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A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations
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Volume 04 Number 241 - Monday, 24 October 2011
SUMMARY OF THE TENTH MEETING OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE UN CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION
10-21 OCTOBER 2011

The tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 10) convened from 10-21 October 2011, in Changwon City, Gyeongnam Province, Republic of Korea. The tenth meetings of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST 10) and the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 10) convened in parallel to the COP. Approximately 6,300 participants registered for the COP, CST, CRIC and a number of associated events during the two-week meeting. By the close of COP 10, delegates in these three bodies had negotiated and adopted 40 decisions.

In addition to the COP, CRIC and CST, two half-day open dialogues with civil society organizations (CSOs) took place on 14 and 19 October, and a special segment, consisting of roundtable discussions among Ministers and other officials, took place from 17-18 October. At the conclusion of this segment, the Government of the Republic of Korea presented, and COP 10 delegates took note of, the “Changwon Initiative,” which identified actions the Republic of Korea would take to implement COP 10 decisions. In addition, an interactive dialogue session with Members of Parliament took place from 13-14 October, a Sustainable Land Management Business Forum convened from 17-18 October, the Rio Conventions Pavilion convened discussions to consider linkages with biodiversity and climate change topics, and a full schedule of side events took place.

UNCCD COP 10 delegates took a number of critical decisions for the implementation of the Convention and contribution to global efforts to address issues related to desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD). Through the decisions developed in the CST, two ad hoc working groups were established: one to continue the iterative participatory process on impact-indicator refinement and monitoring and assessment of impacts; and one to further discuss options for the provision of scientific advice to the UNCCD. The COP also called for a multi-stakeholder partnership model for launching a fellowship programme and identified a process for its development.

Through the decisions recommended by the CRIC, delegates: approved the strategic orientation of the Convention’s institutions and subsidiary bodies as contained in the workplans adopted at COP 10; adopted four operational objectives to assess the implementation of the Convention against performance indicators; and approved an iterative process on reporting procedures and the refinement of methodologies for the review and compilation of best practices, including by CSOs. The COP also adopted decisions on collaboration with the GEF and promotion and strengthening of relationships with other relevant conventions and international organizations.

Among the decisions discussed under the aegis of the Committee of the Whole (COW), the COP took a decision on a long-standing question about the governance structure for the Global Mechanism (GM), by which parties agreed that the accountability and legal representation of the GM shall be transferred from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to the UNCCD Secretariat. A decision related to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) requests the UNCCD Executive Secretary to actively prepare for and participate in the UNCSD. And the budget decision holds the Secretariat budget close to its existing level, at €16 million. COP 10 delegates expressed their hope that the institutional dilemmas faced by the Convention might have been overcome, and that their decisions had set in place a structure that could begin to deliver concrete results.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNCCD

 The UNCCD is the centerpiece in the international community’s efforts to combat desertification and land degradation in the drylands. The UNCCD was adopted on 17 June 1994, and entered into force on 26 December 1996. Currently, it has 194 parties. The UNCCD recognizes the physical, biological and socioeconomic aspects of desertification, the importance of redirecting technology transfer so that it is demand-driven, and the involvement of local communities in combating desertification and land degradation. The core of the UNCCD is the development of national, subregional and regional action programmes by national governments, in cooperation with UN agencies, donors, local communities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

NEGOTIATION OF THE CONVENTION: In 1992, the UN General Assembly (UNGA), as requested by the UN Conference on Environment and Development, adopted resolution 47/188 calling for the establishment of an intergovernmental negotiating committee for the elaboration of a convention to combat desertification in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa (INCD). The INCD met five times between May 1993 and June 1994 and drafted the UNCCD and four regional implementation annexes for Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Northern Mediterranean. A fifth annex, for Central and Eastern Europe, was adopted during COP 4 in December 2000. Pending the UNCCD’s entry into force, the INCD met six times between January 1995 and August 1997 to hear progress reports on urgent action for Africa and interim measures in other regions, and to prepare for COP 1.

COPs 1-9: The first COP met in Rome, Italy, from 29 September-10 October 1997, during which delegates, inter alia, selected Bonn, Germany, as the location for the UNCCD’s Secretariat and the International Fund for Agricultural Development as the organization to administer the Convention’s Global Mechanism (GM).

COP 2, which met in Dakar, Senegal, from 30 November-11 December 1998, invited Central and Eastern European countries to submit to COP 3 a draft regional implementation annex. Parties met for COP 3 in Recife, Brazil, from 15-26 November 1999, and approved a long-negotiated Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the GM, among other decisions. COP 3 also decided to establish an ad hoc working group to review and analyze the reports on national, subregional and regional action programmes and to draw conclusions and propose concrete recommendations on further steps in the implementation of the UNCCD, among other decisions.

