On 8 September 2019, Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, and Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Agency (UNEP), signed a letter of intent on cooperation of Iceland and UNEP in the field of land restoration. Minister Gudbrandsson leads Iceland‘s delegation to the UNCCD COP14 taking place in New Delhi, India, 2-13 September 2019.
"With this joint statement, we want to increase and formalize our partnership with the United Nations Environment Agency on land restoration projects in developing countries as part of Iceland's international development cooperation. This cooperation will build on the work of the United Nations University Land Restoration Programme in Iceland and our long experience in fighting land degradation in Iceland. I hold high hopes for this partnership, sustainable land management and land restoration is an important factor in mitigating the climate crisis. This is an area where Iceland can make an important contribution,” says Minister Gudbrandsson.
The declaration focuses on cooperation with developing countries in Africa and is modeled on the geothermal energy cooperation between Iceland and UNEP in the continent. In the coming months, Icelandic experts and UNEP representatives are expected to work on joint proposals for possible project funding.
Land, climate and renewable energy in the foreground
On 9 September, Minister Gudbrandsson chaired a ministerial round-table on land, climate change and renewable energy, with the participation of forty States Parties to the UNCCD. He also met with Yannick Glenmarec, Secretary General of the Green Climate Fund, and attended a working luncheon on land use and climate hosted by Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations.