7th Session of the Conference of the Parties 
to the United Nations Convention 
to Combat Desertification 


17-28  October 2005, Nairobi, Kenya 

 



 Earth Negotiations Bulletin - ENB


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Highlights for Monday, 24 October 2005


COP-7 participants met in the special segment in the morning and afternoon to hear opening statements. The launching of TerraAfrica took place in the afternoon. The plenary met in an afternoon session to consider including an additional agenda item regarding the procedure for the selection of an Executive Secretary of CCD. Contact groups met to  discuss: the programme and budget; the draft decisions of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC-4); regional coordination units (RCUs); and the report of the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU).

Above photo L-R: Grace Ghatoni, Youth Representative being congratulated by H. E. Mwai Kibaki, President of the Republic of Kenya, Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme, and Stephen Kalonzo, Minister for Environment and Natural Resources of Kenya. 



SPECIAL SEGMENT:


Above photos: The Special Segment of COP-7 opened with traditional and contemporary Kenyan cultural performances.


Andrew Kiptoon, Permanent Representative of Kenya to UNEP, opened the special segment, which started with a cultural performance by Kenyan artists.

Grace Gathoni, a 12-year old student, delivered a message on young people’s expectations and recited a poem, emphasizing the role of education and training in combating desertification.

Abdulai Arbele, an elder from Rendille  Community, spoke on how desertification affects pastoralists’ livelihoods.



UNCCD Executive Secretary Hama Arba Diallo delivered the message from the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The message highlighted the need for more concerted actions and financial resources to combat desertification.

UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer highlighted that many people’s livelihoods depend on ecosystem services and that combating desertification is crucial in meeting MDGs.   

Jose A.D.Duque, Minister of Science and Technology and the Environment of Cuba, and President of COP-6, called on countries to act  promptly in order to achieve the aims of the Convention.



Wangari Maathai, Nobel Laureate, said that  political will, rather than financial resources, is the solution in the struggle against desertification, and emphasized its link with climate change.

Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, President of COP-7, Minister for Environment and Natural Resources of Kenya, stressed that the UNCCD is an important tool to achieve the objectives of the WSSD.

Mwai Kibaki, President of Kenya, welcomed the delegates, and congratulated the UNCCD Bureau on work done in forwarding the objectives of the Convention. He said the outcome of the session will have a direct bearing on Kenya and all affected countries, and the achievement of the MDGs.



Above photos L-R: UNEP Executive Director Klaus Töpfer; UNCCD Executive Secretary Hama Arba Diallo; Mwai Kibaki, President of the Republic of Kenya; Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, President of COP-7, Minister for Environment and Natural Resources of Kenya; Jose A.D.Duque, Minister of Science and Technology and the Environment of Cuba; Nikhil Seth, United Nations Secretariat; Wangari Maathai, Nobel Laureate and Abdulai Arbele, an elder from Rendille Maasai Community

LAUNCHING OF TERRAFRICA:


The New Alliance to Combat Land Degradation in Africa (TerrAfrica) was launched in the afternoon. President Musyoka introduced the initiative. He described the initiative, which is focused on Sub-Saharan African countries and their response to UNCCD implementation. 

Above photo L-R:
J. Warren Evans, Director, Environment Department, World Bank; Len Good, CEO and Chairman, Global Environment Facility (GEF); Iyorcha Ayu, Minister of the Environment of Nigeria; UNCCD Executive Secretary Diallo; President Musyoka; Nikhil Seth, United Nations Secretariat; Laurent Sedego, Minister of the Environment of Burkina Faso and Cyril Enweze, Vice-President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)



Above photos: Iyorcha Ayu, Minister of the Environment of Nigeria, (left) thanked the funding institutions participating in TerrAfrica, and noted that it is a new business model for the participation of key stakeholders, and to channel investment in the region; Laurent Sedego, Minister of the Environment of Burkina Faso, presented a perspective on desertification in his country, which continues at an accelerated pace; Len Good, CEO and Chairman, Global Environment Facility (GEF), highlighted that addressing land degradation requires an integrated approach and coherent decisions at all levels. He said that GEF will provide significant financial resources for the initiative.



Cyril Enweze, Vice-President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), (left) emphasized that TerrAfrica builds a new paradigm in addressing land degradation through sustainable agriculture, partnership and cooperation, and said that TerrAfrica will strengthen the linkage between environment and poverty and contribute to improving livelihoods of the poor in Sub-Saharan Africa.

J. Warren Evans, Director, Environment Department, World Bank, (center) highlighted that the new dimension of TerrAfrica lies in that it sets a stage for partnership, cooperation and collective actions in addressing land degradation. He also said that TerrAfrica has a potential to mobilize financial resources.

Concluding the launching of TerrAfrica, UNCCD Executive Secretary Diallo said that TerrAfrica is an alternative business model for sustainable agriculture and that it will help to better channel financing for addressing land degradation.


Above photo L-R: President Musyoka and
UN
CCD Executive Secretary Diallo 


PLENARY:

STATEMENTS BY UN AGENCIES AND REGIONAL GROUPS:



UNDP called for a focus on the interlinkages of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and MDGs, as well as a rights-based approach to addressing land tenure reform.

Above photo:
Olav Kjørven (UNDP)

CBD highlighted the consequences of rapid biodiversity loss to ecosystem services and the synergies between MEAs in areas linked to combating desertification.

Above photo: David Coates (CBD)

UNFCCC described the close links that exist between climate change and desertification, and the importance of the upcoming UNFCCC COP-11 in Montreal.

Above photo: Feng Gao (UNFCCC)


CUBA, for the G-77/CHINA, stressed that the creation of economic opportunities in drylands is only a means to the greater goal of attaining social improvement. The UK, for the EU, noted that CCD highlights links between poverty and land degradation, and said that UNCCD is a unique forum to disseminate best practices. AFRICAN MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ON THE ENVIRONMENT stressed the impact of land degradation in Africa on food security, and said that developed countries had been unable to adequately support the Secretariat, and proposed that CRIC should become a permanent body of the COP. SAUDI ARABIA, on behalf of the Asian Group, reported progress in the implementation of national action programmes in Asia, emphasized capacity building for addressing land degradation, and called on all developed countries and international agencies to provide assistance to affected countries. ARGENTINA, for GRULAC, called for research on ecosystems to find solutions to dryland management and environmentally friendly production systems for sustainable development.

Above photos L-R: Pedro Cardoso (Cuba); Adam Wood (UK); Abdul-Hakim Rajab Elwaer, President, African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN); Abdu G. A. Al Assiri (Saudi Arabia) and Octavio Pérez Pardo (Argentina)
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Links

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FAO
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ENB coverage of COP-6
ENB coverage of CRIC-3
Review of the First 10 years of the Convention

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