COP 4 convened from 11-22 December 2000, in Bonn, Germany, during which delegates, inter alia, adopted the fifth regional Annex for Central and Eastern Europe, began the work of the ad hoc working group to review UNCCD implementation, initiated the consideration of modalities for the establishment of the CRIC, and adopted a decision on the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council initiative to explore the best options for GEF support for UNCCD implementation.

COP 5 met from 1-13 October 2001, in Geneva, Switzerland, during which delegates, inter alia, established the CRIC and supported a proposal by the GEF to designate land degradation as another focal area for funding.

COP 6 met from 25 August - 6 September 2003, in Havana, Cuba. Delegates, inter alia, designated the GEF as a financial mechanism of the UNCCD, decided that a comprehensive review of the Secretariat’s activities would be undertaken by the UN Joint Inspection Unit (JIU), and requested the Secretariat to facilitate a costed feasibility study on all aspects of regional coordination.

COP 7 took place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 17-28 October 2005. Among their decisions, delegates reviewed the implementation of the Convention, developed an MoU between the UNCCD and the GEF, and reviewed the recommendations in the report of the JIU assessment of the Secretariat’s activities. Discussion on regional coordination units ended without the adoption of a decision, and an Intergovernmental Intersessional Working Group was established to review the JIU report and to develop a draft ten-year strategic plan and framework to enhance the implementation of the Convention.

COP 8 convened in Madrid, Spain, from 3-14 September 2007, and, inter alia, adopted a decision on the ten-year strategic plan (the Strategy). Delegates also requested the JIU to conduct an assessment of the GM for presentation to COP 9. COP 8 delegates did not reach agreement on the programme and budget, however, and an Extraordinary Session of the COP convened at UN Headquarters in New York on 26 November 2007 to conclude this item.

COP 9 convened in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 21 September - 2 October 2009. Delegates focused on a number of items that were called for by the Strategy and adopted 36 decisions, which addressed topics including: four-year work plans and two-year work programmes of the CRIC, CST, GM and the Secretariat; the JIU assessment of the GM; the terms of reference of the CRIC; arrangements for regional coordination mechanisms (RCMs); the communication strategy; and the programme and budget.

COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (CST): The CST has convened parallel meetings to each COP, as specified in the Convention. At CST 1’s recommendation, the COP established an ad hoc panel to oversee the continuation of the process of surveying benchmarks and indicators, and decided that CST 2 should consider linkages between traditional and modern knowledge. CST 3 recommended that the COP appoint ad hoc panels on traditional knowledge and on early warning systems. CST 4 submitted proposals to improve the CST’s work, and CST 5 adopted modalities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the CST, namely through the creation of a Group of Experts. CST 6 continued discussions on improving its efficiency and effectiveness, among other agenda items. CST 7 considered land degradation, vulnerability and rehabilitation, among other issues. And CST 8 decided to convene future sessions in a predominantly scientific and technical conference-style format, which led to the convening of the first UNCCD Scientific Conference at CST 9.

The first Special Session of the CST (CST S-1) convened in Istanbul, Turkey, concurrently with CRIC 7, from 3-14 November 2008. The two-day CST S-1 considered preparations for CST 9, elements of the Strategy related to the CST, the CST’s four-year work plan and two-year costed work programme, and advice to the CRIC on measuring progress on the Strategy’s Strategic Objectives.

CST 9 met concurrently with COP 9, during which the 1st Scientific Conference convened to consider the theme “Biophysical and socioeconomic monitoring and assessment of desertification and land degradation, to support decision-making in land and water management.” CST 9 also developed decisions to review the experience of the 1st Scientific Conference and to organize a 2nd Scientific Conference on the theme “Economic assessment of desertification, sustainable land management and resilience of arid, semi-arid and dry subhumid areas.” In addition, the CST recommended two indicators—the proportion of the population in affected areas living above the poverty line and land cover status—as the minimum required subset of impact indicators for reporting by affected countries beginning in 2012.

CST S-2 took place from 16-18 February 2011 in Bonn, Germany, and considered the status of work on methodologies and baselines for the effective use of the subset of impact indicators on Strategic Objectives 1, 2 and 3 of the Strategy, among other matters.

COMMITTEE FOR THE REVIEW OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION (CRIC): The CRIC held its first session in Rome, Italy, from 11-22 November 2002, during which delegates considered presentations from the five UNCCD regions, and considered information on financial mechanisms in support of the UNCCD’s implementation and advice provided by the CST and the GM.

