Tigray celebrates Future Policy Award reception

Ethiopia’s Tigray region has received the Future Policy Gold Award this year for their pioneering approach in successfully combatting desertification. Thanks to their policy, the region has made significant progress in restoring its degraded lands and improving its food and water security. The impressive results derived from the major land restoration undertaken by local communities and the regional government, with a  unique combination of collective action, voluntary labour and the involvement of young people.

After the Award ceremony on 11th September during the UNCCD summit in Ordos, Inner Mongolia (China), the people of Tigray celebrated the Future Policy Gold Award in their own country. A colorful ceremony was held with 1500-2000 people at Hawelty Martyrs Hall with Tigray’s president, H.E. Abay Weldu, the Speaker of House of Representatives of Tigray region, H.E. Kidusan Nega, H.E. Dr. Eyasu Abraha, Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources of Ethiopia and other high-level guests attending, followed by a parade through the Mek’ele, the capital of Tigray.

In conjunction with the celebration, the University of Mek’ele (MU), in collaboration with Bureau of Agriculture and Natural Resources of the Regional State of Tigray, organised a panel discussion at Desta Hotel, Mek’ele. The event was opened by a welcoming speech by Prof. Kindeya Gebrehiwot, MU’s President. The event was celebrating Tigray’s achievement, and the panelists were discussing how soil conservation towards land fertility and combating desertification can be further improved and maintained for the future.

Stefan Schurig is leaving the World Future Council

Dear Colleagues and Friends, After ten years with the World Future Council, I will be moving on and will be leaving the organisation for a new career step. It was truly an honor for me to serve the organisation since April 2007…

Land is Life – Advancing Sustainable Development Goal 15.3 on Land Degradation Neutrality

The World Future Council at the Land for Life Day in Ordos, China

 

The World Future Council was honoured to hold its Future Policy Award ceremony during the thirteenth session of the Conference of State Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP13) in Ordos, China, the international summit on desertification and land degradation.

On 12th September 2017, we joined the summit’s Land for Life Day and organized a session on: Policies and land: Can good policies facilitate the achievement of Land Degradation Neutrality Goals? The event was designed to present the winning policies of the Future Policy Award 2017 to stakeholders from around the world.

Ms Jenny Choo from the UNCCD Secretariat introduced the Land for Life Day in a nutshell to participants and handed then the moderation over to Ms Boping Chen, China Director of the World Future Council, who highlighted

Alexandra Wandel, director of the World Future Council, at the Land for Life Day in Ordos, China, during the UNCCD COP13.

the significance of adequate policies for achieving land degradation neutrality and presented the panelists.

At first, Ms Alexandra Wandel, Director and Vice-Chair of the Management Board of the World Future Council, emphasized that the Future Policy Award is worldwide unique in honoring laws and policies at the international level. She gave a brief introduction to the Awardees 2017 and expressed also the Council’s gratitude to UNCCD for being this year’s partner of the award.

The winning policies were presented by Dr Atinkut Mezgeb who portrayed the large-scale land restoration efforts of the Tigray policy in Ethiopia (Gold Award), Ms Fernanda Cruz, who revealed how Brazil’s Cistern Programme mitigates effectively the drought in the Semiarid region (Silver Award), Dr Paul Luu presented on the innovative 4 per 1000 Initiative (Vision Award), whilst H.E. Ali Bety uncovered the success factors of the 3N Initiative from Niger (Bronze Award). A video tribute was also paid to the winning policies from China, Australia and Jordan.

After a lively Q&A round, Jakob von Uexkull, Founder of the World Future Council, offered some closing remarks.

In the resources section below you can download the detailed programme of the session and the overall programme of the Land for Life Day.

World Future Council awards international prize for best policies to combat desertification in China

Hamburg (Germany) / Ordos (China), 12th September 2017 – Yesterday, the Future Policy Award (FPA) ceremony was held at the thirteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD in Ordos, Inner Mongolia (China). The international “Oscar for best policies” honours laws and practices that successfully combat desertification and land degradation. The FPA is awarded by the World Future Council (WFC) in cooperation with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Among the laureates are the Ethiopian Tigray region, Brazil and China.

The ceremony was attended by 300 high-level guests and ministers from all over the world including H.E. Mr. Zhang Jianlong, Minister of State Forestry Administration of China, H.E. Ms. Bu Xiaolin, Governor of Inner Mongolia, as well as Tigray’s President H.E. Mr. Abay Weldu.

The FPA aims to draw more attention to desertification and effective ways to combat it: In the last century, droughts cost more lives than any other weather-related catastrophe. Climate change intensifies the process of desertification. Actions to combat desertification, therefore, not only contribute to protecting the environment but can also provide social and political stability.

