Press Release: Disarmament and divestment conference in Basel

Reversing the financial interests in fossil fuels and the nuclear arms race

Basel, April 11, 2019 – The recent Fridays for Future protests demonstrate a global dissatisfaction with the continuing failure of governments and industry to protect the climate. And the setting of the Doomsday Clock hands to 2 minutes to midnight in January this year indicates a continuing high risk of a nuclear conflict. However, ‘devastating climate change and the risk of a nuclear war will not be prevented unless the international community tackles the economic and political influence of the fossil fuel and nuclear weapons industries’, according to participants of Move the Nuclear Weapons Money, an international conference being held in Basel, Switzerland on April 12-13, 2019.

Companies manufacturing nuclear weapons and producing fossil fuels are making billions – if not trillions – of dollars fostering a nuclear arms race and destroying the climate,’ says Dr Keith Suter (Australia), Economics Futurist and member of the Club of Rome. ‘They have vested financial interests in producing more and more nuclear weapons and in preventing a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and they exert intense political power on decision makers to protect these interests. We must shift the economic incentives from destroying the planet to instead support peace and the environment.’ 

The conference – which will include legislators (mayors, city councillors and parliamentarians), financial managers, civil society representatives and experts in disarmament and climate change – will focus on socially responsible investment (SRI) as a powerful tool to shift this economic and political power. SRI includes ending investments in nuclear weapons and fossil fuels (divestment) and re-investing in sustainability (impact investment).

Most of us are currently supporting fossil fuels and nuclear weapons through investments made in these industries on our behalf by our governments, cities, universities, religious organisations, banks or pension funds,’ says Professor (em) Andreas Nidecker MD, President of the Basel Peace Office which is organising the conference. ‘We can each make a difference by calling on them to end these investments.’
Through divestment, we can put pressure on the industries to change,’ says Dr Ute Finckh-Krämer, Council Member of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament and former Deputy-Chair of the German Parliament Subcommittee on Disarmament and Arms Control. Such action highlights the immorality (and stupidity) of making vast profits on the destruction of the planet. It also gives support to legislators who are trying to adopt and implement policies for nuclear disarmament and climate protection.’

‘Impact investment is the other side of the Socially Responsible Investment coin,’ says Professor Laurent Goetschel, Executive Director of swisspeace. ‘By focusing investments on economic enterprises which support sustainable development, investors can benefit from stable returns as well as the satisfaction that their investment funds are being used for the improvement of human lives and the environment. It’s a win-win for all and should be a guiding principle, at least for all public investment funds.’

The conference is part of the move the nuclear weapons money campaign which is gaining traction around the world. ‘Already a number of sovereign wealth (national government) funds, pension funds, city and state funds, banks, universities and religious organisations have decided to end their investments in the nuclear weapons and/or fossil fuel industries,’ says Mr Thies Kätow, researcher for the World Future Council, one of the co-sponsors of the conference. ‘As a portion of the trillions of dollars of global investment money, the amount divested to date is only moderate,’ says Mr Kätow. ‘However, as the nuclear weapons and fossil fuel divestment campaigns grow, their political impact could be as powerful as the divestment campaign against South Africa in the late 20th Century, which was a critical factor in moving the South African government to end apartheid in 1994.”

CONTACTS

English: Alyn Ware, alyn@pnnd.org. Phone +41 788 912 156.
German: Andreas Nidecker, 
anidecker@bluewin.ch. Phone +41 765 573 712

 

Press release: Empowering Youth

Nominations now open for the Future Policy Award for exemplary policies that promote and support young people’s empowerment

Global contest announced by the World Future Council, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), with the support of the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Youth Policy Labs

Hamburg/New York, 5th April 2019 – On the eve of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum and the 140th IPU Assembly, the World Future Council, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the support of the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Youth Policy Labs, have kicked off a global call for nominations to identify and honour the world’s most successful policies enabling youth empowerment.

