The 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (COP15) opens this Monday in Abidjan with the participation of 197 countries.
Desertification is a global issue. It is defined as “land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas as a result of various factors, including climatic variations and human activities.”
On the planet, desertification is the cause of the degradation of 12 million hectares of land each year. This phenomenon affects 40 percent of the world’s population. No continent is spared. Africa alone loses four million hectares of forest per year.
From May 9 to 20, 2022, the economic capital of Cote d’Ivoire will host international discussions around the theme “Earth, Life, and Legacy: From Scarcity to Prosperity.” The idea is to ensure the sustainability of land for present and future generations.
According to the Organizing Committee, a total of 197 Heads of State and political figures will participate in this event. Desertification affects young people and women. That is why, during this COP15, the impacts of land degradation on these two categories will be studied in addition to the issues of vocational training and employment.
A gender caucus, meaning a meeting based on the gender approach, will take place from May 10 to 12. Prominent women, including the first president of Finland, Tarja Halonen and the First Lady of Cote d'Ivoire, Dominique Ouattara are expected to attend.
During the COP 15, Cote d’Ivoire will launch the “Abidjan Initiative” to increase its sustainable agricultural production. This program, led by President Alassane Ouattara, aims to lead the country more quickly to food self-sufficiency.
At the regional level, the focus will be on promoting sustainable cocoa production models through an alliance with other African producing countries (Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and Togo) and the private sector to invest in responsibly produced cocoa.
For Abou Bamba, President of the Organizing Committee of the COP15, this meeting confirms the positioning of Cote d’Ivoire as an international actor on climate governance issues. “The COP15 aims to transform the development trajectory of Cote d’Ivoire over the next 30 years,” he said.