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With the global rise in human population and the status of environmental degradation, accelerating the use of sustainable land management practices at the community level is critical for the future of the planet. For the last two decades, the Small Grants Programme (SGP) has been supporting local communities and indigenous communities in their efforts to restore degraded lands, improve soil fertility and nutrition, encourage sustainable land management practices, and protect key natural ecosystems.

To promote further replication and scaling up of good practices, SGP identified good practices and examples of how local communities tackle issues related to unsustainable land, forest, and resource management for a new publication “Community Approaches to Sustainable Land Management and Agroecology Practices”, launched earlier this month at the UN Convention to Combat Desertification’s 13th Convention of the Parties in Ordos, China. 

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On September 8th, the publication was launched at a side event hosted by SGP on Community Actions for Land Degradation Neutrality, with welcoming remarks from the GEF Secretariat, Director of the Global Policy Centre on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification – Anne Juepner, and Dr. Ran from the Ministry of Forestry, Government of China. at the event, SGP presented its approach to Sustainable Land Management and shared experiences from local communities in China and Uzbekistan. An animated video on sustainable land practices from SGP was also screened at the side event.

              Launch of Agroecology at UNCCD COP small           SGP UNCCD COP small

The publication covers four over-arching themes: Agroecology and Agribusiness, Sustainable Forest Management, Technologies for Water and Energy Use Efficiency in Production Systems, and Farms Pasture Rehabilitation and Rangeland Management. It also includes examples of successful and innovative approaches in Armenia, Barbados, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Gambia, Mongolia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. The 11 project examples featured in the publication, demonstrates and illustrates how communities can be effective vehicles of and land managers for reversing degraded lands by using simple technologies, traditional knowledge, and farm based inputs. Through these projects the involved communities showed their ability to protect, rehabilitate, conserve, and manage land resources in a manner adept at avoiding most drivers of land degradation. This publication is an instructive tool for both practitioners and policy-makers and will provide the reader with valuable know-how from the highly relevant, SGP supported activities to arrest land degradation.

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SGP also participated at the UNCCD’s CSO Open Dialogue Session on September 9th, where Ms. Yoko Watanabe, SGP Global Manager, introduced SGP’s role to support local communities in combatting desertification, climate change, and lost biological resources while empowering women, indigenous peoples, and youth to address land degradation. Later that day, SGP was a part of the panel at the GEF Day at the Rio Pavilion, during which Ms. Watanabe gave an overview of SGP and attended the panel discussion and interactions with the participants.

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Photo Credit: ISSD and SGP