Climate Change Negotiations – UNFCCC, COP, Other Conventions and Protocols

Commonwealth adopts ‘Living Lands Charter’


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Living Lands Charter

Mains level: Land degradation

All 54 Commonwealth members have agreed to voluntarily dedicate a ‘living land’ in their respective countries to future generations, in line with the strategy set for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

Living Lands Charter

  • The non-binding mandates that member countries will safeguard global land resources and arrest land degradation while acting against climate change, biodiversity loss and sustainable management.
  • It helps to encapsulate the combined effort to hold the global average temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, said Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland.
  • The document came after nearly two years of intense consultation, engagement and negotiation with member countries at UN Rio Convention.

Key objectives

  • Leaders and their representatives noted with concern in the charter the alarming decline in the health and productivity of global land resources.
  • It aimed to support member countries to effectively deliver their commitments under the three Rio conventions:
  1. UN Convention on Biological Diversity
  2. UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
  3. UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Major outcomes

  • The attendees also underlined the principle ofcritical guardianship” provided by indigenous peoples and local communities in protecting land and vital ecosystem services.
  • The agreement was released along with a final wide-ranging communiqué by leaders, including on specific items on climate change.
  • Country heads underscored in it that the “urgent threat of climate change” exacerbates existing vulnerabilities and presents a significant threat to COVID-19 recovery efforts.


Try this PYQ from CSP 2012:

Q.Consider the following statements:

  1. The Commonwealth has no charter, treaty or constitution
  2. All the territories/countries once under the British Empire (jurisdiction/rule/mandate) automatically joined the Commonwealth as its members

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2


Post your answers here.
Please leave a feedback on thisx

Back2Basics: Commonwealth of Nations

  • The Commonwealth of Nations is an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states that are mostly former territories of the British Empire.
  • It dates back to the first half of the 20th century with the decolonization of the British Empire through increased self-governance of its territories.
  • It was originally created as the British Commonwealth of Nation through the Balfour Declaration at the 1926 Imperial Conference, and formalized by the UK through the Statute of Westminster in 1931.
  • The current body was formally constituted by the London Declaration in 1949, which modernized the community, and established the member states as “free and equal”.
  • The symbol of this free association is Queen Elizabeth II, who is the Head of the Commonwealth.
  • The Queen is head of state of 16 member states, known as the Commonwealth realms, while 32 other members are republics and five others have different monarchs.
  • Member has no legal obligations to one another. Instead, they are united by language, history, culture and their shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.


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