MPs vow to allocate budgets to combat desertification

21 Sep 2013 08:40
WINDHOEK, 21 SEP (NAMPA) – Members of Parliament (MPs) around the world are committed to make laws, allocate budgets, oversee and control actions of their governments, and foster public awareness about UNCCD.
This is one of the commitments made and included in the Draft Declaration on “The role of MPs in the efforts to combat desertification, land degradation and drought: Parliamentary contributions to achieving a land-degradation neutral world in the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda”.
MPs discussed the draft as part of their 10th round-table meeting on Saturday in parallel with the 11th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) currently taking place here.
“MPs are committed to mobilise stronger parliamentary support in the implementation of the Convention by undertaking six main roles of legislators: making laws; allocating budgets; overseeing and controlling the actions of governments; foster public discourse and raising awareness; electing competent personalities and bodies; and influencing foreign policy and international co-operations,” it noted.
MPs are convinced that global, national, regional and sub-regional and local efforts to halt and reverse land degradation are prerequisites for freeing hundreds of millions of people from poverty by addressing food, sanitation, water and energy security, adapting and mitigating climate change, building resilience to drought, as well as achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
They thus declared to work towards improving the quality of development co-operation and increasing the volume of official development assistance, particularly in those developed countries which have not yet reached the 0.7 per cent target – to be achieved as fast as possible by 2018 at the latest (in order to contribute to enhancing the implementation of the UNCCD 10-year Strategy).
MPs will also provide substantial, adequate, timely and predictable financial resources to support initiatives to reverse and prevent desertification, land degradation and mitigate the effects of drought.
They will further support targeted capacity-building, including parliaments and parliamentarians, training programmes and women’s empowerment.
MPs vowed to promote scientific and technology research findings on desertification, land degradation and drought for instance in the fields of desalinisation and renewable energies, harness traditional knowledge as well as capitalise on the benefits from modern information and communication technologies.
They will use the results of these scientific activities in policies and decision-making to benefit the public, private and civil society organisation sectors in their efforts to address DLDD.
The 195 parties of the Convention work together to improve the living conditions of people in dry-lands, maintain and restore land and soil productivity, and mitigate the effects of drought.