To effectively tackle Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD), and increase the resilience towards it, the drivers of change have to be systematically addressed. Social, economic, ecological and political drivers of change embed many different stakeholders, policies and solutions. Solving problems posed by global environmental change, requires coordinated research that pays at least as much attention to social sciences as it does to natural science. Paying attention to social sciences implies going beyond observation and monitoring of elements of biodiversity and soil status, to monitoring ‘human’ drivers of change, and how they affect both ecosystems and livelihoods. Additionally, while climate change, biodiversity loss and DLDD share common drivers or causes, the responses are also embedded in the same overarching targets and policy formulations. This session aims to identify the underlying drivers of change and policies that increase the resilience of ecosystems and people dependent on them, as well as the capacity of individuals, communities and systems to survive, adapt and grow in the face of changes, even catastrophic incidents. What are the thresholds that determine whether ecological communities can survive or not? Are some types of ecosystems more resilient to change than others? What characteristics improve resilience? These will be the guiding questions for the panellists that will represent the different fields of science and therewith highlight the possible collaboration amongst them.

SESSION CHAIR: Michael Anthony STOCKING; Professor of Natural Resource Development/ Senior Adviser to the Chair of GEF-STAP, Global Environment Facility, London, UK

PANELLISTS

Elena Maria ABRAHAM; Scientific Researcher of the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), Director of Argentine Institute for Research on Arid Lands ( IADIZA ), and Professor of Environmental Planning & Management, Congress University, Mendoza - Argentina, "Challenges for sustainable development of drylands"

Dennis GARRITY; Former Executive Director of ICRAF, UNCCD Dryland Ambassador, Nairobi. Kenya, "Transformative land regeneration"

Mohamed SESSAY; Regional Coordinator for Africa for Land Degradation within the Division of GEF Coordination, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Nairobi, Kenya

Ephraim NKONYA; Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington, D.C., USA, "Can the poor afford sustainable land management (SLM)? Drivers of SLM in poor countries"

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