Excellencies, good day!
The Philippines acknowledges the actions taken by the UNCCD in launching the Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting Program as a pathway to achieve SDG Target 15.3. Through this program, the Philippines, together with the more than 120 countries that committed their voluntary LDN targets, was able to assess the state of land degradation of the country, identify associated measures and establish the country’s ambition to combat land degradation. We are currently on the final stage of completing a LDN Transformative Program, for funding by the Global Environment Facility, which will complement our National Programs. However, while there are existing land use and land management-related policies, we need a national policy framework on LDN, as well as a strong sustainable land management development and land restoration program. We hope to engage and collaborate with our partners in this regard.
The Philippines appreciates the creation of LDN Fund and the initiatives of MIROVA, in securing over USD 170 million from a wide range of public and private investors despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The Philippines expresses the hope that more project developers, particularly from developing countries like the Philippines, could access it in the future to support our LDN transformative programs and projects. We join our neighbors in Asia- Pacific Region in supporting the LDN Fund as a financial instrument for sustainable land use and land restoration to address multiple global issues.
Finally, as a Member State and Country Party to the UNCCD, the Philippines reiterates its commitment to contribute to the overall vision, goals and targets of addressing Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought and to advance the implementation of the Convention at the national level. We will carry on with our goal to strive for and achieve land degradation neutrality. As we work towards post-COVID-19 economic recovery, and aim for a more resilient food production system, sustainable land use and management will remain as the cornerstone of our collective efforts.
Thank you very much.