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“Land and Vulnerable People in a World of Change”

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) decided on 8 February that the theme of its 2008 thematic discussion would be “promoting an integrated approach to rural development in developing countries for poverty eradication and sustainable development, taking into account current challenges”.

To prepare for the thematic debate, an informal preparatory meeting of the Council will be held on 17 April 2008 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The meeting, which will chaired by the President of the Council, will consider the topic “Land and Vulnerable People in a World of Change”.

The Preparatory Meeting is co-organized by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

Objectives of the meeting:

  • Increase awareness and understanding of the type and magnitude of threats and opportunities posed by increasing commodity prices, expanding biofuel cultivation, climate change mitigation activities, and other commercial interests on land productivity, biodiversity and on poor rural producers with insecure access to land and land tenure;
  • Identify policy options to assist policy makers to seize the opportunities and avert the threats stemming from climate changes and related global challenges;
  • Contribute to the development of a broader partnership among UN agencies and other potential partners on the impact and effects of current global trends on secure land tenure, sustainable land management and biodiversity conservation, the livelihoods of poor and vulnerable people.