Luc Gnacadja

Sustainable land use advocate Luc Gnacadja will speak in Schwartz Auditorium at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22. His talk, “Grounding Human Security: Land and Soil in the Global Sustainability Agenda,”  

Thriving Humans, Healthy Lands

April 11, 2014

Luc Gnacadja

Sustainable land use advocate Luc Gnacadja will speak in Schwartz Auditorium at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22. His talk, “Grounding Human Security: Land and Soil in the Global Sustainability Agenda,” is the 16th annual Jill and Ken Iscol Distinguished Environmental Lecture, hosted by the Atkinson Center. Gnacadja’s lecture caps his two-day visit to Cornell, featuring public events and meetings with students and faculty.

Gnacadja served as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and UN Assistant Secretary-General from 2007 to 2013. He was a guiding voice for sustainable land development in the negotiations leading up to Rio+20, the June 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. “Drought is predictable,” Gnacadja argued in 2012. “The tools and knowledge farmers need to cope with it are already there. What is missing is the political will and the awareness about existing sustainable land-use practices. . . . We should act at local, national, and global levels to give farmers the lead, and promote sustainable land use and regreening initiatives.”

A trained architect and passionate advocate for landscapes and their ecological restoration, Gnacadja was Benin’s minister of environment, housing, and urban development and represented Benin as the head of delegation to UNCCD and the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change and Convention on Biological Diversity. Gnacadja received a 2002 Green Award from the World Bank for promoting environment-friendly public expenditure reform in Benin.

Gnacadja views healthy, fertile land as essential to thriving economies—so business interests must be engaged to reduce land degradation and mitigate drought. “Land and water are the most valuable finite resources that we have,” he remarked. “They are inextricably intertwined and increasingly scarce, and unless addressed holistically, the effects of desertification, land degradation, and drought will be felt by global companies looking for resources, supply networks, and markets. I believe no solution to the global crisis of land degradation will be found without proactive business engagement.”

Read an article by Luc Gnacadja about land-use strategies to mitigate drought.

Sustainable land use advocate Luc Gnacadja will speak in Schwartz Auditorium at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22. His talk, “Grounding Human Security: Land and Soil in the Global Sustainability Agenda,” is the 16th annual Jill and Ken Iscol Distinguished Environmental Lecture, hosted by the Atkinson Center. Gnacadja’s lecture caps his two-day visit to Cornell, featuring public events and meetings with students and faculty.

Gnacadja served as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and UN Assistant Secretary-General from 2007 to 2013. He was a guiding voice for sustainable land development in the negotiations leading up to Rio+20, the June 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. “Drought is predictable,” Gnacadja argued in 2012. “The tools and knowledge farmers need to cope with it are already there. What is missing is the political will and the awareness about existing sustainable land-use practices. . . . We should act at local, national, and global levels to give farmers the lead, and promote sustainable land use and regreening initiatives.”

A trained architect and passionate advocate for landscapes and their ecological restoration, Gnacadja was Benin’s minister of environment, housing, and urban development and represented Benin as the head of delegation to UNCCD and the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change and Convention on Biological Diversity. Gnacadja received a 2002 Green Award from the World Bank for promoting environment-friendly public expenditure reform in Benin.

Gnacadja views healthy, fertile land as essential to thriving economies—so business interests must be engaged to reduce land degradation and mitigate drought. “Land and water are the most valuable finite resources that we have,” he remarked. “They are inextricably intertwined and increasingly scarce, and unless addressed holistically, the effects of desertification, land degradation, and drought will be felt by global companies looking for resources, supply networks, and markets. I believe no solution to the global crisis of land degradation will be found without proactive business engagement.”

Read an article by Luc Gnacadja about land-use strategies to mitigate drought