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Land degradation and Migration: will restoring degraded lands keep people at home?

16 Jun 2017 by Phemo Kgomotso, Regional Technical Specialist, Ecosystems and Biodiversity, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa.

People living in drylands and other marginal landscapes have always lived with uncertainty and livelihood insecurities. Over time, they have employed a myriad of coping strategies, including seasonal migration in search of food, pasture and water. Photo: UNDP Somalia
Would forced migration end, if people knew that they could survive and thrive in their homeland? The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) asks this pertinent question as we observe World Day to Combat Desertification on 17 June, focused on examining the important link between land degradation and migration. A childhood memory that has stayed with me is from 1992, when Botswana, along with many other countries in southern Africa were hit by what the New York Times called 'the worst drought of the 20th Century'. That year, on a hot and dry December day, one of my family members and I spent half a day trekking livestock to the only water source that hadn’t dried up, and another half day trekking back to my grandmother’s farmstead. That year, my family lost over 40 heads of cattle. Mainly dependent on livestock for subsistence, people living in drylands and other marginal landscapes have always lived with uncertainty and livelihood insecurities and constraints presented by such environments. Over time, they have employed a myriad of coping strategies, including seasonal migration in search of food, pasture and water. The Fulani herders, found in Nigeria, Niger, Guinea, Mali and many parts of the Sahel … Read more

La urgencia de actuar para salvar los océanos

05 Jun 2017 by José Vicente Troya, Technical Advisor, Ocean and Water Governance, UNDP in Latin America and the Caribbean

UNDP-RBLAC-Jamaica,OldHarborBay3-2014Over 10 million residents of Small Island Developing States depend on the Pacific Ocean for survival. Photo: UNDP Jamaica
¿Y si el azul se desvanece y todas las aguas del mar se vuelven marrones, los corales se tornan blancos, los pastos marinos se marchitan, los manglares se van y los espacios de vida desaparecen? Esto está ocurriendo a velocidades aceleradas. La pesca está declinando. El 80% de todas las pesquerías se encuentra en estado de colapso, en estado de sobre-explotación o plenamente explotado. La contaminación de los mares observa un crecimiento alarmante, especialmente aquella originada por fertilizantes agrícolas y aguas servidas que terminan en el mar y que están provocando que los océanos empiecen a tener zonas sin vida. Lo mismo acontece con aquella contaminación procedente de los desechos plásticos, lo cual, a un ritmo de acumulación anual de 10 millones de toneladas métricas, pueden conducir a que, en el año 2050, los mares terminen conteniendo más plásticos que peces, medidos en peso. … Read more

La situation alimentaire en Ethiopie aussi est extrêmement préoccupante

30 May 2017 by David Das Neves, South-South Cooperation and Development Effectiveness Officer, UNDP Africa

Refugees in EthiopiaFew people are aware that Ethiopia is the African country that hosts the most refugees: 730 000 have been recorded, chiefly from Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea and Kenya. Photo: IOM
Beaucoup de personnes ont des difficultés à imaginer que des individus meurent encore de faim avec tous les moyens à notre disposition. J’ai rejoint le PNUD à Addis-Abeba en provenance de Genève, où les habitants ne se soucient généralement pas de savoir s’ils mangeront ce soir. Lorsque vous vivez en Ethiopie, les enjeux liés à la sécurité alimentaire vous font face et il est impossible d’ignorer la situation de crise que le pays affronte actuellement. Mais il faut faire attention au terme famine, qui a sa propre définition. Le Soudan du Sud est actuellement dans une situation de famine. La Somalie et le Nigeria font partie des pays en Afrique où le risque de famine est imminent. Au-delà du continent, le Yémen est aussi très affecté. On compte ensuite des pays sévèrement touchés par des problèmes de sécurité alimentaire, comme le Niger, le Tchad, le Cameroun, l’Érythrée et l’Éthiopie. Personne ne peut nier l’effet du climat parmi les causes de la crise alimentaire actuelle. La forte sécheresse qui sévit actuellement dans cette partie du globe fait des ravages. Mais d’autres facteurs doivent être pris en compte. … Read more

