By Ritah Kemigisa
Commonwealth leaders have officially adopted the Living Lands Charter, which commits all 54 member countries to safeguarding global land resources while taking coordinated action on climate change, biodiversity loss and sustainable land management.
The non-binding agreement was announced at the just concluded 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held in Kigali, Rwanda.
According to the Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland, it is the culmination of nearly two years of intense consultation, engagement and negotiation with member countries, United Nations Rio Conventions, and other relevant stakeholders.
Applauding the initiative, Scotland said “The Living Lands Charter: call to action is a testament to the leaders’ commitment to the people of the Commonwealth, and to the Commonwealth principles of transparency, consensus, and common action.
The Living Lands Charter recognises that the vulnerabilities of our ecosystems to land degradation, biodiversity loss and climate change are closely interrelated and need to be considered collectively.
The heads of government also renewed their commitment under the Paris Agreement to keep the rise in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, also reflecting the Glasgow Climate Pact.