CRIC 2 met concurrently with COP 6 in 2003 to review implementation of the UNCCD and of its institutional arrangements, and the financing of UNCCD implementation by multilateral agencies and institutions. CRIC 3 convened from 2-11 May 2005, in Bonn, Germany, and reviewed the implementation of the Convention in Africa, considered issues relating to Convention implementation at the global level, and made recommendations for the future work of the Convention. CRIC 4 met concurrently with COP 7 in 2005, and considered: strengthening Convention implementation in Africa; improving communication and reporting procedures; mobilization of resources for implementation; and collaboration with the GEF.

CRIC 5 convened in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 12-21 March 2007, to review implementation of the Convention in affected country parties in regions other than Africa. The meeting also addressed how to improve information communication and national reporting and reviewed the 2006 International Year for Deserts and Desertification. CRIC 6 met concurrently with COP 8 in 2007, and reviewed the roles that developed and developing country parties should play in resource mobilization, and collaboration with the GEF.

CRIC 7 convened in Istanbul, Turkey, from 3-14 November 2008, during which delegates considered: the work plans and programmes for the Convention’s bodies; the format of future meetings of the CRIC; indicators and monitoring of the Strategy; and principles for improving the procedures for communication of information and the quality and format of reports submitted to the COP. CRIC 8 convened concurrently with COP 9 in 2009 and, inter alia, reviewed the workplans of the institutions and subsidiary bodies of the Convention and reporting guidelines and indicators. Delegates also recommended adoption of the proposal for a performance review and assessment of implementation system (PRAIS). CRIC 9 convened in Bonn, Germany, from 16-25 February 2011. Delegates considered, among other items, preliminary analyses of information contained in the PRAIS reports.

HIGH-LEVEL MEETING: Prior to the opening of its 66th session, UNGA, on 20 September 2011, convened a high-level meeting on addressing DLDD in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. During the event, the Republic of Korea outlined issues that it proposed could be incorporated into a “Changwon Initiative” at COP 10. Qatar presented its proposal for a Global Dry Land Alliance, and Germany launched an International Economics of Land Degradation initiative.

COP 10 REPORT

On Monday afternoon, 10 October 2011, José Cueva, Director of Soil Conservation, Argentina, opened the tenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 10) on behalf of Argentina’s Secretary of Environment Juan José Mussi, President of COP 9. He led the plenary in welcoming the election of Don Koo Lee, Minister of the Korea Forest Service, as President of COP 10.

COP 10 President Don Koo Lee noted that the Republic of Korea is the first Asian country to host a UNCCD COP. He called attention to COP 10’s slogan, “Care for Land, Land for Life,” and noted that the Changwon Initiative, to be proposed to COP 10 by the Republic of Korea, aims to make a contribution in this regard by mobilizing additional resources and launching the Land for Life Awards to encourage sustainable land management. (SLM). Luc Gnacadja, UNCCD Executive Secretary, highlighted, among other matters, the decisions to be taken on: refining the reporting system; the mid-term evaluation of the 10-year strategic plan and framework to enhance the implementation of the Convention (2008-2018) (the Strategy); messages to convey to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20); quantifiable medium- and long-term targets; and organizing international, interdisciplinary scientific advice to the UNCCD.

Parties and observers then delivered statements highlighting their expectations for COP 10. Argentina, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China (G-77/China), supported the creation of an intergovernmental scientific panel on drought, land degradation and desertification (DLDD), and proposed that Rio+20 call for its establishment. He called on the GEF to continue to provide support to the Performance Review and Assessment of Implementation System (PRAIS). He said the G-77/China was prepared to make a decision at COP 10 that may allow parties to overcome coordination problems that “undermine the effectiveness and efficiency” of implementation of the Convention. Poland, on behalf of the European Union (EU) and its member states, highlighted the importance of: improving PRAIS for better reporting and reduced reporting burdens on countries; the participation of all stakeholders in the development of terms of reference for the mid-term review of the Strategy; refining the impact indicators; and the Economics of Land Degradation initiative.

Algeria, for the African Group, emphasized that the current drought in the Horn of Africa requires “vigorous” action, and said the UNCCD is the only international convention that can provide practical and simple solutions to rehabilitate degraded soils and natural resources in drylands. He expressed support for the integration of the GM within the Secretariat structure, the creation of an independent, interdisciplinary body to provide scientific advice, and the Changwon Initiative. Iran, on behalf of the Asia and the Pacific Region, stressed the need for: further coordination and cooperation between the Global Mechanism (GM) and the Secretariat; strengthening of regional coordination mechanisms (RCMs); measures to reinforce the alignment between National Action Programmes (NAPs), Sub-Regional Action Programmes (SRAPs) and Regional Action Programmes (RAPs); and a permanent platform for scientific advice.

