNESCO - UNEVOC International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, where they were informed of the UN efforts towards peace, justice, equity, poverty alleviation, and greater social cohesion through Technical and Vocational Education, and Training.

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The Students were also welcomed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), where the were given a tour through the exhibition about the negotiation processes that have led the work on climate action and climate change mitigation. The guests learned about the several treaties, their scope, the relationship of the Secretariat with the civil society, and about the many challenges that our world faces in this regard.

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At the end of the day, the students shared their thoughts on the experience, stating that they found it unique, eye-opening, and extremely useful in helping to redirect all their actions towards sustainability and responsible care of the land. They are now part of the worldwide community of land lovers that are spreading the word about why our land matters, and how to take care of it with our everyday actions.

The Deputy Executive Secretary at the UNCCD, Mr. Pradeep Monga, shared some final reflections on the importance of youth empowerment and engagement, so we can achieve the SDGs by 2030 thereby guaranteeing a sustainable future.

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For those that are interested in the full coverage of the event in Königswinter, you can see the videos of the presentations, pictures, and interviews in the link below:

All pictures of Konigswinter at CBM

These outreach programmes are the brainchild of and are coordinated by the UNCCD Capacity Building Officer, Dr. Richard A. Byron-Cox. If you wish for your institution to be part of this exciting exercise, please contact us via one of the following channels:

E-mail address: cbm [at] unccd.int, or rbyroncox [at] unccd.int

Social media channels:

Facebook: UNCCD Capacity Building Marketplace

Twitter:  UNCCD Marketplace

LinkedIn: Capacity Building Marketplace (CBM)

YouTube: UNCCD Capacity Building Marketplace

Website:

www.unccd.int/marketplace

These outreached events are conceptualized, managed, and are generally coordinated by Dr. Richard A. Byron-Cox, UNCCD Capacity Building Officer. If you are interested in having your school be part of this program just let us know by using one of these channels:

E-mail address: cbm [at] unccd.int, or rbyroncox [at] unccd.int

Social media channels:

Facebook: UNCCD Capacity Building Marketplace

Twitter:  UNCCD Marketplace

LinkedIn: Capacity Building Marketplace (CBM)

YouTube: UNCCD Capacity Building Marketplace

Website:

www.unccd.int/marketplace