In Belize, local stewardship key to marine conservation

21 Apr 2017 by Leonel Requena, National Coordinator, GEF Small Grants Programme, UNDP Belize

Local communities are at the forefront of marine resources management and their engagement in conservation and shared governance is crucial to ensuring sustainable use of ocean resources. Photo: Avelino Franco/Fragments of Hope
The reef was in plain sight, a majestic view with sandy white beaches surrounding cayes with magnificent frigate birds and booby birds flying overhead at Halfmoon Caye Natural Monument. I was eager to put on my diving gear and see the wonders of the 186-mile-long Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Colorful coral reefs, whale sharks, turtles, and hundreds of cubera snappers aggregating three days before full moon at the Gladden Spit Spawning Aggregation Site, in Belize. It was May 2002, and I was participating along with a research team to collect data on Nassau Grouper abundance and distribution which would inform the declaration of eleven Nassau Grouper Spawning Aggregation Sites. Our ocean is rich in biodiversity and is a crucial carbon sink. Coastal wetlands, mangroves and coral reefs support a diverse array of marine life. According to a recent economic study of the Belize Barrier Reef, the estimated services derived for tourism and livelihoods is US$559 million per year with a population of 380,010 people. A healthy reef ensures healthy people and a resilient country. … Read more

A un año del terremoto en Ecuador, aún queda mucho por hacer

17 Apr 2017 by Nury Bermúdez, Emergency Response, Risk Management and Livelihoods Officer, UNDP Ecuador

With UNDP support, 2,600 families have resumed agricultural production in rural areas of Manabí and Esmeraldas, generating average increases of 50 percent in sales. Photo: Gabriela Ullauri/UNDP
It only took 40 seconds to unleash decades of pent up vulnerability in Ecuador. Substandard buildings, additional stories built unofficially, shoddy building materials—they all took their toll on 16 April 2016. With 671 deaths and over 241,000 people affected, it was unquestionably one of Ecuador’s biggest emergencies in decades. The country’s emergency response capabilities were overwhelmed, making clear the need to strengthen preparedness, prevention and recovery for dealing with large-scale adverse events. In the face of this situation, a national and international solidarity network activated to provide aid and relief during the emergency. Government agencies responded on multiple fronts in regions needing immediate aid. Different protocols and mechanisms were created and put to the test during the emergency. Local governments set up temporary operations since many lost their facilities and were also affected. Civil society organizations were also on the ground in different areas, coordinating, managing and supporting those most in need. The humanitarian mandate to provide people with comprehensive care was fulfilled thanks to contributions and accumulated knowledge, where cooperation agencies played an important role and the Country Humanitarian Team was a hub of action that supplemented the Ecuadorian government’s efforts. UNDP aided the government on several fronts. In the … Read more

Repensar el progreso

10 Mar 2017 by Jessica Faieta, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean

Reducing inequality is a priority in Latin America and the Caribbean. The region includes 10 of the world’s 15 most unequal countries. Photo: UNDP Colombia/Freya Morales
220 millones de personas (casi dos en cada cinco latinoamericanos) son hoy económicamente vulnerables: oficialmente no son pobres, pero tampoco lograron ascender a la clase media. Entre estos, de 25 a 30 millones de personas—más de un tercio de los que salieron de la pobreza en la región desde 2002— corren el riesgo de recaer en ella. En un nuevo contexto económico, ¿Qué políticas pueden evitar que se generen retrocesos y ayudar a seguir reduciendo la pobreza en la región? … Read more

