Mr. Luc Gnacadja (Benin), Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), will visit Yokohama from 1 – 4 June and Tokyo from 5 – 6 June to attend the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), scheduled from 1-3 June.
Desertification and drought are Africa’s foremost environmental challenges where two-thirds of the continent is desert or drylands. Between 4-12% of Africa’s agricultural GDP is lost through environmental degradation. Extensive droughts have also afflicted the region recurrently, especially in the Sahel and the Greater Horn of Africa. The 2011 drought was considered the worst ever in the Greater Horn of Africa.
Gnacadja, the UN’s top advisor on combatting desertification, land degradation and mitigating the effect of drought, will deliver a keynote speech at the TICAD V side event titled, “Combatting Desertification in West Africa – Don’t let our future dry up” in Pacifico Yokohama Annex Hall from 15.00-16.30 on Sunday, 2 June. The session is open to the media.
UNCCD is the only legally binding international agreement that links environment, development and the promotion of healthy land and soils. Its 195 Parties seek to alleviate poverty in the drylands, maintain and restore the land productivity in degraded areas, and to mitigate the effects of drought. Today, 168 countries claim to be affected by desertification, which refers to land degradation in the drylands and is a threat to global food security.
Gnacadja will be available for interview opportunities, with journalists securing advance scheduling guaranteed. For more information, contact:
– Yukie Hori, UNCCD
Tel: +49 228 815 2829
Mobile: +49 173 268 7590
– Wagaki Mwangi, UNCCD
Tel: +49 228 815 2820
Mobile: +49 173 268 7593
Short Bio of Luc Gnacadja
Born in Benin, Luc Gnacadja was appointed as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in October 2007, currently serving his second term (2010-2013).
Before taking up his position as UNCCD Executive Secretary, Mr. Gnacadja served as Minister of Environment, Housing and Urban Development of Benin from 1999 to 2005. He gained first-hand knowledge of the UNCCD process over a number of years in his capacity as Head of Delegation to the Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD.
Mr. Gnacadja was also Head of Delegation to the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity. His pronounced leadership qualities enabled him at the national level to initiate and build synergies between the Rio Conventions, in conjunction with the National Commission on Sustainable Development.
In March 2003, Mr. Gnacadja was honoured with the “2002 Green Award” in Washington by the World Bank.
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