Study launch on the Economics of harmonizing land-based Rio-targets in Rwanda

Motsomi Maletjane (UNFCCC Secretariat) and Nina Bisom (ELD Secretariat) during the side event; Photo: GIZ

Land is the least common denominator of the three Rio Conventions – UNFCCC, UNCCD and UNCBD. This has been reaffirmed only recently by UNCCD’s flagship report, the Global Land Outlook 2. But in countries, implementation of the land-based targets under the three conventions too often takes place in silos leaving much room for synergies of scarce financial resources and political attention.

The University of Rwanda, University of Bonn and the ELD Initiative now launched a new first of its kind study on “Harmonizing land restoration activities under the three Rio Conventions in Rwanda”. This study will be conducted in cooperation with the Strategy and Policy Council under the Office of the President of Rwanda.

During the launch event “Towards coherence of land-based Rio-targets” at UNCCD COP15, representatives from the three Rio Conventions – Miriam Medel García (UNCCD), Motsomi Maletjane (UNFCCC), and Jamal Annagylyjova (UNCBD) – welcomed the study as a valuable contribution. Miriam Medel García (UNCCD) highlighted that the study will bring the conversation about synergies between the Rio Conventions to something very tangible.

Speaking at the launch event, study co-lead Alisher Mirzabaev (University of Bonn) emphasized that land and ecosystem restoration can serve as a key entry point for addressing many interlinked challenges of broader sustainable development. In this regard, Ildephonse Musafiri (honorary senior lecturer at the University of Rwanda and Policy Advisor in the President's office) highlighted the urgency of such a study given current ambitious land restoration objectives that Rwanda is pursuing under the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) action plans.

The study will evaluate the synergies from joint national programming and implementation of the Rio Conventions’ target systems in Rwanda for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of land and ecosystem restoration activities. The research team will elaborate scenarios for leveraging synergies for land restoration activities, including on how financing can be pooled and invested much more efficiently to help close the funding gap for sustainable land management and ecosystem restoration in Rwanda.

Concluding the launch event, ELD Coordinator Nina Bisom underscored that the results of this study will be highly relevant for other countries as well.

The launch event was organized by the 4p100 Initiative and ELD initiative. Further guests were Leigh Ann Winowiecki (CIFOR) and Martina Fleckenstein (WWF International). It is planned that the study will be completed by April 2023. Preliminary study results will be presented and discussed at COP 27 in Sharm-el-Sheikh.

► For more information watch the recording of the event and contact Alisher Mirzabaev and Ildephonse Musafiri.