Speaking on behalf of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC), Costa Rica called for accelerating the mobilization of transparent and equitable resources for regional-level activities. He also highlighted the role of PRAIS in generating policy-relevant data and the need to strengthen benchmarking of impact indicators. Ukraine, on behalf of Central and Eastern European States, called for further simplification of procedures for accessing GEF funds, and creation of an intergovernmental, interdisciplinary scientific panel.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) explained that IFAD’s role is to house the GM, while the GM’s oversight and governance remain the responsibility of the COP, and said IFAD remains willing to review the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Future Forest, on behalf of CSOs, recommended that the UNCCD take the lead on advancing synergies among the Rio Conventions and increase partnerships with stakeholders to improve transboundary resource management. He also urged parties to consider the issue of “large-scale land grabbing” in dryland areas, and provide sustainable funding for addressing land degradation.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA AND ORGANIZATION OF WORK, AND ACCREDITATION OF OBSERVERS: COP 10 President Lee invited delegates to consider the document on the provisional agenda and tentative schedule of work (ICCD/COP(10)/1), which was adopted with an amendment to the schedule of work.

Delegates also adopted the document on accreditation of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and NGOs, and the admission of observers (ICCD/COP(10)/28 and Add.1) without comment.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS OTHER THAN THE PRESIDENT: COP 10 then elected, as Vice-Presidents, Khalifa Abdel Kader (Algeria), Bongani Masuku (Swaziland), B.M.S Rathore (India), Ogtay Jafar (Azerbaijan), Peter Molnar (Hungary), Pedro Garcia Britto (Dominican Republic), Sonia Gonzáles Molina (Peru) and Franz Breitwieser (Austria). On 11 October, the COP elected the second Vice-President from the Western European and Others Group (WEOG), Yves Guinand (Switzerland), and the Rapporteur, Peter Molnar (Hungary).

On Monday, 10 October, COP 10 delegates also elected Antonio Rocha Magalhães (Brazil) as Chair of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST). President Lee reminded delegates that Chencho Norbu (Bhutan) had been elected as the Chair of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC) for its 9th and 10th sessions.

Delegates then established a Committee of the Whole (COW), and selected Philbert Brown (Jamaica) as its Chair. During the two-week session, delegates convened in meetings of the plenary, COW, CRIC, and CST and six contact groups.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

Delegates in the COW, chaired by Philbert Brown (Jamaica), and its three contact groups, negotiated and presented 22 draft decisions to the COP closing plenary. Contact groups were established on the GM, facilitated by Naser Moghadasi (Iran), the budget and multi-year work plan, facilitated by Thomas Heimgartner (Switzerland) and Hussain Nasrallah (Lebanon), and outstanding matters, facilitated by Markku Aho (Finland).

THE 10-YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN AND FRAMEWORK TO ENHANCE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION (2008-2018): Mechanisms to facilitate regional coordination of the implementation of the Convention: On Friday, 14 October, the Secretariat introduced document ICCD/COP(10)/21, on mechanisms to facilitate regional coordination of the implementation of the Convention. Delegates recognized the value of the RCMs and recommended: strengthening the regional consultative committees; increased coherence with Thematic Programme Networks (TPN); strengthening linkages with regional and subregional organizations; and providing them with clear mandates and predictable resources.

On Wednesday, 19 October, in the COW contact group on “outstanding matters,” delegates discussed the possibility of deferring the decision on RCMs to COP 11, but some expressed their preference for a decision at COP 10. They expressed general agreement on the value of regional coordination. Negotiations were punctuated with reminders from many on the need to lighten the bureaucratic demands under the Convention, operate efficiently, and make the best use of limited resources.

Final Decision: In the final decision (ICCD/COP(10)/L.9), the COP, inter alia:

•  calls on the Executive Secretary and the Managing Director of the GM to strengthen their collaboration at the regional level;

•  requests the Secretariat and the GM to continue to support the implementation of regional priorities as identified by the regions;

•  calls on the Executive Secretary, at the request of and in collaboration with affected parties, to support the effective functioning of the TPN, subject to the provision of the necessary financial and technical support by parties;

•  decides that the institutions listed in the annex to the decision shall act as reporting entities; and

•  requests that the regional implementation annexes that have not yet identified their subregional and regional reporting entities to do so by 31 December 2011.

