Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Desertification to visit Finland

Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Desertification to visit Finland

Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), will visit Finland on 27 January.

Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw will have meetings with Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Under-Secretary of State for Development Policy Elina Kalkku. The topics of their discussions will include climate security and environmental security and the cooperation between Finland and the UNCCD. They will also discuss the UNCCD's work relating to land ownership and land tenure, the prevention of and preparedness for soil degradation, and the promotion of gender equality.

The Executive Secretary will also hold discussions with the Drylands’ Ambassador for the UN Convention on Desertification, former President Tarja Halonen, and with Terhi Lehtonen, State Secretary at the Ministry of the Environment.

The Desertification Convention is one of the three environmental conventions drawn up in Rio in 1992. The Convention aims to prevent desertification, droughts and land degradation, and to promote sustainable land management. Desertification also affects climate change. The Convention is the only comprehensive environmental agreement that addresses both environmental and social issues at the same time. It also supports the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The UNCCD is a long-term partner for Finland. In the implementation of the Desertification Convention, Finland has focused on the promotion of gender equality. Women take principal responsibility for food production but often lack the right to own land and the power to participate in decision-making. This is a problem from the perspective of both equality and the sustainable use of natural resources. Land ownership issues were on the agenda of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Desertification for the first time in September 2019, during Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Inquiries: Katharina Bäckman, Desk Officer, Unit for Sustainable Development and Climate Policy, tel. +358 295 350 246, Eija Palosuo, Communications Officer, tel. +358 295 351 961 (requests for interview)

The Foreign Ministry's email addresses are of the format firstname.lastname@formin.fi.