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The path to a peaceful and secure future is paved with decisive action against losing more productive land.

In an interview for the World Environment Day, Monique Barbut, Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)explains what is the importance of migration, oceans and land..

Land is the wellspring of life. Investing in this most precious asset will place us on the development path that will lead us towards our shared global vision of prosperity, health and dignity for all the world’s citizens.

Today, many people living in developed countries and in large urban centers give little thought to where their food and water comes from, and their migration behavior is only infrequently directly shaped by land changes. However, in less developed parts of the world, and in rural areas especially, access to basic livelihood needs is often insecure and migration patterns continue to be strongly influenced by variations in land conditions. In the Sahel region, for example, more than 80% of people work in agriculture, and when land is degraded, agricultural yields and incomes fall precipitously.

2. How is climate change reshaping priorities for you and your organization?

Climate change will exacerbate land degradation in many regions, with both direct and indirect effects on rural household incomes, increased risks of crop losses, and fluctuating commodity market prices. At COP 21 in Paris, land was acknowledged to have an important role to play in mitigating Climate Change. For the first time the carbon sequestration capacity of land was recognized, which is a major advance towards making sustainable land management a global priority.

It is also important to note that land is the second largest carbon sink, after the oceans. Restoring the soils of degraded ecosystems has the potential to store up to three billion tonnes of carbon annually. This is equivalent to storing up to 30 per cent of annual CO2 fossil fuel emissions! Land is therefore pivotal in the implementation of Article 5 of the Paris Agreement on carbon sinks.

3.When did your organizations begin collaboration on the migration-environment nexus?

4. What are the most pressing policy priorities in the migration-environment-climate change nexus from your point of view?

5. What is one key message and/or one key wish that you have for World Environment Day regarding the migration-environment nexus?

Read the whole article "Across Land and Ocean" 

On the occasion of World Environment Day 2017, Laura Thompson, the Deputy Director General of the UN Migration Agency (IOM) joins Monique Barbut, Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and Françoise Gaille, renowned oceanographer and Coordinator of the scientific board of the Ocean & Climate Platform (OCP) in a three branched reflection on how people and nature connect through the lenses of the land, oceans and migration.