La promesse d'un père - à mes filles et à toutes les filles

08 Mar 2017 by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, UNDP Goodwill Ambassador

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau referees the Global Goals World Cup in KenyaUNDP Goodwill Ambassador Nikolaj Coster-Waldau referees the Global Goals World Cup women's football tournament in Nairobi. Photo: UNDP Kenya
Je viens de rentrer du Kénya, où j’ai arbitré la Coupe du monde des Objectifs Mondiaux. Ce tournoi de football international rassemble des femmes et des filles ordinaires pour défendre les Objectifs qui leur tiennent le plus à cœur, notamment l’égalité des sexes et l’éradication de la pauvreté. C’était une expérience incroyable ! Ce fut également pour moi l’occasion de voir en personne le remarquable travail que réalise le PNUD, et les opportunités qu’il crée pour ces femmes et ces filles. J’ai rencontré des femmes qui m’ont raconté leurs histoires, comment elles essaient d’améliorer leur vie et celle de leur communauté. Elles m’ont étonné et inspiré. Et je sais que vous aussi, vous appréciez ce genre de récits sur la manière de bâtir des avenirs meilleurs. C’est quelque chose que nous partageons. En tant que père et mari, je suis particulièrement engagé dans la défense des causes qui me touchent personnellement. Je veux que mes filles grandissent sur une planète propre, sûre et prospère. Une planète qui leur permet de réaliser leurs rêves, de maximiser leur potentiel, et d’avoir un impact sur le monde qui les entoure. Une planète qui ne les relègue pas au second plan en raison de leur sexe. … Read more

La migration profite à tous, lorsque les droits sont protégés

16 Dec 2016 by Owen Shumba, Team Leader, Livelihoods and Economic Recovery, UNDP

According to the International Organization for Migration, remittances alone accounted for over 40 percent of Tajikistan's GDP last year. UNDP Tajikistan
Aujourd'hui, le monde compte plus de 244 millions de migrants - un chiffre record. L'immigration est une chance pour les migrants, les pays d'origine, de transit et de destination : à condition que la protection des droits des migrants soit respectée. Soyons honnêtes et convenons du fait que la migration présente à la fois des points positifs et négatifs. La pression exercée sur les services publics, la hausse du chômage, la baisse des salaires, les difficultés d'intégration et la fuite des cerveaux sont perçus comme des méfaits de la migration. Et pourtant, j’ai tendance à penser que les avantages sont plus importants que les inconvénients dans les pays d'origine et de destination. Parmi les aspects positifs de la migration, on peut citer la croissance économique, les envois de fonds, les services mis à la disposition d'une population vieillissante, la résorption du déficit de compétences, les innovations, la diversité culturelle et le tourisme. … Read more

Ready, set, innovate!

28 Nov 2016 by Marc Lepage, Innovation and Knowledge Management Specialist, UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa

Photo: Aude Rossignol/UNDP Burundi
In Africa, as in the rest of the world, things are moving! We live in a world that is becoming more and more complex, whether it be in social, economic or political terms. With the introduction of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we now have to adapt and adjust our practices in order to achieve such goals both efficiently and effectively. It's not uncommon to hear partners or even staff members complain, rightfully or wrongfully, about the red tape involved when it comes to UNDP procedures. Time-consuming processes or administrative tasks have been put into place and seem sometimes to take precedence over the quality of our interventions. Innovation can help correct such dysfunctions and thus allow us to be more productive. So, how can we best define the term ‘innovate’? There are a lot of possibilities, but the one to bear in mind is the fact that innovation enables us to give full rein to the innate creativity that lies within us. It allows us to come up with original and powerful responses to meet specific societal needs – and such responses can be technological or organizational in structure, or even a leading factor in bringing about social or behavioural changes. … Read more

Empresas por la igualdad de género

18 Nov 2016 by Susan McDade, Deputy Director, Latin America and the Caribbean, UNDP

 Companies committed to women’s active participation achieve greater efficiency and better personnel performance, have more committed employees, and improve hiring and their public image. Photo: James A. Rodríguez/MiMundo.org
La Agenda 2030 nos brinda una hoja de ruta para construir el mundo que queremos, sin dejar a nadie detrás. La igualdad de género es clave para alcanzar los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS), tanto como derecho humano fundamental como motor del progreso para todos los demás objetivos. Empoderar a las mujeres y niñas tiene un efecto multiplicador y eso contribuye a promover el crecimiento económico y el desarrollo a nivel mundial. … Read more