Every year, the most visionary policies tackling humankind’s most pressing challenges are celebrated through the Future Policy Award (FPA), the only global award that recognises policies for the benefit of present and future generations. The World Future Council has awarded this annual prize since 2010 in partnership with UN agencies and the IPU. Recognising that youth empowerment is critical to achieve the Agenda 2030 and address key sustainable development and justice challenges, the Future Policy Award 2019 will put the spotlight on policies that empower young people through decent and sustainable jobs as well as civic and political participation for sustainable development and peace.

Youth empowerment: key to achieving a fairer, more just and sustainable future

Today, there are 1.8 billion young people – the largest generation the world has ever seen. The majority of them live in the so-called developing world. They are almost three times as likely as adults to be unemployed. Yet young people embody the potential of a society and play a crucial role as key architects of the future of their families, communities and countries. Young people are on the frontlines of political and social change and have the power to renew cultures as well as maintain important traditions. With the multiple global challenges we face – climate change, unsustainable food systems, dramatic loss of biodiversity, water scarcity, growing inequalities, conflicts and much more – it is absolutely critical that youth empowerment is promoted and supported through inclusive, effective, inspiring and innovative laws and policies that promote their rights and speed up common action. It is also vital that youth voices are heard and that they meaningfully participate in the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of such laws and policies for example, through parliaments, civil society organizations, and other formal and informal means.

The award will highlight proven policies that effectively promote and scale up local, national and international youth empowerment solutions. We seek policies that advance the economic empowerment of young women and men in decent and sustainable jobs, for instance, youth skills development programmes that pave the way for youth to build the green economy we need. It also encompasses youth entrepreneurship or programmes targeting particularly marginalized groups including women. We also seek inspiring policy and legislative frameworks that enable much more civic engagement and political participation of youth. This includes, for instance, policies that promote enhanced youth representation in politics and decision-making, and enable the integration of youth at all levels of governance.

Representatives of international organizations, academia, non-governmental organizations, parliaments, government agencies, and others have until the 26th April to nominate exemplary policies through the online form (available in English, at http://bit.do/eNoZb) or with a word version of the form (available on request, in English, French and Spanish, at: fpa@worldfuturecouncil.org). Winners will be selected by a high-level jury of experts and announced in October 2019 at an award ceremony in Belgrade, Serbia, during the 141st IPU Assembly. For further information, please visit: https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/p/2019-empowering-youth/.

Youth at a crossroads

Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator and Vice-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group says: “Youth are powerful agents of change, driving important conversations and actions today on critical issues like climate change, peace building, and social entrepreneurship. In recognition of this role, UNDP supports initiatives globally that recognize, promote, and support youth leadership, expanding civic space for youth and encouraging youth-led innovation.”

“At a time when world youth population is bigger than ever before, only 2.2 per cent of parliamentarians worldwide are under 30 years of age. This is just the tip of the iceberg of the youth political deficit. Representation is a source of strength. Laws and policies that empower youth and better include them in decision making results in better outcomes for people of all ages and future generations. This Future Policy Award is a timely opportunity to share and celebrate laws and policies that have proved successful. I call on you all to nominate your experiences not only for a chance to win the Award itself, but to inspire further action around the globe,” underlines Martin Chungong, Secretary General of the IPU.  

“This year’s Future Policy Award will celebrate proven solutions that make youth empowerment a reality. The World Future Council is determined to work with its partners in order to identify and share the best policies for advancing decent and sustainable jobs and civic and political participation in the interest of sustainable development and peace. It is critical that we learn from policies that are already making an impact,’’ says Alexandra Wandel, Executive Director of the World Future Council.

“In the world there are 1.8 billion young people, the largest generation ever. Most of them live in developing countries where they tend to make up a large proportion of the population. This reason should be enough to understand the crucial importance of effective youth policies to promote young people’s meaningful political and civic engagement, as well as their economic empowerment and access to decent and green jobs,” says Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.

The winners of the 2019 Future Policy Award will be celebrated at a high-level award ceremony at IPU’s 141st General Assembly in Belgrade (Serbia) in October 2019. The Award Ceremony typically brings together more than 200 decision-makers, including heads of state, ministers, permanent representatives, parliamentarians, youth, heads of international organisations and leading civil society organisations from across the world.