Ethiopia’s Tigray region was granted the Gold Award. Using a unique combination of collective action, voluntary labour and the involvement of youth, the people of Tigray are restoring land on a massive scale. As a result, erosion has decreased significantly, groundwater levels are recharged, and the uptake of sustainable agricultural practices made a remarkable contribution to food self-sufficiency and economic growth.

The Future Policy Award highlights the world’s best policies and laws that create the framework for better living conditions for current and future generations.

The winning policies are introduced in short videos which are on our YouTube Channel. Further information on the winning policies may be obtained through our website as well as on futurepolicy.org.

Read in other languages

Future Policy Award 2017

Please check out our Flickr album for more pictures of the award ceremony.

STATEMENTS:

Monique Barbut, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD):

“Drylands cover close to 40% of the Earth’s land surface. Hundreds of millions of people are directly threatened by land degradation and climate change is only going to intensify the problem. So far, this underestimated environmental disaster has received far too little attention. The Future Policy Award 2017 is turning the spotlight on the looming environmental challenge and effective responses. The seven Future Policy Awardees are all from affected countries, and demonstrate great environmental and political determination.”

Jakob von Uexkull, Founder of the World Future Council (WFC):

“Drylands are among the most conflict-prone regions in the world. Not tackling desertification and land degradation means accepting humanitarian disasters. But if we take up this challenge, so much is gained: By reversing desertification we can help build peace, food security and a safe future for millions of people.”

H.E. Abay Weldu, President of Tigray State (Ethiopia)

“I am delighted and honoured as head of the Regional Government of Tigray knowing that Tigray has won Gold Future Policy Award 2017. The people of Tigray demonstrate that all challenges can be overcome if the leadership is addressing the will, need and priority of the people. Tigray’s people have proved that development is possible without harming our mother Earth.”

 

BACKGROUND

The Future Policy Award is the only award which honours policies rather than people on an international level. Each year, the World Future Council chooses a topic for the Future Policy Award on which policy progress is particularly urgent. In 2017, in partnership with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), laws and policies were evaluated that contribute to the protection of life and livelihoods in the drylands, and help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 15, target 3, to “combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world.”


Miriam Petersen
Media & Communications Manager
Tel: +49 40 307 09 14 19

miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org

Wagaki Wischenewsjki
Public Information and Media Officer
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
Tel: +49 228 815 2820
wwischnewski@unccd.int

The World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Its up to 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. In close cooperation with civil society actors, parliamentarians, governments, business and international organizations the World Future Council identifies “best policies” around the globe. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany.

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the only legally binding international agreement on land issues. The Convention promotes good land stewardship. Its 196 Parties aim, through partnerships, to implement the Convention and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The end goal is to protect our land, from over-use and drought, so it can continue to provide us all with food, water and energy. By sustainably managing land and striving to achieve land degradation neutrality, now and in the future, we will reduce the impact of climate change, avoid conflict over natural resources and help communities to thrive.

 

10 Years World Future Council Publication

Abstract

2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the World Future Council. As we look into the future – to new challenges and opportunities – we want to take a moment to celebrate the impact and success of the past decade.

Climate change, the destruction of the environment and continued wars are just some of the signs that today’s civilization is living at the expense of future generations. We can and need to initiate an orderly transition to a regenerative, resilient and flourishing future.

Future Policy Award 2017: Celebrating the world’s best policies to combat desertification

Abstract

In this brochure, we present the winning policies of our Future Policy Award 2017. In partnership with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), this year’s award celebrates laws and policies that successfully tackle land degradation, and contribute to the protection of life and livelihoods in the drylands.

Future Policy Award 2017: Celebrating the world’s best policies to combat desertification

Abstract

In this brochure, we present the winning policies of our Future Policy Award 2017. In partnership with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), this year’s award celebrates laws and policies that successfully tackle land degradation, and contribute to the protection of life and livelihoods in the drylands.

Policies score highly in the Future Policy Award evaluation not only by advancing the sustainable use of resources but also by addressing equity, the eradication of poverty, community participation, and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

We seek to inspire lawmakers worldwide with these exemplary, award-winning policies, and hope to see their key elements being spread and implemented in the months and years ahead.

WFC September News

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NEWSLETTER
SEPTEMBER 2017
Donate Now (https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/donate/)
NEWS FROM THE WFC IN SEPTEMBER

Dear Friends & Supporters,

This year’s Future Policy Award highlighted best practices that combat land degradation. The Ethiopian region Tigray received Gold! Find out more about the Award ceremony in China, and why we must tackle desertification to build peace, in this newsletter.