Strengthening and Enhancing the Process of Alignment of Action Programmes with the Strategy: This discussion was based on document ICCD/COP(10)/21. In the COW on Thursday, 20 October, COW Chair Brown introduced, and the Secretariat read aloud, a draft decision on strengthening and enhancing the process of alignment of action programmes with the Strategy (ICCD/COP(10)/L.8), with a correction to insert missing text on funding assistance. The Republic of Korea proposed the addition of a preambular paragraph “welcoming” the Changwon Initiative. While expressing appreciation for the efforts of the Republic of Korea towards the implementation of the Convention, several delegations, including the US, Australia and Brazil, objected to the preambular addition, as they said the Initiative was not negotiated text and delegations had not yet fully considered it. The COW agreed to forward to the COP the draft decision as corrected, but without the preambular text proposed by the Republic of Korea.

Final Decision: In this decision (ICCD/COP(10)/L.8/Rev.1), the COP acknowledges the need to speed up the alignment of NAPs, SRAPs and RAPs with the Strategy and urges affected country parties and regional implementation annexes to intensify their efforts toward this alignment. The COP also, inter alia, requests Convention institutions to continue providing affected country parties with the support they require to build institutional and technical capacity for the effective alignment and implementation of the action programmes, within available resources, including the relevant technical assistance for the preparation, revision and alignment of SRAPs and RAPs.

Review of progress in the implementation of the comprehensive communication strategy: On Friday, 14 October, the Secretariat provided an overview of progress in implementing the comprehensive communication strategy (ICCD/COP(10)/2). Several parties commended the Secretariat’s efforts to raise awareness on DLDD, and delegates offered suggestions calling for training of local media organizations, translating the website and awareness materials and ensuring the timely dissemination of materials for the annual World Day to Combat Desertification.

On Thursday, 20 October, the COW agreed and recommended to the COP a draft decision without discussion.

Final Decision: The decision (ICCD/COP(10)/L.1), inter alia, calls on parties to implement the comprehensive communication strategy and invites financial and in-kind support to ensure effective implementation.

Revised procedures for the participation of civil society organizations in meetings and processes of the UNCCD: On Wednesday, 19 October, in the COW, the Secretariat introduced the agenda item on revised procedures for the participation of CSOs in meetings and processes of the UNCCD (ICCD/COP(10)/5 and ICCD/COP(10)/29). Delegates expressed their regret at the low-level of CSO participation at COP 10, and the African Group expressed concern about the direct funding of CSO participation by some developed countries. Peru proposed changing the composition of the selection panel for CSO selection, requesting representation on the panel of CSOs from all annexes of the Convention.

On Thursday, 20 October, COW Chair Brown introduced the related draft decision, titled “Revised procedures for the accreditation of CSOs and representatives from the private sector to the COP and their participation in UNCCD meetings and processes” (ICCD/COP(10)/L.6). The US and Paraguay opposed the addition of text proposed by Bolivia and supported by Kenya, to mandate CSOs to submit reports through the national focal points (NFPs). The COW agreed to compromise text from the Dominican Republic, proposing that CSOs would submit reports directly to the Secretariat, but would be required to send copies to NFPs to ensure the data could be compiled and disseminated nationally, and forwarded it to the COP.

Final Decision: This decision (ICCD/COP(10)/L.6/Rev.1) contains two sections, the first related to the revised procedures for the accreditation of CSOs and representatives from the private sector to the COP, and the second to revised procedures for their participation at UNCCD meetings and processes. The COP, inter alia, decides that every five years CSOs shall submit to the Secretariat, with copies to NFPs, a report on their activities and contributions made to the implementation of the Convention. The decision also, among other things, decides that the selection panel for the participation of CSOs and the private sector in UNCCD meetings shall be made up of representatives of CSOs from each of the annexes of the Convention.

Election of officers of the CST; amendment of the rules of procedure (including rule 22): On Wednesday, 19 October, in the COW, the Secretariat introduced the document on the amendment of the rules of procedure (including rule 22) related to the election of officers of the CST (ICCD/COP(10)/24), and no comments were offered. In the evening on Thursday, 20 October, COW Chair Philbert Brown introduced the related draft decision  and the Secretariat read out a proposed correction to the text. The COW agreed to the amended draft decision, and agreed to forward it to the COP, where it was adopted on Friday night.

Final Decision: This decision (ICCD/COP(10)/L.5) replaces paragraph 1 of rule 22 with alternate text specifying that the Chair of the CST will be elected at the final meeting of the COP and will assume office immediately. It also decides to replace rule 31 with text that indicates the Vice-Chairs of the CST shall be elected at the same time as the Chair.

Follow-up on outstanding Joint Inspection Unit recommendations: On Wednesday, 19 October, the Secretariat reported on the actions taken to implement JIU recommendations (ICCD/COP(9)/4). Argentina commended the Secretariat for its work, noting the JIU recommendation on improving the Secretariat’s effectiveness has yielded results. No decision was associated to this discussion.

