Commonwealth Living Lands Charter

The Commonwealth group of nations drafted a non-binding “living lands charter” under which, the commonwealth members have decided to voluntarily dedicate a ‘living land’ in their countries for future generations.

About Commonwealth ‘Living Lands Charter’

  • Countries have decided to dedicate the living land, in line with the strategy formulated for United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
  • The charter mandates that member countries will safeguard global land resources as well arrest land degradation. They will also act against climate change, sustainable management and biodiversity loss.
  • Living Lands Charter will help in encapsulating the combined effort to hold global average temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Background

The “Living Lands Charter” document came after around two years of intense consultation, negotiation and engagement with member countries, UN Rio Convention and stakeholders. It was announced on June 25, 2022, while concluding the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali.

Concerns noted in charter

  • Leaders and their representatives noted the concerns in charter.
  • It includes the alarming decline in health and productivity of global land resources.
  • Over one third of land have degraded in last two decades.
  • Leaders also recognised that vulnerabilities of ecosystems to land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss are closely interrelated. It needs to be considered collectively.

Aim of the charter

The charter is aimed at supporting the member countries to effectively deliver their commitments under three Rio conventions viz., UN Convention on Biological Diversity, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

The Commonwealth of Nations

It is political association of 56 member states. Majority of the states are former territories of the British Empire. The Commonwealth Secretariate and Commonwealth Foundation are the Chief institutions of the organisation. Commonwealth dates back to first half of 20th century. It was originally created as British Commonwealth of Nations in 1926. In 1931, it was formalised by United Kingdom through Statute of Westminster.

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