Linkages Update - Editor's Note #202 - 14 February 2013

 Upcoming Meetings and Post-2015 Consultations 

By: Lynn Wagner, Ph.D., Manager, Knowledge Management Projects, IISD Reporting Services <lynn@iisd.org>
   

Among the many stories that have been entered into our knowledgebases in the past few weeks have been posts regarding preparations for key upcoming meetings, and publications and dialogues feeding into the post-2015 development agenda.

The meeting schedule for February 2013 has been relatively limited, with next week's first universal session of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum being the key meeting on the international sustainable development calendar. By contrast, the next three months will be packed full of events, and we have been busy following the preparations for many of them.

Among the preparations for upcoming meetings has been the release of many advance unedited versions of the documents for the tenth meeting of the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF 10). UNFF 10 will convene from 8-19 April, and will consider, inter alia, progress made on the implementation of the Non-legally Binding Instrument on all types of Forests (forest instrument) and the achievement of its four Global Objectives on Forests (GOFs). The Forum will also focus on forests and economic development, emerging issues, a multi-stakeholder dialogue, enhanced cooperation, and means of implementation for sustainable forest management (SFM). Among the advance unedited versions of documents is a report titled "Forests and Economic Development," which addresses the monetized and non-cash contributions of forests to economic development, and highlights the role of forests in rural development. Another report, titled "Conclusions and recommendations for addressing key challenges of forests and economic development," aims to support member States' focus on cross-sectoral and inter-agency collaboration, the mainstreaming of SFM within national economic and development policies, and improved knowledge and information sharing on the multiple values of forests.

Posts on our Land Policy & Practice knowledgebase pick up some similar themes, especially in relation to the preparations for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) 2nd Scientific Conference and the 3rd special session of the Committee for Science and Technology (CST S-3). The dates for this meeting have now been set for one week before the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC), with the events to take place from 9-19 April, in Bonn, Germany, at the same time that UNFF 10 will convene in Istanbul. The Scientific Conference will consider the theme "Economic assessment of desertification, sustainable land management and resilience of arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas," with a focus on two sub-topics: economic and social impacts of desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD); and costs and benefits of policies and practices addressing DLDD. Related to this topic, the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) initiative has called for information on existing case studies regarding the benefits of sustainable land management (SLM) and/or the costs of land degradation, and has called for proposals for new case studies to be commissioned by the initiative.

Before these April meetings, the sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16) of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) will take up a very full agenda in March. A number of recommendations have recently been published in the lead up to the CoP, which will also mark the 40th anniversary of the CITES Convention. And on the heels of the April meetings, the recently announced second session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) will be held in Bonn, Germany, from 29 April-3 May, and the ordinary and extraordinary meetings of the Conferences of the Parties (COPs) to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions will convene back-to-back from 28 April-10 May, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Meanwhile, a flurry of activity is taking place in relation to the post-2015 development agenda, and we invite you to check out our work tracking these events if you have not already done so. Within the context of the UN's work to advance the UN development agenda beyond 2015, a series of national and global consultations are currently taking place. The list of upcoming events in this issue of Linkages Update highlights a number of e-discussions that are currently active and will feed into the global consultations on the eleven thematic areas – inequalities, education, health, governance, conflict and fragility, growth and employment, environmental sustainability, hunger, nutrition and food security, population dynamics, energy, and water. These consultations will lead to eleven high-level meetings, during which the results and recommendations of each consultation process will be considered. Next week in Copenhagen, the first such meeting will take place, to consider the global thematic consultations on “inequalities.” Feeding into this process, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and UN Women recently issued the final version of the Synthesis Report of the Global Public Consultation on Addressing Inequalities. We look forward to reporting on the conclusion of these consultations, and the further steps in the post-2015 development agenda process.