WIN Dialogues at UNCCD COP-11
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The WIN Dialogues (17-19 September) brought together 18 participants, representing 17 local and indigenous organizations from 11 countries, in a three-day dialogue during the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) 11th Conference of the Parties (COP 11) in Windhoek, Namibia. Follow the links below for coverage of individual sessions.

To learn more about the partnership of the Equator Initiative and the World Indigenous Network, click here.

Click here for full coverage of the Rio Conventions Pavilion by IISD Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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Sustainable Water Use in Drylands

The workshop session, “Reviving Drylands: Sustainable Use of Water in Sub-Saharan Africa”, brought together panelists to share their experiences in the area of community-based water management. Practitioners from Namibia shared stories on the use of Otji toilets, underground tanks, and irrigation networks in water and sanitation projects, while those from Ethiopia and Kenya shared their experience with micro-dams, free water springs, sand dams and rock catchments.

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Beyond the MDGs

There is general consensus in the international community that the post-2015 development agenda can benefit from a focus on environmental awareness, sustainability, and environmental protection. Integrating environmental sustainability into the next generation development agenda was a focus of the Rio+20 outcome document, “The Future We Want”. This session focused on current challenges to the effective integration of environmental sustainability into the next generation development agenda, including how local and indigenous communities can be empowered to influence the process and be key stakeholders in how the framework is implemented.

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Engaging with Extractive Industries

This session looked at the challenges and opportunities of engaging with extractive industries. The presence of extractive industries – for better and for worse – is a reality that local and indigenous communities must face on a daily basis. In order for communities to leverage their natural wealth to advance sustainable livelihood activities, it is necessary to find ways of engaging with extractive industries and large-scale industrial interests. This session explored lessons from different strategies, where they have worked, and where more work is needed.

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Strengthening Livelihoods

This session used small group discussions to share local and indigenous community best practices on drylands management. Participants were divided into groups on (i) education and awareness raising; (ii) food security and nutrition; (iii) and land degradation and deforestation. The objective was an open dialogue on what lessons can be taken away from the shared experience of community-based efforts in meeting the challenges of sustainable land management.

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Knowledge Exchange Networks

Networks can be an effective way of connecting local and indigenous communities.They offer the potential of enabling local practitioners to learn from one another and create a common platform for advocacy and capacity building. Sharing within and between networks is not only important for a bottom-up approach to development, but is particularly salient for those engaged in land management and biodiversity conservation. This workshop session discussed the role of knowledge exchange in local capacity building.

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Drylands Book Launch

This reception event outlined the Equator Initiative role in guiding the World Indigenous Network through its next phase of development and marked the launch of a new case study compendium entitled, Community-Based Sustainable Land Management: Best Practices in Drylands from the Equator Initiative. The compendium presents detailed case studies on twenty recipients of the Equator Prize, each from the African continent and each representing an outstanding community-based sustainable land management approach. 

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Women's Empowerment for Sustainable Land Management

Women-led initiatives have been successful in mobilizing and empowering women living in drylands and advancing sustainable land management initiatives that focus on agriculture. Initiatives and projects run by and for women have also demonstrated exceptional outcomes in the areas of poverty alleviation, access to education, access to health, income generation and gender equality. This session explored the shared experiences and lessons learned from several community-based, women-led initiatives. 

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"Better Land Use,
Better Future for All"

The project “Better Land Use, Better Future for All” was launched with the objective of empowering local grassroots organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa to participate and influence the implementation of the UNCCD, TerrAfrica and other sustainable land management processes, programs and policies. This session discussed details of the project, which is a three-year initiative funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). 

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Community-based Natural Resource Management

Community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) is an established approach in Africa, particularly in the field of sustainable land management. This session focused on the experiences of four different local civil society organizations with community-based natural resource management. Common threads emerged from the discussion, including the necessity of pursuing holistic approaches that address economic, environmental and social needs. Panelists represented Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Africa and Namibia.

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