…UNCCD training fair to kick-start eventAs the new year progresses, Guyana will be embarking on discussions to fight drought and other land-related issues as plans are now on stream to host the 17th session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC), spearheaded by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).Commencing on January 28 through January 30, stakeholders from around the world will gather at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown to participate in the event.At present, a committee was established by the Government to oversee plans to successfully host the event smoothly.CRIC is referred to as a subsidiary body of the Conference of Parties (COP) and Guyana is the first English-speaking Caribbean country to have acceded to membership of the CRIC Bureau. This event is anticipated to identify the country as a leading sustainable developer among other such nations.With talks on desertification and its impactful influence on economies, a two-day training fair for National Focal Points and UNCCD stakeholders will be convened on January 25 and 26.This fair is backed by the Soil Leadership Academy, which was established under the UNCCD to support stakeholders on their passage to Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN). Some of the areas to be covered include LDN Project Development and ways in which such projects can be funded.For this, organisations who are interested in providing donations to these projects are also welcomed.Special attention will be paid to drought and the approaches which can be used once the area is monitored. The importance lies within practices which can alleviate droughts beforehand via improvised techniques in farming and land management. Agencies that have successfully managed to execute these procedures will be present to address any concerns.Sections of the module to be used also tackle integrating gender into policies for LDN, including “gender-responsive projects”. As it relates to sand and dust storms, the guideline will educate on how to assess a country’s vulnerability towards such occurrence with provisions for the economic impact assessment.The Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission has posited that there was much to look forward to in 2019, with the hosting of the Guyana-Brazil Joint Border Commission Conference in the first quarter of this year.Throughout the year, emphasis will be placed on implementing the Sustainable Land Development and Management Project in keeping with their outlined responsibilities.In the strategic planning for 2019 to 2023, a review of policy documents is expected to roll out as well as a national policy for Geographic Information Systems.