The Commonwealth Living Lands Charter is an agreement by all 56 member countries to:
• safeguard global land resources
• take coordinated action to address climate change, biodiversity loss and land degradation or desertification, and
• promote climate-resilient and sustainable land management.
The Commonwealth spans nearly a quarter of the world's land area, including 11 million km²+ of arable land.
Over three quarters of global land area is degraded. This could surpass 90% by 2050.

The Commonwealth Secretariat recognises that land resources are under triple threat from climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss.

Evidence indicates the dire need to address these challenges through concerted, co-ordinated and integrated action. There are many opportunities to do this.

Multilateral action on these issues are covered under the three ‘Rio Conventions’: the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UN Convention on Biodiversity and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification.

The Commonwealth Living Lands Charter focuses on synergies between the Rio Conventions, taking a more harmonised approach to fulfilling the targets under these global commitments.

Action to address land degradation, biodiversity loss, and climate change each present a myriad of co-benefits and contributions to the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which underscores the 16 Principles contained within the Commonwealth Charter.


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The Living Lands Charter: A Commonwealth Call to action on Living Lands (Commonwealth CALL) was officially adopted at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda in June 2022.

Adoption followed nearly two years of intense consultation, engagement and negotiation with member countries, United Nations Rio Conventions, and other relevant stakeholders.

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8.8 million km²
of forest land is located within Commonwealth member countries around the world.
endemic species – those restricted to geographical areas – live in our 25 small island developing states.
of the world’s megadiverse countries are members of the Commonwealth, with many in tropical regions.