Ir Arriba

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and IICA are joining forces to promote greater prioritization of soil protection in public policies

La Secretaria Ejecutiva Adjunta de la UNCCD, Andrea Meza Murillo, y el Director General del IICA, Manuel Otero.
Deputy Executive Secretary of UNCCD, Andrea Meza Murillo, and IICA Director General, Manuel Otero.

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, 8 November 2022 (IICA) – The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) will join forces to position soil protection as a public policy priority.

Andrea Meza, Deputy Executive Secretary of UNCCD, and Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA, agreed on this course of action at a meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, during the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27). The Convention brings together heads of State, ministers and negotiators, alongside climate activists, mayors and civil society and private sector representatives.

The Summit is expected to foster the adoption of measures that are considered essential in tackling the climate emergency, ranging from the urgently needed reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the strengthening of resilience and adaptation to the inevitable consequences of climate change, to the honoring of commitments to finance climate action in developing countries.

El Secretario de Agricultura, Ganadería y Pesca de Argentina, Juan José Bahillo, en la Casa de la Agricultura Sostenibles de las Américas, en Sharm El Sheik.
Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Argentina, Juan José Bahillo, in the Home of Sustainable Agriculture of the Americas, Sharm el-Sheikh.

During the meeting, Meza, who is also a former Minister of the Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, briefed Otero on the agenda of UNCCD – an organization that is working to promote global responses to desertification and drought, including, “not only work involving deserts, but also decisions related to land use planning and land tenure”.

The information exchange session took place at the Home of Sustainable Agriculture of the Americas pavilion, where Meza indicated to Otero that, in the view of the UNCCD, soil restoration will depend on greater recognition of the agriculture sector and on food system transformation. The organization also promotes the development of synergies to increase its visibility and impact in Latin America.

On the other hand, Otero informed Meza about the scope and results of “Living Soils of the Americas”, a soil restoration initiative that combines public and private sector efforts to combat soil degradation, a phenomenon that is threatening to undermine countries’ capacity to sustainably satisfy the demand for food.

El Director Ejecutivo Adjunto del Fondo Verde para el Clima (GFC), Henry González, en la Casa de la Agricultura Sostenibles de las Américas, en Sharm El Sheik.
Deputy Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Henry González, in the Home of Sustainable Agriculture of the Americas, Sharm el-Sheikh.

Living Soils of the Americas is led by IICA, in partnership with Rattan Lal, a renowned professor and Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center (CMASC) at The Ohio State University, who is considered the world’s leading authority on soil sciences.

Brazil, Canada, Chile, El Salvador, Paraguay and Uruguay, as well as Bayer, Syngenta and PepsiCo—important private entities linked to the agrifood industry—are part of this program. The initiative has has also established an alliance with the Coalition of Action 4 Soil Health (CA4SH), which  brings together public and private sector stakeholders to improve soil health, through the implementation and monitoring of policies and by addressing public and private investment barriers that are hampering farmers’ ability to adopt practices that are beneficial to the soil.

Eduardo Bastos, CEO de Mycarbon, de MinervaFoods, en la Casa de la Agricultura Sostenible de las Américas.
Eduardo Bastos, CEO of Minerva Foods’ subsidiary, Mycarbon, in the Home of Sustainable Agriculture of the Americas.

Otero pledged that IICA would be an “unconditional ally” in raising the profile of the Convention’s work and stressed the importance of Living Soils of the Americas and IICA’s commitment to the transformation and strengthening of agrifood systems as a fundamental requirement for the increased sustainable development of the planet.

Thus, the IICA Director General reiterated that agriculture should be seen as part of the solution to the challenges facing humanity and he applauded the agrifood sector for some of the advances made towards greater sustainability, which are showcased in Sharm el-Sheikh.

The Home of Sustainable Agriculture of the Americas is a pavilion that IICA has erected at COP27 and is a space devoted to sustainable agriculture and the agrifood systems of the Americas. It showcases the key role of the agriculture sector in providing climate solutions and global food security, while also highlighting the contributions of producers and other sector stakeholders in climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Since COP27 began, senior Latin American officials, as well as representatives from the private sector and international organizations have been visiting and participating in activities at the pavilion, which is operating under the slogan: “Feeding the World, Nurturing the Planet”. The structure is located in the Sharm el-Sheikh International Convention Center – the epicenter of the global climate summit. 

The Home of Sustainable Agriculture of the Americas has 26 strategic partners from various sectors, including production sector players, such as the United States Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and Protein Pact; key IICA private sector partners in the Living Soils of the Americas initiative, such as Bayer, Syngenta and Pepsico, as well as organizations from the crop science industry, such as CropLife International, among others.

El funcionario Ariel Martínez, de la Secretaría de Agricultura Ganadería y Pesca de Argentina, y los miembros de la Asociación Argentina de Productores en Siembra Directa (Aapresid) Marcelo Torres y María Cecilia Ginés.
Ariel Martínez, official representing the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Argentina (second to left), and members of the Argentine Association of Direct Seeding Producers (AAPRESID), Marcelo Torres and María Cecilia Ginés. With them is Jorge Werthein (left), Special Advisor to the Director General of IICA; and Manuel Otero (center).

More information:
Institutional Communication Division.