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IAEA and UNCCD sign Practical Arrangement to strengthen partnership in soil management

Over 150 countries around the world are affected by soil degradation and desertification.

The IAEA and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) have signed a practical arrangement to enhance cooperation in promoting good soil management practices, especially in areas vulnerable to or affected by soil erosion. With this agreement, the two organizations join efforts to enhance conservation of land and soil resources to improve food security, combat poverty and ensure environmental sustainability.

The practical arrangement outlining the terms of collaboration has been signed today by Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of UNCCD, and Ana Claudia Raffo-Caiado, Director of the IAEA’s Division of Technical Cooperation Programme Support and Coordination (TCPC). The signing took place in Bonn, Germany, during the ongoing Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention.

Under the arrangement, the IAEA together with UNCCD will provide assistance in training and capacity building to Member States to address challenges related to desertification, drought and land degradation. The arrangement will allow the exchange and dissemination of information between the two parties, and the development of joint educational and training courses, as well as participation in scientific networks.

Nuclear technology supports many conventional practices addressing sustainable land management issues. Nuclear techniques can be used to track the movement of water and nutrients through soil and identify potential hot spots for land degradation providing important data on soil dynamics and causes of erosion. Such information is invaluable for policy makers in setting policies to improve soil management practices and protect land.

The IAEA, through its technical cooperation programme, assists Member States to develop capacities and capabilities in the use of nuclear techniques for effective soil management. “IAEA builds country capacities to use radionuclide and stable isotopic techniques to study soil erosion and land degradation problems. These capacities are essential for soil conservation, land use planning and decision making,” said Raffo-Caiado.

Enhanced cooperation between the IAEA and the UNCCD will provide further opportunities for transferring nuclear science and technology relevant to soil conservation to developing Member States and support the inclusion of scientific research and nuclear techniques in countries’ soil legislation.

 

Responsible/Contact: Department of Technical Cooperation | Last update: 15 Aug, 2013

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