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Editor’s Note No. 117
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Chris Spence.
Deputy Director, IISD RS
The way human societies manage their land is critical to sustainable development. Perhaps not surprisingly, it is therefore important to the work of multilateral environmental agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), to name just two.

This week, desertification and land degradation are the focus of a committee meeting in Istanbul to review implementation of the UNCCD. Just one week ago, land management was also on the agenda in Changwon, Republic of Korea, during the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands’ latest conference of the parties. Wetland management was a part of many resolutions adopted at the meeting, and its linkages with human health, sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity and even climate change were highlighted. Land management also links into forest-related processes, such as the International Tropical Timber Council, which met recently in Yokohama, Japan.

Reports on all of these events can be found in this issue of Linkages Update, and all these meetings are covered in even greater detail by our sister publication, Earth Negotiations Bulletin.

Land management is emerging as a more important issue in the climate change negotiations, too, particularly in the context of discussions on land use, land-use change and forestry. Most negotiators believe that a future agreement in Copenhagen next year will need to recognize this aspect of the emissions equation, given that agriculture alone represents an estimated 14% of anthropogenic emissions. When forest-related aspects of land-use change are included, that figure rises to about one-third of all emissions – a proportion that cannot be ignored.

In 2009, the Commission on Sustainable Development will also be devoting much of its time to policies and outcomes focused on the themes of land, agriculture, rural development, drought, desertification, and Africa. Again, Linkages Update and the Earth Negotiations Bulletin will keep you informed.

A new “LAND-L” Announcement List
In recognition of the importance of this issue, IISD has launched a new initiative – the LAND-L announcement list. The list, which was launched on 11 November in cooperation with the UNCCD Secretariat, will provide a free, moderated, communications tool for all members of the growing international community working on desertification, land degradation and drought, and sustainable land management. Members will be able to keep informed on upcoming events, policy developments, recent meetings, publications and new initiatives.

The new list will be similar to existing IISD lists such as CLIMATE-L, FORESTS-L, WATER-L, CHEMICALS-L, OCEANS-L and ENERGY-L. All of these have proved to be extremely popular among the international communities working on these topics, and each list now has many thousands of participants.

To subscribe to LAND-L or any of our other publications or online communities, please visit: http://www.iisd.ca/email/
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