|Mr. Albert Williams, Vanuatu|
18 October 2011, Changwon Korea - Calls for support to raise the priority of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) to the same level of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Framework for Convention on Climate Change are often echoed at the 10th Conference of the Parties of the UNCCD in Korea.
Albert Williams, the Director of Environment from Vanuatu has added his voice to others with this call for support. He is one of a delegation of three from Vanuatu that has convened with the 193 parties at the convention this week.
“Without the UNCCD, if we don’t manage or finance this convention to a level where the needs of a country are met, then you are compromising what you want for biodiversity and climate change,” said Williams.
“Everything happens on land and the degradation of the land will add to the problems caused by biodiversity loss and climate change. It is very important that the UNCCD gets the support and attention needed at national, regional and an international level.”
Land degradation is a key issue for Vanuatu. William explains that pressure on existing prime agricultural land from residential sub divisions, deforestation and other activities has resulted in a loss of soil fertility in Vanuatu.
“This overarching threat will impact on our food security and livelihoods of our local communities”.
Williams was joined by the Minister for lands and natural resources, the Hon. Stehens Kalsakau and the Sustainable Land Management Coordinator Mr. William Ganileo this week in Korea for the second week of the 10th Conference of the Parties which opened this week with the High Level Segment.