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IPCC Special Report reflects urgency of better land management to combat climate change

August 8, 2019

IPCC report finds that land is under growing human pressure, and that climate change is adding to challenges such as degradation, desertification, deforestation, and food insecurity. Photo: Richard Whitcombe/Shutterstock
IPCC report finds that land is under growing human pressure, and that climate change is adding to challenges such as degradation, desertification, deforestation, and food insecurity. Photo: Richard Whitcombe/Shutterstock

A new special report released today by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that better land management is necessary to tackle climate change, raising urgency about the need for more collective action to ensure the world’s forests, farms, and other landscapes are protected and developed in a sustainable way. 

Land is a critical resource, says the IPCC report.  It finds that land is under growing human pressure, and that climate change is adding to challenges such as degradation, desertification, deforestation, and food insecurity. To keep global warming in check, the report finds that it will be necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors including land and food.

It’s extremely encouraging to see that the new IPCC report recognizes the importance of sustainable land management in climate change impacts,” said Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility. “And, noteworthy,” she said, “that it asks for a food systems response as one of the key measures to help deal with the problem.

In response to such challenges, the GEF has secured $430 million for its FOLUR Impact Program, which aims to help transform the food and land use system,” Ishii continued. 

At the last GEF Council in June 2019, governments approved $232 million for the first batch of FOLUR (Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration) Impact Program projects in 18 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

The Council also approved $262 million for sustainable forest management programs focused on the Amazon, the Congo basin, and dryland landscapes. 

For more information, see the 56th GEF Council event page.

About the IPCC Report

The report’s full name is Climate Change and Land, an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems.

It will be a key scientific input into forthcoming climate and environment negotiations, such as the Conference of the Parties of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (COP14) in New Delhi, India in September and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Santiago, Chile, in December.