Follow the 2019 Future Policy Award on Twitter with #FuturePolicyAward and #FPA2019

CONVENING PARTNERS

The World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of law and policy making. The Council consists of 50 eminent global change-makers from governments, parliaments, the arts, civil society, academia and business. Together they form a voice for the rights of future generations. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and identifies and promotes effective legislative and policy solutions among decision makers. www.worldfuturecouncil.org

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the world’s organisation of parliaments. It was founded in 1889 as the first multilateral political organisation, encouraging cooperation and dialogue between all nations. Today, IPU comprises 178 national parliaments and 12 associate members. It empowers youth by supporting parliaments to better provide access to youth to political decision-making, and include a youth perspective in legislation and policies. We build capacities of young MPs and provide platforms for them to coordinate actions at the global, regional and national levels. We also monitor youth representation in parliaments and issue policy and legislative guidance to boost it. https://www.ipu.org/

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. UNDP recognizes, supports and promotes the role of young women and men as agents of change and has implemented its first-ever UNDP Youth Global Programme since 2016. https://www.undp.org

SUPPORTING PARTNERS

UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth

The Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth serves as a global advocate for addressing the needs and rights of young people, as well as for bringing the United Nations closer to them. The Envoy’s Office is part of the United Nations Secretariat and supports multi-stakeholder partnerships related to the United Nations system-wide action plan on youth and to youth volunteer initiatives. The office also promotes the empowerment and foster the leadership of youth at the national, regional, and global levels, including through exploring and encourages mechanisms for young people’s participation in the work of the United Nations and in political and economic processes with a special focus on the most marginalized and vulnerable youth. The UN Envoy on Youth works on realizing the Youth2030: The United Nations Strategy on youth. https://www.un.org/youthenvoy/

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the United Nations agency for the world of work. It sets international labour standards, promotes rights at work and encourages decent employment opportunities, the enhancement of social protection and the strengthening of dialogue on work-related issues. The ILO was founded in 1919, in the wake of a destructive war, to pursue a vision based on the premise that universal, lasting peace can be established only if it is based on social justice. The only tripartite U.N. agency, the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men. www.ilo.org

Youth Policy Labs

Youth Policy Labs is the leading global think-tank specifically focusing on youth and is hosted by the Berlin-based NGO Demokratie & Dialog e.V. We operate at the junction of research and journalism, producing high-quality and well-researched knowledge with the aim of improving public policies that affect the lives of young people. We champion the development of youth policies, promote young people as researchers, facilitate international discussion on youth policies, and advocate for stronger coherence within the United Nations and donor agencies on youth rights, policies and programmes. Our team is made up of youth policy experts, youth researchers, and young journalists. Our publications are published under Youth Policy Press, a global publishing house on youth issues. http://www.youthpolicy.org/

With special thanks to the Michael Otto Foundation and the Jua Foundation.

MEDIA CONTACT

World Future Council

Samia Kassid, Senior Project Manager, The Rights of Children and Youth

Phone: +49 (0)40 307 09 14 18

samia.kassid@worldfuturecouncil.org; media@worldfuturecouncil.org

Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

Thomas Fitzsimons, Director of Communications

Phone: +41 (0)79 854 31 53

tf@ipu.org

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Sangita Khadka

Tel.: +1 212 906 5043

Sangita.khadka@undp.org

 

Winning Policy of our Future Policy Award Ndiob is running for Climate Initiative Awards

Agroecology is key to increase climate resilience of our agriculture and food systems! We are therefore very excited to see that these days one of our winning policies of the Future Policy Award 2018 from Ndiob in Senegal is running for 2018 Climate Initiative Awards of the 8th Africities Summit that is held these days at Marrakesh, Morocco and is dedicated to the theme “The Transition to Sustainable Cities and Territories, The Role of Local and Sub-National Governments of Africa.” We have interviewed Mayor Ba, who along with his fellows at the municipal council and villagers, has kicked off a truly exemplary transition process in the Senegalese municipality of Ndiob:

Mayor Ba, you have recently received an Honourable Mention of the Future Policy Award 2018, at the FAO Headquarters – how do you feel about this high-level recognition?

