A year in review

As 2019 comes to a close, the ELD Initiative would like to take the time to reflect on achievements from this year and provide an outlook for 2020.

Staff update

The ELD Secretariat has had a couple of staff changes this year. First, we have welcomed our new enthusiastic and experienced staff member, Waltraud Ederer (pictured). Waltraud has re-joined ELD after having worked with the team in 2015, and is responsible for the natural capital work stream. We are really excited to have Waltraud on board and look forward to all the great work she will contribute to the ELD Initiative.

We also extend a great thanks to Hannes Etter and Silke Schwedes, who have moved onto other exciting new work this year! Their contributions to the ELD Initiative have been immensurable and we are extremely grateful for everything they have done. We wish them the very best in their new positions.

Some highlights from this year

The launch of the new ELD website. In October 2019, ELD launched a new website, which contains all the information about our current and past work. The website is also home to a new comprehensive ELD Knowledge Hub, where you will find all the information you need about related information and partners.

The launch of the ELD Campus. With the support of the network and our partners, ELD gathered information and knowledge to produce high quality learning and teaching materials about the valuation of ecosystem services.

Finalisation of some ELD Studies under the Regreening Africa project. ELD recently held three dissemination workshops in Senegal, Niger and Ghana, which were a great success and learning experience for all those involved. The resultant ELD publications are forthcoming, and the Senegal synthesis study and policy brief are available here (French). Jointly with our partners from ICRAF and within the project countries, we will present this work to decision-makers to facilitate the LDN processes and the restoration of ecosystems.

Visit by ELD Ambassadors. The ELD ambassadors attended the ESP World Conference and visited the ELD Secretariat in Bonn in October 2019. They had the opportunity to present their studies within the “Regreening Africa” project, and discuss the future work on promoting sustainable land management and communicating the messages from research to the policy sector. As our ambassadors are an integral part of the ELD network we are very happy to continue working together with them beyond the Regreening Africa project. We would like to extend a huge thanks to our fantastic ELD Ambassadors!

ELD at UNCCD COP14. ELD Initiative Secretariat hosted and co-hosted several side events at the 14th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (COP14) in New Delhi, India. In the consequence we have been invited to cooperate more closely with the UNCCD Secretariat, the SPI and the GM with interesting perspectives opening up!

Looking ahead into 2020

Finalisation of the ELD component of Regreening Africa. The first months of 2020 will be busy for ELD as we conclude the ELD studies under the Regreening Africa project. We will hold a series of dissemination workshops in (Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Somalia) and release the ELD studies and policy briefs upon their conclusion.

New ELD phase. Jointly we managed to establish a comprehensive capacity development process for the ELD Initiative (training, study, policy dialogue) which has created further demand so we can continue our work in a number of country contexts (incl. Mexico, Benin Tunisia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, India, Iceland, …) in the next phase with interesting new partners.

and much more...

All in all we are looking forward to an exciting new year in 2020!