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UN Convention to Combat Desertification
Seventh Session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 7) and First Special Session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST S-1)


3-14 November 2008 | Istanbul, Turkey

Highlights from Monday and Tuesday, 3-4 November 2008

The seventh session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 7) and first special session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST S-1) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) opened in Istanbul, Turkey, on Monday, 3 November 2008. The joint opening plenary meeting of the two-week session heard opening statements from its Turkish hosts, UNCCD leaders, and some regional groups. Regional groups then convened on Monday afternoon, and all day Tuesday, 4 November. These groups received briefings from Executive Secretary Gnacadja and Global Mechanism Managing Director Mersmann, among other presenters, on the items on the two meetings’ agendas.



Regional consultations of affected country Parties

Regional implementation Annex for Africa


 

Regional implementation Annex for Latin America and the Caribbean

   


Regional implementation Annex for Asia


Regional implementation Annex for Central and Eastern Europe

 


Regional implementation Annex for Nothern Mediterranean

   

Opening ceremony


   
Hasan Sarikaya, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Turkey, called the meeting to order and welcomed participants to the opening of the joint meetings of CRIC 7 and CST S-1.   Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, emphasizing that the Secretariat also has high expectations of the parties, suggested that the meeting outcomes indicate the roles that parties will need to carry out.   Veysel Eroğlu, Minister of Environment and Forestry of Turkey, said desertification is one of the most important environmental issues at present and emphasized that it causes poverty, migration, unemployment, and food and security threats.

   
Christian Mersmann, Managing Director of the Global Mechanism, said the Joint Work Programme between the Secretariat and the GM is a “living document” for enhanced cooperation that represents a first attempt to outline cooperation between the GM and the Secretariat, and he applauded the Executive Secretary’s efforts to position the Convention as a major player in global environmental governance.
  José Herranz, Directorate General of Natural Resources and Forestry Policy, Ministry of Rural, Marine and Natural Environment of Spain, on behalf of the President of the Conference of the Parties Elena Espinosa, noted that the ten-year strategic plan (the Strategy) provides new instruments to improve the implementation of the Convention and its synergy with the other Rio Conventions.   Israel Torres, Chair of CRIC 7, underlined the significance of the joint meeting as the start of a new chapter in the life of the UNCCD Convention, which, he said, calls for re-engineering processes, learning from weaknesses and extending strengths in all aspects of the Convention, including in the UNCCD subsidiary bodies and parties.

   
 
William Dar, Chair of the CST, reported that a consortium of five leading institutions has been selected to help organize CST 9.
  Antigua and Barbuda, on behalf of the G-77/CHINA, emphasized the G-77/China’s support of the Strategy but noted its concern regarding the attainment of its fourth objective on the mobilization of resources.

   
France, on behalf of the EU, stressed that the key outcome of the review is to move forward on the future working modalities of the Convention bodies, their collaborative arrangements, knowledge management and reporting systems, and the key indicators for assessment of effects and impacts, and stressed the need for party compliance with the Strategy.
 
  Ukraine, on behalf of the CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN countries, stressed the importance of the work programmes to be reviewed at this meeting.   The Ecologic Youth of Angola, on behalf of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), lamented the lack of financial resources for the Convention, including the reduction of funds to finance participation of CSOs and delegates from developing countries.

Participants then watched a live video feed of Turkish officials and high school students planting trees in honor of CST-S1 and CRIC 7, including 193 trees to represent the 193 parties to the Convention and ten trees per delegate.


Welcoming reception

 

 

Snapshots

 

 



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