Political leaders call for urgent measures against desertification

“We must act quickly before it is too late,” urged the president of the African Union Commission at the opening of COP15.

Political leaders called on Monday (05.09.2022) for rapid action to be taken in the fight against land degradation in the world, at the opening of the XV session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention on Fight against Desertification (UNCCD).

The first day of COP15, which is being held in Abidjan, the economic capital of the Ivory Coast, until May 20, was marked by a high-level meeting attended by the president of the African Union (AU) Commission. , Moussa Faki Mahamat, and several heads of state from the continent.

Among those leaders were the presidents of the Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara; Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari; Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Félix Tshisekedi, or Namibia, Hage Geingob, among others.

“Each moment lost corresponds to a space gained by the drought and its terrible consequences for people and the environment”, stressed Moussa Faki Mahamat, recalling the correlation of the effects of drought and land degradation with the security crises that Africa suffers.

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He admitted that the UN climate change conferences have raised “great hopes in Africa”, but the strategies developed and these forums “have not achieved the expected result”.

COP15 coincides with a worrying situation for the planet, as soil degradation affects 52% of agricultural land and threatens the existence of 2.6 billion people who depend directly on agriculture, according to the UN.

Faced with this problem, Alassane Ouattara, president of the Ivory Coast, the host country of the conference, assured that this event raises “great hopes.”

“Our people have high hopes for us and we have no right to let them down. Let’s act quickly,” Ouattara said during his opening speech.

gs (efe, afp)

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