Land Degradation

The principal MEA for Pacific Countries in the field of Land Degradation is the UNCCD. 
Information about it follows: 


UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION

THE UNCCD IN THE PACIFIC REGION

UNCCD

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

The Convention
The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, established in 1994, is the sole legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.
The main goal of the convention as stated in its ten year strategy 2008-2018 is to improve the conditions of populations and ecosystems affected by desertification, land degradation and droughts. Thus, the Convention’s 195 parties work together to improve the living conditions for people in drylands, to maintain and restore land and soil productivity, and to mitigate the effects of drought.
In this context, the UNCCD secretariat facilitates cooperation between developed and developing countries, particularly around knowledge and technology transfer for sustainable land management. Development and widespread of relevant technologies and best land management practices are adequately supported with innovative and integrated financing strategies and approaches.

Objectives
Combat land degradation through effective action at all levels, supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements, in the framework of an integrated approach which is consistent with Agenda 21, with a view to contributing to the achievement of sustainable development in affected areas.

Commitments
 

In carrying out their obligations, affected developing country Parties and any other affected country Party in the framework of its regional implementation annex or, otherwise, that has notified the Permanent Secretariat in writing of its intention to prepare a national action programme, shall, as appropriate, prepare, make public and implement national action programmes, utilizing and building, to the extent possible, on existing relevant successful plans and programmes, and subregional and regional action programmes, as the central element of the strategy to combat land degradation and mitigate its effects.

National Plans
1. The purpose of national action programmes is to identify the factors contributing to land degradation and practical measures necessary to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought.
2. National action programmes shall specify the respective roles of government, local communities and land users and the resources available and needed.
3. National action programmes may include, inter alia, some or all of the measures proposed by the Convention to prepare for and mitigate the effects of drought.

UNCCD in the Pacific

The aim of the Convention in the Pacific is to alleviate land degradation, reduce the risk and impact of drought, and increase productivity potential affected landscapes. Regional land degradation issues include: erosion, deforestation, land slides, impact of mining and quarries, salt incursion and contamination of industrial and productive lands. All 14 Pacific Island countries are parties to the convention.
The Pacific island countries priority is to complete and align the new UNCCD National Action Plans (NAPs) to the Convention’s Ten year Strategic Plan.

The aligned NAPs:
  • Include an integrated financing strategy (IFS) for locating and developing a mix of financial resources to fund programs and projects related to combating desertification and sustainable land management (SLM) for UNCCD implementation.
  • Establish a framework for national monitoring and reporting that meets the requirements of the Convention's monitoring and assessment system PRAIS (Performance Review and Assessment of Implementation System).
Five countries have completed NAPs, and 4 (Cook Islands, Fiji, Palau and Samoa) have started IFS development supported by the Global Mechanism.
Samoa has also started a GEF5 2012 – 2017 multi-sectoral programme under the theme SLM.

Regional and SPREP activities

1) Training on the UNCCD 10 year strategy and new monitoring system, PRAIS, 2010

2) Regional preparatory meeting for COP10, 2010:

3) Feasibility study for Integrated Financing Strategies, 2011

4) Workshops on the development of IFS/NAP alignment 

5) PRAIS online reporting portal
SPREP is the regional reporting entity and hub for UNCCD. It is planning to formulate a Sub-regional (Pacific) Action Plan or SRAP to support country’s sustainable land management needs. SPREP, together with the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD, is providing technical support and training for reporting through the PRAIS system, and also coordinating the process of NAP alignment and IFS develo
pment. 

6) Global Mechanism
SPREP is currently working with the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD to build capacity to align the NAPs with the convention’s Ten-Year Strategy and develop integrated financing strategies. This is an activity led by the SLM component of the ACP MEAs project, scope|acp (south-to-south cooperation on land and environment). A useful tool for SLM practitioners is at www.slmfinance.net. This website provides a collaborative platform to increase investment in sustainable land management in ACP countries. It
showcases good practices and innovative approaches to mobilise resources for SLM, shares relevant funding opportunities and calls for proposals, and offers online   working spaces to design projects where the GM and partners are able to provide technical backstopping.