Canada announces support to combat land degradation and desertification in developing countries 

News release

January 11, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Across the world, climate change is causing extreme and erratic weather. This, in turn, is exacerbating land degradation and desertification, with the most severe impacts affecting people already in situations of poverty and vulnerability, especially women and Indigenous people.

Today, the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, announced that Canada will contribute up to $55 million to the Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) Fund, an investment fund initiated by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) to support sustainable land management and land restoration. This investment is part of Canada’s $2.65 billion climate finance commitment, as well as the G7 Charlevoix Commitment for Innovative Financing for Sustainable Development.

Canada’s contribution was highlighted today by the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, at the One Planet Summit for biodiversity hosted by France, in cooperation with the United Nations and the World Bank.

During the Summit, political leaders, the private sector, NGOs and citizens discussed environmental challenges and accelerating funding for climate, biodiversity and oceans.

Canada is contributing to the LDN Fund alongside other Canadian investors, including the Concordia University Foundation and the Montreal-based labour-sponsored pension fund Fondaction. Sherbrooke-based project developer Ecotierra is implementing the LDN Fund's first investment project in coffee cooperatives in Latin America.

Canada’s contribution, once it is finalized, will help to catalyze additional private sector investments in the LDN Fund so it can achieve its mission of restoring degraded land and reducing or avoiding greenhouse gas emissions. The LDN Fund is also crucial to ensuring that COVID-19 economic recovery efforts support green jobs and sustainable businesses for people who depend on natural resources for their livelihoods.

Quotes

“The Land Degradation Neutrality Fund is an example of how the public and private sector can invest together in nature-positive solutions and livelihoods in developing countries.

Canada is committed to innovative partnerships to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss and create a sustainable future and healthier communities for all.”

- Karina Gould, Minister of International Development 

“Climate change and biodiversity loss know no borders, which is why strong domestic action on these challenges must be met with equally strong international leadership. Partnerships, such as the one being announced today, help to ensure that the developing countries that will be hardest hit by the impacts of climate change have additional tools and support to secure a more sustainable future.”

- Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“I am very pleased that Canada has decided to invest in the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund. Investing in land restoration is not only about the environmental good. It is a quick way to create jobs, preserve the ecosystem, and also improve livelihoods. The fund is an innovative vehicle in support of areas that traditionally have not benefited from private investments.” 

- Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary, UNCCD 

“As the LDN Fund’s first private investor, we welcome the Government of Canada’s commitment to contribute to this powerful financial lever to preserve and restore natural ecosystems, which are the foundation of a healthy community. Fondaction is fully committed to a sustainable finance approach, aligned with the sustainable development goals of the United Nations. With innovative initiatives and committed partners, we can transform our world in a positive way.”

- Geneviève Morin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fondaction

“Combining public and private money is key to unlock capital for high environmental and social impact projects in developing countries. We are very proud to welcome Canada in the LDN Fund to mobilize more capital towards nature-based solutions.”

- Philippe Zaouati, Chief Executive Officer, Mirova

Quick facts

  • The LDN Fund was created to support implementation of the UNCCD, one of the three Rio Conventions. The LDN Fund was formally launched at the UNCCD COP13 in Ordos, China, in 2017. 

  • The Fund is managed by Mirova, a French asset management company fully dedicated to sustainable investing and an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers.

  • The Fund aims to raise US$300 million to: restore up to 500,000 hectares of degraded land; reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions of up to 35 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent; and create or support approximately 100,000 jobs for the most vulnerable populations, particularly women, in developing countries. 

Associated links

Contacts

Guillaume Dumas
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development
Guillaume.Dumas@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
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