The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) joined hands with the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) to support climate adaptation and resilience and to implement UN Sustainable Development Goals through renewables.
In a Memorandum of Understanding signed, the two organisations have agreed to increase renewable energy capacity building and investment on the ground, get a better understanding of the land and renewable energy nexus and undertake joint outreach activities.
IRENA’s Director-General, Francesco La Camera said, “Today, renewable energy is the most effective climate action tool available. But renewables can play an important role in combating desertification and land degradation too. By signing today’s MoU, we intend to strengthen collaboration with the UN on country and regional support activities that accelerate renewables deployment as a component of a broader strategy to expand access to energy, foster sustainable development, biodiversity and climate resilience.”
UNCCD’s Executive Secretary, Ibrahim Thiaw said, “Renewable energy is one of the solutions to restore land, as it can help conserve food or develop irrigation systems. There are a lot of areas for cooperation adding that he expects renewable energy to be among the issues that could come up as a request from our Parties, in their efforts to halt and reverse land degradation.”
Sustainable energy can stimulate land restoration and conservation efforts and improve the economic sustainability of projects undertaken. For example, renewables can electrify rural health centers, provide solutions in the agri-food sector and alleviate poverty through integrated rural community development projects.
In regions like Africa and particularly the Sahel, additional bioenergy production through land restoration activities can generate further benefits by lightening the burden of energy in security while generating employment and income, thereby reducing poverty.