This month, we are saying Farewell to Stefan Schurig, who is leaving the organisation after 10 years. With his dedicated work, Stefan made an outstanding contribution to the World Future Council’s success and impact: Thank you Stefan for your commitment, passion and expertise!
His personal note to be found below will certainly be of interest for our readers.
Jakob von Uexkull & Alexandra Wandel
The Management Board
CELEBRATING THE WINNERS: FPA CEREMONY IN CHINA (https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/p/2017-desertification/)

This year, the “Oscar for best policies” honours laws and practices that successfully combat desertification and land degradation. Gold went to the Ethiopia’s Tigray region. The ceremony was attended by 300 high-level guests and ministers from all over the world including the Chinese Minister of State Forestry Administration, the Governor of Inner Mongolia, as well as Tigray’s President. The award ceremony was held in Ordos (Inner Mongolia, China) during the 13th Conference of the Parties (COP) in partnership with the UNCCD on September 11.
READ MORE (https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/p/2017-desertification/) https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/ibrahim-abouleish-passed-away/

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

After ten years with the World Future Council, I will be moving on. It was truly an honour for me to serve the organisation since April 2007 and to work with such a great group of highly skilled people. I strongly believe in the World Future Council’s capability to make the world a better place!
I would like to thank again every single staff member for your commitment, your passion and your energy for the WFC in the past ten years. I am glad to see my work in safe hands with our new Director Climate & Energy, Anna Leidreiter. I am and always will be proud to having had the privilege of working with such a great group of people. What an amazing decade of impact, learning and fun!
I’m now setting up my own project consultancy for renewable energy and sustainable cities and am looking forward to this new chapter. I will remain associated with the WFC as senior advisor and will continue working with our team in China on regenerative cities.

Faithfully yours,
Stefan Schurig
READ FULL STATEMENT (https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/stefan-schurig-farewell/)
DESERTIFICATION: WHY MUST TAKE UP THIS CHALLENGE (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/combating-desertification-why-we-must-take-up-this_us_59b27ae8e4b0bef3378cdf58)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/combating-desertification-why-we-must-take-up-this_us_59b27ae8e4b0bef3378cdf58
Not tackling desertification and land degradation leads to humanitarian disasters. Unless we change the way we manage our land we may leave a billion or more of the vulnerable poor with little choice but to fight or flee, reckons Jakob von Uexull in his latest HuffPost article.
READ ARTICLE (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/combating-desertification-why-we-must-take-up-this_us_59b27ae8e4b0bef3378cdf58)
LATEST VIDEO (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4YhiV4SrDo)

How can implementing 100% RE be actually a tool to achieve all 17 Sustainable Development Goals? The World Future Council and Brot für die Welt have joined forces to unveil this correlation.
Watch the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4YhiV4SrDo)
BEST POLICIES FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT (http://www.futurepolicy.org/policy-area/outlaw-nuclear-weapons/)
http://www.futurepolicy.org/policy-area/outlaw-nuclear-weapons/
With the nuclear threat emanating from North Korea, the general public is getting more and more aware that humankind is still at risk. Our policy handbook discusses how universal nuclear disarmament can be achieved.
READ MORE (http://www.futurepolicy.org/policy-area/outlaw-nuclear-weapons/)
POLITICAL STABILITY AND DESERTIFICATION (https://www.theguardian.com/the-gef-partner-zone/2017/jul/31/how-to-slow-migration-and-save-the-climate?CMP=share_btn_tw)
https://www.theguardian.com/the-gef-partner-zone/2017/jul/31/how-to-slow-migration-and-save-the-climate?CMP=share_btn_tw
Combating Desertification is key if we really want to save the climate, build political stability and improve livelihoods of people in vulnerable countries, says WFC Councillor Luc Gnacadja in The Guardian.
READ ARTICLE (https://www.theguardian.com/the-gef-partner-zone/2017/jul/31/how-to-slow-migration-and-save-the-climate?CMP=share_btn_tw)
NEW PUBLICATION (https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/10-years-world-future-council-publication/)

We are looking back on 10 years of our work: Since 2007, the WFC is giving a voice to future generations and standing up for their rights by providing decision-makers with policy tools to secure a just and sustainable future.
Read more (https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/10-years-world-future-council-publication/) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4YhiV4SrDo
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Become a WFC Supporter!
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‘Degrowth’ alone is not enough

Abstract

Can our production systems become sustainable and balanced within our existing political and economic order? This is, in principle, possible. The expected problems in financing such a transition can be overcome once the analysis is based on actual economic processes.

This paper aims to move beyond the current purely GDP-oriented debate on growth by highlighting the differences between real finiteness and the apparent finiteness of GDP.

Growth and finiteness have to be reconciled if we want peace and sufficiency for possibly over 10 billion people in the future.