PROGRAMME AND BUDGET: The programme and budget for the biennium 2012-2013 was addressed in the COW on Tuesday, 11 October. The Secretariat presented the programme budget and the costed draft two-year work programmes for the Secretariat, CRIC and CST for 2012-2013 (ICCD/COP(10)/7-8). The Secretariat also introduced the financial performance for the Convention trust funds (ICCD/COP(10)/10). The GM presented its costed draft two-year work programme (ICCD/COP(10)/9.Rev.1). On Friday, 14 October, the programme and budget was discussed in the COW. The GM introduced the report on the implementation of the costed two-year work programme of the GM (2010-2011) (ICCD/COP(10)/15). The EU urged that the Convention bodies should, in future reporting cycles, provide a joint presentation on their multi-annual programmes. She stressed the need to reassess the added value of all budget lines, and noted with concern that, in case of limited funds, allocations for science and technology would be affected. The US noted that her country has adopted a no-growth policy and encouraged the Secretariat to implement the UN Secretary-General’s call for a 3% budget cut by UN bodies.

Chaired by Co-Facilitator Thomas Heimgartner (Switzerland), the contact group on workplans and budget discussed a draft decision on programme and budget for 2012-2013 at the end of the first week and continued throughout the second week. The Secretariat proposed a 9.6% increase of its budget for 2012-2013, and also presented other two scenarios—zero nominal and zero real growth. The Secretariat clarified that a zero nominal growth scenario would mean that the budget would be exactly the same as the one for 2010-2011, but under the current inflation scheme, this would translate to a decrease in the resources available. The zero real growth scenario would translate to an increase of 2.5%. Some parties supported basing the discussion on the Secretariat’s 9.6% proposal, while two parties expressed their preference for the zero nominal growth scenario. During the course of discussion, a proposal was made to ask the Secretariat, in future presentations, to present a negative growth scenario, but the group did not accept this option. Parties prepared a list of items where they believed efficiencies could be achieved and savings made, mainly related to staff posts and the travel budget. The Secretariat outlined costs of each of these items and made comments on the implications of such proposed savings. The group then discussed whether to approve, cut or reduce some of the items originally proposed by the Secretariat. In the evening of Friday, 21 October, the contact group reached consensus on a draft decision on programme and budget for the biennium 2012-2013 that increases the budget by 0.2% over the budget of the previous biennium.

The draft decision on the programme and budget for the biennium 2012 and 2013 was discussed by the COW at midnight on Friday, 21 October. The Secretariat noted that there were some errors in Annex I (Work programmes of the Secretariat and the GM, which contains detailed budget information for each subprogramme) of the draft decision, and in response to the EU’s comments, confirmed that edits would be made to align the figures in Annex 1 with those in Table 1 (Resource requirements by subprogrammes) of the draft decision. With this clarification, the COW agreed to this draft decision and decided to submit it to the COP for adoption. The COP adopted the draft decision with the understanding of the correction.

Final Decision: The decision (ICCD/COP(10)/L.23) contains 24 operative paragraphs, including agreements to: approve the programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011 in the amount of €16,128,344; approve the staffing table for the programme budget; and adopt the indicative scale of contributions for 2012-2013. It further:

•  decides to maintain the level of the working capital reserve at 8.3% of the estimated expenditures in the Trust Fund for the core budget;

•  approves a contingency budget amounting to €2,033,000 for conference servicing;

•  takes note of the estimated additional costs of up to €1,496,000, which will be incurred in the event COP 11 is held in Bonn;

•  takes note of the funding estimates for the Special Trust Fund specified by the Executive Secretary (€12,139,138) and the GM (€14,737,041) for the biennium 2012-2013, and requests parties in a position to do so to make voluntary contributions; and

•  requests the Executive Secretary to prepare a results-based budget and work programme for the biennium 2014-2015, including budget scenarios reflecting zero nominal growth and zero real growth.

FOLLOW-UP TO THE ASSESSMENT OF THE GLOBAL MECHANISM BY THE JOINT INSPECTION UNIT: On Tuesday, 11 October, the Secretariat and the GM introduced document ICCD/COP(10)/3 on measures taken to implement paragraphs 1-3 and 5-8 of decision 6/COP 9. On Tuesday, 11 October, a contact group was established on the follow-up to the GM assessment, facilitated by Naser Moghadasi (Iran), which concluded its deliberations on Friday, 21 October.

Argentina, supported by Gabon, queried about the possible effects of GM institutional changes on the information presented in the document. GM Managing Director Christian Mersmann said that, while changes had not been considered, this would not pre-empt any negotiated outcomes at COP 10. UNCCD Executive Secretary Gnacadja said that institutional changes in the GM would not change the document substance. Brazil stressed efficiency rather than location of the GM as the important issue. Jordan asked about obstacles to collaboration encountered by the GM and the Secretariat. The Gambia and Lesotho emphasized focusing on GM performance.

