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Two New Publications on Gender launched at UNCCD COP 14

A Manual for Gender-responsive Land Degradation Neutrality Transformative Projects and Programmes

Climate- and human-induced land degradation endangers the future survival of our planet. A new focus on achieving Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) seeks to spark and grow transformative efforts to avoid, reduce and reverse land degradation through gender- and socially-equitable means. As of July 2019, 122 countries of the 169 countries directly affected by desertification, land degradation or drought pledged to achieve land degradation neutrality at the national or sub-national level. More than 82 countries have already set LDN targets towards halting land degradation by 2030, and 44 of the 70 countries regularly hit by drought are setting up drought management plans to ensure that droughts do not turn into disasters. Many of the target entail co-benefits for sustainable agriculture and food security, and link to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to advance gender equality, increase women’s equal access to and control over land and natural resources, improve health and nutrition, reduce poverty, and restore ecosystems and climate change impacts.

This manual provides step-by-step guidance to Parties on integrating gender issues and promoting gender equality in the design of transformative LDN projects. It builds on work launched by UN Women, the Global Mechanism of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the International Union on the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in advising governments on integrating gender perspectives in the development of LDN initiatives, as mandated by the UNCCD Gender Action Plan (GAP), the Science Policy Interface LDN Conceptual Framework and related decisions adopted by the Conference of the Parties.

Land Degradation Neutrality: Interventions to Foster Gender Equality

Women constitute the bulk of people who rely on land in many of the regions most affected by desertification, land degradation and drought. One in three people on earth depend directly on agriculture, while nearly 80% of employed women in least developed countries report agriculture as their primary livelihood. Food availability fluctuations also impact women’s role in food production and intra-family food distribution, with women often reducing their nutritional intake and that of their children, with dire health consequences.

Women’s input, knowledge and guidance are indispensable to any productive, sustainable efforts to avoid, reduce and reverse degraded land as mandated under the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). To realize the full potential of the new Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) approach, the varied roles, priorities, contributions and influences of both women and men in land use and management must be understood, recognized and rewarded. Transformative LDN projects and programmes that overcome gender biases, integrate measures to promote women’s empowerment and foster inclusion and equal opportunities stand to leverage and gain co-benefits. Such efforts could also accelerate progress toward reaching multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular those on advancing gender equality, ending poverty, improving food security, mitigating climate change and enriching life on land.

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