International Workshop on Combating Desertification and Land Degradation
In early July, ESCAP East and North-East Asia Office and China State Forestry Administration hosted a workshop in Beijing to move forward with combating desertification and land degradation in North-East Asia. North-East Asian countries have been affected by desertification and land degradation (DLD) at varying degrees.
For instance, China has over a quarter of its landmass and more than 400 million people threatened by DLD. The most degraded areas are concentrated in the country’s north-west, which tend to be poor and geographically marginalized. DLD hinders progress on poverty reduction and socio-economic development and causes adverse impacts on health. The annual direct economic losses caused by DLD in China exceed 120 billion yuan or 19.2 billion US dollars.
The conditions in Mongolia are even direr, as more than 75% of its territory is now under the threats of DLD, including nearly all of its grasslands and pasturelands. DLD has been the most challenging environmental issues in the country, and it has been closely related to its most prominent economic sectors, such as agriculture and mining.
In this context, the Beijing workshop brought together all stakeholders from the subregion, including government agencies, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and donor agencies, and made a joint action plan that was shared with all groups for combating desertification and land degradation. At the workshop, the participants adopted the North-East Asia Multi-Stakeholder Plan (NEAMSP) for Combating Desertification and Land Degradation, which the ENEA Office has proposed as a practical tool to support information sharing and collaboration among various stakeholders.