 

WFC Summer News

NEWS FROM THE WFC IN AUGUST
Dear Friends & Supporters,

Land degradation costs more lives than any other environmental disaster. If we don’t stop the trend of desertification, hundreds of millions of people will be forced to leave their homes in the next decades. The Future Policy Award turns a spotlight on this challenge - and honours effective responses. The winners of this year's FPA have been announced recently.

People of Tigray (Ethiopia) turn the desert into green land again, China reversed the trend of desertification and led millions of people out of poverty - and there are more inspiring success stories to tell with the Future Policy Award 2017!
Jakob von Uexkull, Alexandra Wandel & Stefan Schurig
The Management Board

FUTURE POLICY AWARD 2017: ETHIOPIA WINS GOLD (https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/p/2017-desertification/)

It is estimated that 135 million people are at risk of being displaced by desertification, and drylands are the most conflict-prone regions of the world. Climate change, and the increasingly unpredictable and extreme weather in arid lands, makes combating desertification even more vital. With this year’s Future Policy Award, we honour effective policies that combat desertification - Ethiopia’s Tigray Region wins Gold.
READ MORE (https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/p/2017-desertification/) https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/ibrahim-abouleish-passed-away/

LEARNING TO BUILD A BETTER FUTURE: THE SCOTTISH WAY (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/learning-to-build-a-better-future-the-scottish-way_us_59943845e4b0afd94eb3f64d)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/learning-to-build-a-better-future-the-scottish-way_us_59943845e4b0afd94eb3f64d
Building sustainable, low-carbon societies starts with education: In Scotland, this is not lip service, but the heart of Scotland’s emerging pedagogy. The World Future Council has joined Education Scotland to see “Learning for Sustainability” in action. Find out more in Jakob von Uexkull's latest HuffPost Article
READ ARTICLE (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/learning-to-build-a-better-future-the-scottish-way_us_59943845e4b0afd94eb3f64d)

CHARITY CONCERT IN BERLIN (https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/wfc-charity-concert-berlin-2017/)

On Monday, 4 September 2017, a charity concert will take place in the Kammermusiksaal of the Berliner Philharmonie in order to support the World Future Council. Jakob von Uexkull, Founder of the WFC, will hold the welcome speech.
GET TICKETS (https://www.berlinerfestspiele.de/de/aktuell/festivals/musikfest_berlin/programm_mfb/mfb17_programm_gesamt/mfb17_veranstaltungsdetail_201821.php)

POLICY OF THE MONTH: TIGRAY'S LAND RESTORATION (http://www.futurepolicy.org/healthy-ecosystems/biodiversity-and-soil/tigrays-conservation-based-adli/)
http://www.futurepolicy.org/healthy-ecosystems/biodiversity-and-soil/tigrays-conservation-based-adli/
Tigray’s people are turning desert into green land again: The Ethiopian region is restoring its degraded lands and improving its food and water security. A well-deserved Future Policy Gold Award 2017!
READ MORE (http://www.futurepolicy.org/healthy-ecosystems/biodiversity-and-soil/tigrays-conservation-based-adli/)
RECOMMENDED ARTICLE: 100% RENEWABLES FOR BANGLADESH (http://www.dhakatribune.com/tribune-supplements/tribune-climate/2017/08/12/bangladesh-towards-100-renewable-energy/)
http://www.dhakatribune.com/tribune-supplements/tribune-climate/2017/08/12/bangladesh-towards-100-renewable-energy/
Bangladesh is starving for energy. A 100% Renewable Energy strategy could provide enough clean energy for everyone in this sunny but pollution-prone country. ByWFC-Councillor Dipal Chandra Barua
READ ARTICLE (http://www.dhakatribune.com/tribune-supplements/tribune-climate/2017/08/12/bangladesh-towards-100-renewable-energy/)

EXPLORE OUR PUBLICATIONS (https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/media-room/publications/)

An increasing number of refugees worldwide are women and children. How can we better protect these women and girls from violence? This report highlights some exemplary practices and initiatives.
Read more (https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/protecting-refugee-women-and-girls-from-violence/)

The military-industrial complex is using their power to make governments maintain high military spending. This study presents ideas on how decision-makers can be convinced to use this budget to fund sustainable programmes instead.
Read more (https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/move-nuclear-weapons-money/)

3 billion people worldwide rely on traditional biomass fuels. Deforestation, soil erosion and loss of biodiversity are the devastating results. This report evaluates the various technological pathways – and the barriers – leading towards sustainable solutions.
Read more (https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/beyond-fire-achieve-sustainable-cooking/)

Want to make a difference in 2017?
Become a WFC Supporter!
We give a voice to future generations and stand up for their rights by providing policy tools to empower millions of people around the world. Become a supporter to make the world a more sustainable place.
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