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A50X8427A workshop on Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) at the national level, involving all relevant stakeholders was organized by National Soil Services Center (NSSC) in close coordination with the Department of Agriculture (DoA)and MoAF at Taj Tashi on 26th July 2017. Dr. Markus Repnik, Managing Director of the Global Mechanism of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) kindly supported this important workshop and travelled all the way from Bonn, Germany to attend the workshop. The workshop was graced by the Honble Sanam Lyonpo and the Secretary. Other participants included representatives from the National Environment Commission, National Assembly of Bhutan, GNHC, BTFEC, UNDP, WWF, FAO and World Bank, Bhutan along with officials from the Ministry.

Since land degradation is increasingly becoming an issue of serious concern both locally and globally with an estimated 3.6 billion hectares worldwide (which is a quarter of the Earths land area) are being affected by desertification and various other forms of land degradation, the workshop is necessary and timely involving stakeholders from government, development partners, civil societies and private sectors as the 12th FYP is about to begin within which land development is a priority for the Ministry.

Bhutan is amongst the 110 countries committed to set national land degradation neutrality targets and thus, a national stakeholder workshop on Land Degradation Neutrality, LDN, was held in Thimphu to come up with a clear roadmap for LDN in Bhutan. Being a member country to UNCCD since August 2003 with Ministry as the focal organization for the Convention, Bhutan is also one of the LDN countries committed to work towards achieving LDN by 2030 along with 11 other countries adding to the exemplary efforts made by Bhutan towards biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation bringing additional benefits to the country to conserve its rich biodiversity and maintain its carbon neutral status.

The workshop also shared the outcome of the LDN experience in Bhutan, discussed how to leverage LDN from climate change impacts to green growth and poverty eradication. It further explored the financing opportunities and developed a way forward for LDN in Bhutan. Dr. Repnik, encouraged Bhutan to tap opportunities on LDN by designing and implementing LDN transformative project among others.