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Mr. Prime Minister, Ministers, Distinguished delegates and colleagues,

My name is Vu Thi Bich Hop, Chair of the Board of Trustees, The Center for Sustainable Rural Development, Vietnam.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak on behalf of more than 500 CSOs accredited to the UNCCD that are actively involved in the implementation of the Convention together with people and grassroots communities.

We are here with the goal to combat desertification and to work our land degradation issue. Sustainable use of land, climate responses and renewable energy are of most importance to achieve the goal.

Mr.Chair, the latest IPCC stated "All socio-economic development scenarios that limit warming to 1.5, or below 2oC require land-based mitigation solutions and include combinations of reforestation, deforestation reduction, and bio-energy. "

So, can land-based solutions be strategically deployed to fight climate change and deliver access to renewable energy for all?

Civil society can offer some answers to the concrete questions.

(1) Is land-based climate change adaptation and mitigation complementary to the global transition towards renewable energy?

Civil society believes that adaptation and mitigation of climate change based on nature-based solutions are not questionable and must be the focus of radical change. Land is a climate factory. Solutions based on agricultural practices that favor ecological intensification such as agro ecology stipulated in the report of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security are a priority. It is recommended for example, to experiment and apply yogic sustainable agriculture method, that integrates a positive thought based processes with organic farming and results in higher crop resilience to climate change, increased size and quality of crops, land restoration and various social benefits.

(2) What should the United Nations Climate Summit (and other climate discussions) conclude about the role of land- or natural-based solutions in fighting climate change?

Civil society welcomes the discussions and debates that target the climate emergency and the contributions of science that support this urgent needs. However the rythm of guidance and decisions and their implementation are not at the required speed. Civil society denounces the attitude of countries that refuse the needed changes and oppose the progress provided by international agreed guidance. Changes in land use bring with it a set of positive climate solutions and support for the transition to renewable energy.

(3) How do we deliver for land, climate and biodiversity at the same time?

Participation and good governance approach will meaningfully contribute. CSO are working with people at the communities can take advantage of local knowledge in conserving biodiversity through agro-forestry, afforestation and forest restoration, through payment for environmental services (PFES). Implementing climate smart agriculture will reduce significantly chemical fertilizer and pesticide, gradually increase land fertility and its climate resilience.

(4) How do we balance the potential competing demands on land for food and energy and other environmental services?

Increasing various types of renewable energy (solar, hydro, wind,…) will certainly reduce demand for biofuels and firewood which destroy forest and land. Participatory land and energy planning and management at the community level could bring government, scientists, private sector and farmers to discuss and find the best balance between food, energy and other environmental services. The successful models can be modified and upscaled at local, regional and national level. Research & development efforts shall be directed to the synergies between renewable energies and agriculture; developing technologies that result in increasing productivity of the land by utilising it for agriculture and renewable energy generation at the same time.

(5) How can we maximize the benefits of access to renewable energy for rural communities, land and climate? What is our business case for more investment in land in this scenario?

Effective land use and energy planning of local government with energy suppliers based on true consultation with local communities can increase access to energy for the whole. Good land end energy governance could help to work out the best and the most profitable approach to sustainable livelihoods development, co-benefits of adaptation and mitigation as well as land use and energy sustainability.

Mr. Chair, Distinguish delegates, colleagues, once again on behalf of CSO delegates at COP14, I am honored to speak up at this important roundtable discussion and we hope voices from millions of grassroots communities will be taken into account. Thank you very much and wish you all the best.


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