Honourable Mentions of the Future Policy Award 2018: Los Angeles, Ndiob and Kauswagan.

It was a great pleasure to receive this award. It is the confirmation that our vision and our programme are relevant. However, we won’t brag about this award. We consider it as a motivation to keep working and fighting. It is like an “engagement letter” that the stakeholders gave us to promote agroecology and to prove that agroecology is a credible alternative to conventional agriculture that fails to feed the world.

When did you actually think about agroecology for the first time, and about starting an agroecological transition in Ndiob? Was there a key moment triggering your action?

I am of peasant origin and in spite of the responsibilities I’ve had at the national level, I’ve always been closely related to my family. It allowed me to note the constant degradation of natural resources, fauna, flora, ecosystems and the lower yields that generated impoverishment! Poor agricultural practices and excessive use of synthetic chemical inputs have contributed significantly to soil leaching and declining soil fertility. Our parents and grandparents did not use these synthetic products but had good harvest and preserved biodiversity. So we decided that the best thing we could offer to the younger generations and to the future generations was a sound environment and the abundance we had when we were young. When we realized that, we turned to agroecology. We researched to understand agroecology and we experimented with success in fields and farm schools. Encouraged by our first results, we decided to scale up by generalizing the experience throughout our community. However, to be more effective, it was necessary to have the support of local government. So we decided to run in the municipal elections on an environmental list. The people trusted us and we won by a landslide. Since then we have initiated the process of ecological transition for our municipality. This earned us the award from FAO and its partners like World Future Council and IFOAM – Organic International.

Looking at what has been achieved so far in Ndiob, what are your impressions?

Mayor Ba in an interview about the award winning policy. Watch the full video here: https://youtu.be/TqVedM0LFLs

We have successfully launched the agroecological transition process. There was a lot of training, awareness raising and experimental activities. We managed to increase the yield of millet from 350 to 1000 kg per hectare on a 100-hectare sample. The populations are enthusiastic and embrace more and more our vision. The use of chemical inputs is decreasing and we are slowly moving towards the use of organic inputs.

What will be the next steps ahead of you?

At the local level, the next step will be to achieve in 2019 the agroecological transition of two villages (Thiallé and Soumnane) of the municipality. These two villages unanimously decided to adopt agroecology as a rural development model. We defined a support programme to help them achieving their ecological transition. We are currently looking for technical and financial partners for the realization of this programme. This territorial approach is important. We will build on this process and model it in view of its replication in the other villages. The objective is to extend the project within three to four years to all the villages in order to make Ndiob a green and resilient municipality. At the international level, it would be great if a programme of exchanging experiences that were awarded by the 2018 Future Policy Award could be set up. As champions in this field, we need to strengthen our relations and establish a core group that will, with the support of partners, provide leadership in the promotion of agroecology at the global level.

Learn more about Ndiob by visiting our Future Policy Award 2018 winners page.

A step forward towards sustainable food systems

Our current food and agriculture systems are driving the vast depletion of natural resources, fuel inequality and contribute to climate change. We urgently need to shift to more sustainable food systems that deliver environmental and social outcomes and are able to withstand shocks and climate change! Agroecology is a key element in this process – this is why the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Future Council (WFC) and IFOAM – Organics International kicked off together the Future Policy Award 2018, a global contest for the world’s best agroecology laws and policies.

Soils for food security and climate: The Future Policy Vision Award Winner at COP23

A report from the 4 per 1000 Initiative Day

On the occasion of the UNFCCC COP 23 (6-17 November 2017) in Bonn, the international “4 per 1000 Initiative: Soils for Food Security and Climate” (Future Policy Vision Award) organized, with the support of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE), the 4 per 1000 Initiative Day in Bad Godesberg on 16 November 2017.

Following a warm welcome by Dr Hermann Onko Aeikens, German State Secretary of Food and Agriculture (representing Federal Minister Christian Schmidt), and Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, Chairman of the 4 per 1000 Consortium, Prof. Rattan Lal, Chair of the International Union of Soil Sciences, underlined in his inspirational speech that soil depletion, increased salinization, recurring drought and perpetual hunger are just as real threats to global peace and security as weapons of mass destruction.