The Secretariat introduced discussion on the evaluation of existing and potential reporting, accountability and institutional arrangements for the GM (ICCD/COP(10)/4 and ICCD/COP(10)/INF.2-7). The EU said the housing arrangements of the GM need to ensure its independence and accountability to the COP. Argentina, Guatemala and Costa Rica also stressed the importance of GM accountability. Norway praised the GM’s results on the ground and supported the current arrangements.

Uganda, for the African Group, supported the integration of the GM within the Secretariat structure. The Republic of Korea, supported by Panama and Honduras, said the relationship between the GM and the Secretariat should be based on good governance, transparency, efficiency and accountability. India noted that maintaining the status quo is not an option. Viet Nam expressed support for the work of the GM.

In the first week, the contact group discussed general principles on GM governance related to reporting, accountability, oversight and institutional arrangements. On Tuesday, 18 October, the group began consideration of a Chair’s draft decision, which included contributions by all regional groups. Owing to diverging positions among regional annexes, the group debated at length, inter alia: termination of the MoU with IFAD; management responsibility of the Executive Secretary over reporting on GM accounting and activities; delegation of authority by the Executive Secretary to the GM Managing Director for GM programme and budget, donor agreements and staffing decisions; and the establishment of an advisory board to provide guidance on GM issues. On Thursday, 20 October, the group arrived at an impasse on the issue of housing arrangements for the GM, as some parties pressed for relocation of the GM to Bonn as an integral part of the newly agreed governance structure, while others considered the housing issue unrelated to governance, and found the available information insufficient to support a relocation decision. A small group of parties developed compromise text that requests the Executive Secretary, in consultation with the COP 10 Bureau, to undertake a process to identify a new housing arrangement for the GM, including potential co-location with the Secretariat, in view of a COP 11 decision on this matter.

Final Decision: The COP decides, in decision ICCD/COP(10)/L.22, on “Governance and Institutional Arrangements of the GM,” that, inter alia:

•  accountability and legal representation of the GM shall be transferred from IFAD to the Secretariat;

•  the Executive Secretary shall assume overall management responsibility, including coordinating reporting to the COP on accounting, performance and activities of the GM;

•  the Executive Secretary delegates operational authority, as appropriate and in accordance with UN Rules and Regulations, to the GM Managing Director to manage the GM programme and budget and enter into agreement with donors; and

•  to revise the MoU with IFAD to limit IFAD to 1) logistical and administrative support, and 2) privileges and immunities to the GM staff through the Government of Italy.

The COP requests, inter alia:

•  the Executive Secretary, in consultation with the GM Managing Director, and with the support of senior staff from the Secretariat and the GM, to, among other things: develop internal rules for the relationship between the Secretariat and the GM; develop and implement a joint corporate identity; undertake streamlining of financial management and administration; and coordinate the reporting to the CRIC and COP;

•  the Executive Secretary to ensure that all GM staff and accounts are under a single regime administered by UN Office at Geneva;

•  the Executive Secretary to undertake a process to identify a new housing arrangement for the GM, including potential co-location with the Secretariat, with consideration of costs, operational modalities and synergies, and governance efficiencies, and to provide this information to the COP 10 Bureau by 1 July 2012 and present a recommendation to COP 11 for decision; and

•  the Executive Secretary and the GM Managing Director, through regular or special meetings based on availability of extra-budgetary funds, to seek the views of parties and relevant actors on the work of the GM, and to report the views expressed to the COP.

Implementation of paragraphs 1 to 3 and 5 to 8 of decision 6/COP.9: Under this agenda item, the contact group on outstanding matters of the COW considered a draft decision on the common fund-raising strategy, and concluded by agreeing to take note of the draft fund-raising strategy.

Final Decision: In this decision, titled “The common fund-raising strategy” (ICCD/COP(10)/L.17), the COP takes note of the draft common fund-raising strategy (2012-2015), attached as an annex to the decision. The COP also requests the Secretariat and the GM to: continue coordinating their fund-raising efforts, ensuring alignment and integration with wider strategies to address Strategic Objective 4 of the Strategy; and include reporting on their fundraising efforts in the overall report on the performance of the Convention’s institutions and subsidiary bodies.

CONSIDERATION OF THE FOLLOW-UP TO THE OUTCOME OF THE WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (WSSD) RELEVANT TO THE UNCCD AND THE OUTCOME OF THE 18TH AND 19TH SESSIONS OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: On Wednesday, 19 October, the Secretariat reported on activities it had carried out related to this agenda item, as reported in document ICCD/COP(9)/6. Algeria, for the African Group, called on countries to increase their efforts to raise DLDD on the Rio+20 agenda.

