12 September 2007 – The linked scourges of desertification and climate change are impeding the achievement of key development targets, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today (Wednesday, 12/9/2007).
The “twin threats” of desertification and climate change “pose unrivalled challenges to humanity,” he said in a message to the eighth Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in running from 3-14 September in Madrid. “They demand an unprecedented response from all of us.”
The Secretary-General said that global warming can also lead to increased poverty, forced migration and vulnerability to conflict in regions impacted by extreme weather events.
“Conversely, concerted efforts to combat desertification – by reclaiming degraded land, combating soil loss and restoring vegetation – can help curb greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the resilience of affected countries and build their capacity to adapt to climate change,” he said.
Mr. Ban voiced hope that both the Conference, which is meeting in its eighth session, and a high-level informal dialogue on climate change scheduled for 24 September in New York will set the stage for the upcoming major December summit in Bali, Indonesia.