TODAY, 17th June 2012, is World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought and permaculture is one of the solutions being presented for this at Rio+20 this week.
"It's possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems," John D. Liu, founder of the Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP)
Currently under discussion at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development is the goal of Zero Net Land Degradation: http://www.unccd.int/Lists/SiteDocumentLibrary/Rio+20/ZNLD%20Summary%20final.pdf. We know that the solutions exist - see below - but can we start to implement them on the massive scale required? As the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Executive Secretary said in a message today:
"More than two billion hectares of land worldwide are suitable for rehabilitation through agroforestry and landscape restoration. Of that, about 1.5 billion hectares are suitable for mosaic restoration by means of agroforestry and smallholder agriculture. We need to promote sustainable land and water management techniques, agroforestry and re-greening initiatives and support them on the political level and through new inclusive business models. Only this way can we become a land-degradation neutral society.
"To make it happen, we need your support. Governments should introduce sustainable land-use into their policies, make it their priority and set up national targets to halt land degradation. Businesses should invest in practices that increase efficiency in land-use. Scientists, media and civil society should help us spread the word that this goal is crucial. Together, we can make this paradigm shift."
There are a growing number of ecologically sustainable solutions to desertification and climate change. Below are a few pioneering examples –permaculture among them – being presented at Rio this week.
+ Water Retention Landscapes as an Answer to Desertification and Globalization - Tamera Healing Biotope I - Portugal: http://challenge.bfi.org/2012Finalist_Tamera
+ Re-greening for Resilient Landscapes - Savory Institute:
+ Green Gold - film maker John D. Liu (Environmental Education Media Project) documents large-scale ecosystem restoration projects in China, Africa and the Middle East: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3WisjXYik4
+ Zero Net Land Degradation: A Sustainable Development Goal for Rio+20: http://www.unccd.int/Lists/SiteDocumentLibrary/Rio+20/UNCCD_PolicyBrief_ZeroNetLandDegradation.pdf
+ Tamera Peace Research Center: http://www.tamera.org/
+ Savory Institute: http://www.savoryinstitute.com/
+ Environmental Education Media Project: http://eempc.org/