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DESIRE project Land-for-Life award semi-finalist PDF Print E-mail
Written by Erik van den Elsen   
ImageThe DESIRE consortium applied for the Land-for-Life award that was called into life at the end of last year by the United Nations Committee to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). We received news last week, that the DESIRE consortium is one of the 15 semi-finalists in this contest.

The Land for Life award was erected by the UNCCD for 'Rewarding leadership for sustainable land management'. Furthermore the UNCCD states that: 'The award will go to inspiring initiatives which secure the health and productivity of soil for the well-being of present and future generations.'

  • The prize winner of the Land-4-Life award 2012 will be announced on the RIO+20 meeting. More info can be found HERE.
  • The program for the June 17th festivities (World Day to Combat Desertification) can be downloaded by clicking HERE.

Land degradation does not have to be permanent
Recent studies show that up to two billion hectares of degraded land and forest globally have the potential for restoration. There are many ways to restore degraded land, such as through enriching soil, planting trees and diversifying crop and animal production. Restoring degraded lands can also offer solutions to climate change, as healthy soils and vegetation store more carbon.

There are many benefits to sustainable land management, which can simultaneously conserve natural resources and increase yields. These benefits can include:
  • Increased crop yields and food security
  • Local access to sustainable fuel and energy sources
  • Clean water
  • Increased vegetation cover preventing erosion
  •  Preservation of soil moisture, enabling soil development and mitigating degradation
  • Optimised water, nutrient, carbon and biomass cycle
  • Preservation of biodiversity at the farm level through agroforestry, intercropping and locally adapted seed
  • Reconsituting carbon pools in soil and vegetation cover resulting in less carbon emissions
  • Reducing floods through regulation of river, lake and groundwater levels
  • Protection of cultural heritage and natural landscapes through promoting practices that utilize indigenous knowledge.

The DESIRE project and its project partners have been working for 5 year in accomplishing these goals and on developing the 'DESIRE approach' in which the local community and many other stakeholder are involved and needed in reaching these goals. We think the DESIRE project has made a considerable contribution in gaining progress in this important work.

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