A UN official on Tuesday called on the world to pay more attention to land management to adapt to the effect of climate change at an event celebrating the 20th anniversary of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought.
"To avoid titanic-sized climate disasters rapidly becoming the norm ... adaptation should be an integral part of everyone's response," said Ms. Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) at the opening remarks for World Day to Combat Desertification Global Observance Event.
"So far, too little is being done for adaptation at a large scale, the potential of land management has not been sufficiently recognized," she said.
"Adaptation powered by land is a good place to start because everyone can relate to it. We build our homes, factories and roads on the land," said Barbut.
Barbut said successful land management does not depend on new technology or vast amounts of new finance. It required smart investments and a rethinking of existing financing strategies.
"For example, in West Africa, at least a quarter of a million hectares of degraded land is being restore to crop production annually using a low-cost , sustainable land restoration technique called Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration," said Barbut.
According to the data of UNCCD, at present more than 250 good land management practices can be shared and used in various ecosystems. Most of these are modifications of low-cost traditional practices, knowledge and skills.
"Replicating these practices at large scale would have global impact. It would create employment in rural areas and transform once barren lands into oceans of opportunity," said Barbut.
World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought has been observed since 1995 to raise world awareness about the threats of desertification and droughts. Every year it has a different theme. This year's theme is "Land belongs to the future -- Let's climate proof it."