COP28UAE, "Healthy Soils for Land and Climate", UNCCD, CSFD, IRD and CIRAD Side-Event, December 5, 2023

Healthy soils contribute to Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN)

Soils stand as the primary capital and ultimate sanctuary for the sustenance of millions of people. Preserving and restoring these invaluable resources becomes a paramount endeavor, aiming to fortify the resilience of communities whose livelihoods, and even survival, hinge directly upon them.

This encapsulated the essence of OSS Executive Secretary's intervention, Mr. Nabil Ben Khatra, within the side event organized today by UNCCD, CSFD, IRD and CIRAD. He emphasized the undeniable significance of Healthy Soils (HS) in achieving Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN).

During the event, Mr. Ben Khatra elaborated on how land cover change, vegetation productivity and soil organic carbon are directly linked to soil conditions. Stressing the immediate need for establishing baselines and monitoring these indicators, he underlined the critical role of data in this process.

Recognizing the significant role that data plays in soil fertility, OSS is diligently producing regional databases with high-resolution density, utilizing sentinel information with a resolution of 10 meters for land cover mapping which is a crucial database and is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2024, with plans to share it with relevant countries.

The anticipated outcome extends beyond Convention (UNFCCC, UNCCD and UNCBD) reporting; it serves as a tool for assessing the state of our soils, fostering better management practices. Mr. Ben Khatra emphasized that both adaptation and mitigation efforts are intrinsically linked to Healthy Soils. The deployment of monitoring tools and early warning systems becomes imperative for decision-makers, facilitating proactive planning to avert potential catastrophes.

In his concluding statement, Mr. Ben Khatra advocated for a holistic approach, emphasizing the importance of data and information accessible to various stakeholders, fostering synergies among them.

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