Markus Repnik, managing director of the Global Mechanism, said that 450 billion dollars is required annually to combat land degradation and desertification. He noted that climate funding is growing but more resources are needed. Repnik added that states have spent 200 billion dollars but total financing is less than 400 billion dollars.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF), a financial mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is aiming to provide half of its funds for climate change adaptation measures. He noted that the African Development Bank (ADB) wants to triple climate financing by 2020.
Repnik said that there is abundance of funding initiatives and systems but there is no single measure to show how finances are being mobilised.
“In-depth data on global financing is required. It should be known how much has been spent, where it came and who provided it in addition to ensuring data compatibility and reliability,” said Markus.
He called upon parties to consider how they will mobilise resources to implement the convention. The EU delegation to the UNCCD’s CRIC 15 urged parties to explore more funding mechanisms instead of relying on multilateral partnerships. They said innovative measures to source funds from the private sector should be explored.
During the conference it was revealed that developing countries and their partners have contributed five billion dollars towards efforts to curb desertification and land degradation. However, delegates insisted that more money is urgently needed and the developed countries should provide more funds.
Representatives of community-based organisations (CSOs) noted that the cost per unit (hectare) in combating land degradation also varies from country to country.
“More precise and comprehensive information is required,” they noted in a statement.
They emphasized that financing of programmes to combat land degradation should incorporate human resources development. They also noted that the financing mechanism should involve the 500 million smallholder farmers across the world whose rights require protection.
“Vulnerable groups such as indigenous people and pastoralists should be targeted for support,” read the CSOs statement.
At the same time, parties recognised the need to mobilise additional financial resources for voluntary LDN target setting and implementation from multiple sources such the GEF, Green Climate Fund, LDN Fund (once operational), national budget allocations and the private sector.
They called upon the Global Environment Facility (GEF), an independent financial entity that works with countries and international institutions, CSOs and the private sector to address global environmental issues, and the Global Mechanism to provide the required support.
Richard Mwendandu, director of Multilateral Environment Agreements at Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, said that although money can be mobilised to finance efforts towards meeting SDG 15.3, there is no specific global fund in place to support efforts to fight land degradation.
“Just a paltry 30,000 dollars has been issued by the Global Mechanism to assist countries on a pilot basis in the area of target setting as envisaged in the LDN concept,” he told IPS.
Mwendandu added that individual countries are trying to mobilise resources to combat land degradation. Citing the case of Kenya, he noted the government is mobilising funds in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to fund projects aimed at fighting land degradation.
CRIC 15 was aimed enabling parties to UNCCD to agree to a post-2018 strategy.
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