The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, today issued the following statement:
“Today marks 25 years since the adoption of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification [UNCCD] in Paris, France, on June 17, 1994.
“The serious consequences of land degradation across the globe are now known-the resulting food insecurity, poverty, conflict and forced migration already affect 2 billion people. In the next few decades, desertification could create up to 135 million climate refugees.
“Like poverty, desertification affects women and girls disproportionately from men and boys. In developing countries, women depend more on the Earth’s resources than men do to meet their families’ food, water and energy needs. And, although women produce 60% to 80% of the food, they do not have equal access to the land ownership, technology and financing that would enable them to be more climate resilient.
“In 2017, Canada recommitted to the UNCCD, reiterating its support for this essential element of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“In 2018, Canada contributed by acting as a driving force behind the adoption of the Gender Action Plan, which aims to enable women to fully participate in the implementation of the convention. We must make sure their needs, perspectives and knowledge are taken into account to give our actions new momentum.
“While progress on sustainable land management has been made, Canada remains steadfast in support of the UNCCD, toward the day when land degradation neutrality will be achieved.”