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COP15 desertification conference ends in Abidjan

A. Donwahi(3R), Ivorian President of COP 15, and Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, I. Thiaw (3L) looks on during the closing ceremony.   -  
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SIA KAMBOU/AFP or licensors

Ivory Coast

**The COP15 against desertification ended Friday in Abidjan with 38 decisions adopted to invest in land restoration and drought mitigation.

The UN COP15 conference to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) came to a close in Abidjan Friday.

After almost two weeks of talks on key themes like desertification or drought, Mauritanian Executive Secretary of the Conference of the parties, reiterated the need for effective steps to prevent further land degradation.

"Beyond the technical terms and discussions, all is really about life. It's about our well-being. Knowing that 40% of the planet's land surface is already damaged by human activity, I think, calls for action. So this COP is also a call to action on two major issues: land restoration and drought."

COP15 brought together leaders from governments, the private sector and civil society with a target for finding sustainable solutions for land restoration. However, climate activist Jean Claude Brou, climate activist regretted the absence of key witnesses who notice first-hand the effects of land degradation.

"The farmers experience the reality of land degradation, they are the ones battling it on all front, they farmers know this reality. The farmers are the ones who know the reality of the situation in the forests. They're organised in groups and could have been invited ! Instead, administrators, committees or agricultural organizations, attended, I do not agree with that."

Although drought is a global issue, a recent UN report noted that Africa is the hardest hit continent, with the Americas, India and Australia.

38 decisions

The 196 Parties pledged to boost drought resilience and invest in land restoration for prosperity in the future. 38 decisions were adopted among wich a more robust monitoring and data to track progress against land restoration commitments; new political and financial impetus to help nations deal with devastating impacts of drought and build resilience.

The US $2.5 billion Abidjan Legacy Programme will help future-proof supply chains while tackling deforestation and climate change.

The Abidjan meeting will be followed up during the UN climate summit in Egypt, scheduled on November.

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