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Re-greening for Resilient Landscapes: Pastoralists and farmers stewarding of ecosystems and the economic returns of drylands
16 Jun 2012 - 16 Jun 2012
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Rio Centro, Pavilion T Room 6

There will be 9 billion people on Earth by 2050. But by 2030, the current food demand will double and the demand for water will increase by 35%. In addition to using existing land efficiently, we will need 120 million hectares of new land to meet this food demand. At present, about 60% of all the world?s uncultivated arable land is in Africa, but this is a continent where 2/3 of the land is either deserts or drylands.

To meet the growing global food and water demands while avoiding encroachment on the remaining forests for food production and the creation man-made deserts in the remaining parts of Africa and elsewhere, degrading land and create resilient landscapes must be re-greened. The drylands are the best chance we have to achieve multiple goals at a scale that has significant and durable impact.

Globally, the drylands support 2.1 billion people, with the majority of its inhabitants still dependent upon the success of extensive grazing systems and sustainable crop production intensification. But drylands are a significant source of the worlds? food and water production. They account for 50% of all livestock, as much as half of the agricultural GDP in most African countries is derived from livestock. Nearly half, 44% to be precise, of all the world?s cultivated systems are in the drylands. Also, for every three crops under cultivation today, one originated from the drylands.

Ironically, drylands have been considered marginal ? subject to degradation, loss of biodiversity and ineffective water management ? while the people they support have been marginalized. Targeting drylands is key in the march towards sustainable development not least because of their strong connection to land degradation and desertification and other global issues, including climate change, droughts and floods, famine, poverty and social disruption).

Successful methodologies to avoid, curb and reverse land degradation are being employed at a landscape scale on millions of hectares across Africa. These methodologies also offer ways out of poverty. They include holistic approaches to managing rangelands, parklands systems, agroforestry and evergreen agriculture, sand-dune fixation and others that build on traditional practices. The cases presented will demonstrate the essentials for achieving long-term sustainability and resilience including innovative practice and policy contributions to adaptive governance frameworks. They offer pathways to achieving the target of a zero-net rate of land degradation, whereby, every year, degrading land is offset by restoring an equal amount of land that is already degraded and by avoiding degradation altogether and by enhancing the productivity of the land. These examples from the field, depict solutions that are culturally appropriate, highly scalable, cost effective, regenerative and nature-based.

Expected outcome: commitment for a global network to beat famine; commitments to restore degrading land towards becoming land-degradation neutral.

Chris Shore, World Vision, Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration
Constance Neely, Savory Institute, Holistic Planned Grazing
Arthur Getz Escudero, IPSA, Drylands Landscapes and Cities
Farmer/Pastoralist, Practice-Policy Experience
Dennis Garrity, UNCCD Drylands Ambassador, Research and Knowledge to Support an Evergreen Agriculture ICRAF
Dahmane Yahiaoui, Government of Algeria/UNCCD, Targeting Zero Net Land Degradation

Dennis Garrity, UNCCD Drylands Ambassador, Research and Knowledge to Support an Evergreen Agriculture, ICRAF


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