4p1000 initiative

Full house of the 4 per 1000 Initiative Day in the city hall of Bad Godesberg.

Numerous ministers and renowned personalities took the floor to restate their support for the 4 per 1000 Initiative, including agriculture ministers from Spain, France, Hungary and Tunisia, and representatives from FAO, UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), CGIAR, GEF, Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, OIV, CIHEAM, INRA, IUCN, BAIF, and Danone.

The meeting continued with reports on the work of the Scientific Technical Committee, which developed orientations for an international research and scientific cooperation programme as well as reference criteria and indicators for project evaluation. After the lunch break, Dr Paul Luu, Executive Secretary of the 4 per 1000 Initiative, presented amongst others the Initiative’s new members and partners, its activities in 2016-2017, its brand-new website and the launch of the collaborative platform, the 2018 roadmap, budget, communication strategy as well as the dates of future meetings.

Prof Barron Orr (UNCCD), Dr Ibrahim Mayaki (NEPAD), Dr Wolfgang Zornbach (BME), Ingrid Heindorf (World Future Council), Stéphane Le Foll (former French Minister of Agriculture, AgriFood and Forestry), and Dr Paul Luu (Executive Secretary of the 4 per 1000 Initiative).

Following a report about the UNCDD COP13 by Prof Barron Orr, Ingrid Heindorf from the World Future Council presented the Future Policy Award 2017 that had been organized this year in partnership with the UNCCD and among whose winning policies was the 4 per 1000 Initiative. Launched in 2015 during the Paris Climate Change Conference by H.E. Stéphane Le Foll, then French Minister of Agriculture, AgriFood and Forestry, the Initiative won the Future Policy Vision Award 2017 as it created an unprecedented attention to the role soils play for food security and climate stability.

During his conclusions of the day, the Initiative’s Chair shared also the promising news that U.N. climate talks in Bonn broke a long stalemate on agriculture (Thomson Reuters Foundation), which could trigger more sustainable government policies to support farmers.

 

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 organisations the World Future Council identifies “best policies” around the globe. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany.

Event: From Degraded Drylands to Green Landscapes

What is in Land Restoration for Youth and Sustainable Peace?

Special Event With The Winners Of Future Policy Award 2017

When? Tuesday 31 October 2017, 12:30-14:00

Where? UNOG Library Events Room B. 135
Palais des Nations, Geneva

Desertification is one of today’s most serious environmental challenges. Every minute, we lose the equivalent of 30 football fields of soil to degradation. We urgently need to act.
Can we empower young people at risk? Can we transform drylands, the most conflict-prone regions of the world? The Future Policy Awardees 2017 and renowned speakers show that we can. Through a compelling combination of a high-level discussion with distinguished experts, a multi-cultural performance, and an interactive dialogue with the audience, this special event shows how the destructive drama of desertification can become a constructive theatre of land restoration. This year, the Future Policy Award was organized by the World Future Council in partnership with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

A discussion with

Ousséni Diallo, President, Green Cross, Burkina Faso
Atinkut Mezgebu Wubneh, Head of Agriculture and Rural Development Bureau, Tigray, Ethiopia
Pradeep Monga, Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
Alexandra Wandel, Director, Vice Chair of the Management Board, World Future Council

Moderator

Rama Mani, Convenor, University of Oxford’s Enacting Global Transformation; Founder, Theatre of Transformation Academy; Councillor, World Future Council

Performance by Theatre Transformation Academy

Followed by a reception

For those without an access badge, registration for this event is obligatory.
Interested participants are invited to register online before 31 October 2017.

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.

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.

 

Future Policy Award 2018 Policy Brochure

Celebrating the world’s best policies scaling up agroecology

In this brochure, we present the winning policies of our Future Policy Award 2018. In partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and IFOAM – Organics International, the 2018 Future Policy Award highlights policies that scale up agroecology, contribute to the protection of life and livelihoods of small-scale food producers, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement climate resilient agricultural practices. 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.