Desertification, or “land degradation in the drylands”, is a major global environmental threat that affects the lives of millions of the world’s poorest people. The process of desertification is also closely related to dryland biodiversity loss. Dryland Biodiversity is widely valued, but often unconsciously, and development policies frequently put this biodiversity at risk. Low investment in these areas contributes to a paucity of data that leaves a major gap in understanding the risks and threats to dryland biodiversity. Conservation and sustainable development are also constrained by weak understanding of dryland ecology and of the adaptations that dryland people have made to live in these environments.
This knowledge café will bring together partners working on drylands biodiversity to initiate a plan of action for conserving drylands biodiversity and promoting resilient drylands development. The event will provide space for dryland experts and enthusiasts to share their experiences of nature-based and people-oriented solutions to conservation and sustainable development in the drylands. Participants will:
1. Meet partners who are interested in developing IUCN’s work on drylands biodiversity;
2. Share existing dryland initiatives across the union (and beyond);
3. Debate the relationship between sustainable land management and conserving drylands biodiversity;
4. Discuss recommendations from the publication “Conserving Drylands Biodiversity through Sustainable Land Management”;
5. Identify priorities for further action based on common interests and opportunities.
Copies of the book “Conserving Drylands Biodiversity through Sustainable Land Management” will be made available to all participants. The knowledge café will be co-hosted by the institutions supporting this publication: IUCN, UNCCD, UNEP-WCPA, WCPA, CEESP, CEM.