Final Decision: In the final decision on the follow-up to the WSSD relevant to the UNCCD, the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on “addressing DLDD in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication” and the preparatory process for the UNCSD (ICCD/COP(10)/L.3), the COP, inter alia: invites parties to submit their inputs to the UNCSD by 1 November 2011; requests the Executive Secretary to actively prepare for and participate in the UNCSD and to contribute to the compilation document with a view to ensuring that due regard is paid to DLDD issues; and decides to include in the agenda of COP 11 the item “Follow up to the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on DLDD in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and to the UNCSD.”

OUTSTANDING ITEMS: Rule 47 of the Rules of Procedure: On Wednesday, 19 October, the Secretariat introduced document ICCD/COP(10)/23 on voting procedures. On Thursday, 20 October, Chair Brown invited delegates to consider the related draft decision and the COW agreed on the draft decision and decided to submit it to the COP for adoption. The COP adopted the draft decision on Friday, 21 October.

Final Decision:The decision (ICCD/COP(10)/L.4) requests this pending rule of procedure be included in the agenda of COP 11 and the Secretariat to report on the status of similar rules of procedure under other multilateral environmental agreements.

UN DECADE FOR DESERTS AND THE FIGHT AGAINST DESERTIFICATION (2010-2020): On Wednesday, 19 October, the Secretariat presented the document on the UN Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification (UNDDD) (ICCD/COP(10)/27). The COW considered the related draft decision (ICCD/COP(10)/L.2) on Thursday and, with an addition of preambular text and some editorial amendments, agreed to forward it to the COP.

During discussion, the African Group encouraged developed countries to reconsider the decision to provide only voluntary contributions. Others suggested, inter alia, involving every region, complementing the Strategy with the comprehensive communication strategy and pursuing synergies between biodiversity and the UNDDD. Saudi Arabia suggested adding preambular text taking note of the report on activities supporting the UNDDD. 

Final Decision:The decision (ICCD/COP(10)/L.2) requests the Secretariat, inter alia, to extend its partnership network to include representatives of civil society, IGOs and NGOs, and invites funding to support the elaboration and implementation of the programme for UNDDD.

COMMITTEE FOR THE REVIEW OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION

CRIC Chair Chencho Norbu (Bhutan) opened CRIC 10 on Tuesday, 11 October. The Committee adopted the provisional agenda (ICCD/CRIC(10)/1) without amendment. The CRIC agreed to establish two contact groups to work on the iterative process, facilitated by Worapong Waramit (Thailand) and Amjad Virk (Pakistan), and on the mid-term evaluation and the GEF-enabling activities, facilitated by Godwin Fishani Gondwe (Zambia). The contact groups developed nine draft decisions, which were agreed by the CRIC on Thursday and Friday, 20-21 October, and adopted by the COP on Friday.

During its closing session, the CRIC also nominated and elected by acclamation the following delegates as Vice-Chairs to the Bureau of CRIC 11 and CRIC 12: Ambroise Zanga, Central African Republic (African Group); Hussein Nasrallah, Lebanon (Asia and Pacific States); Ulazdamir Sauchanka, Belarus (Central and Eastern European States); and Luis Estuardo Ríos, Guatemala (Latin American and Caribbean States). During the closing plenary, the COP elected the WEOG nominee, Mary Rowen (US) as the CRIC 11 and 12 Chair by acclamation.

REVIEW OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION AND STRATEGY: Multi-year workplans of the Convention’s institutions and subsidiary bodies and review of their performance: Consideration of this agenda item began in the CRIC on Tuesday, 11 October. A contact group on this item was established by the COW and met over the two weeks. The CRIC approved the draft decision on Friday, 21 October, and the COP adopted the decision on Friday.

On Tuesday, 11 October, the Secretariat introduced the report of CRIC 9 (ICCD/CRIC(9)/16) and the draft multi-year workplan for the Secretariat (2012-2015) (ICCD/CRIC(10)/3), Algeria stressed the importance of adequate funding. Côte d’Ivoire said workplan implementation would enable parties to take major steps forward in implementing the Strategy.

GM Managing Director Mersmann presented the draft multi-year workplan for the GM (ICCD/CRIC(10)/5), stressing it can be implemented only if institutional changes do not disrupt the GM’s work. Algeria called for consistency of the work programmes with the Strategy and also for increased South-South cooperation. The EU said that the information provided can help develop a baseline but that due to its fragmentation it is difficult to draw conclusions and identify trends based on this document.

The GM then introduced several documents relating to the multi-year workplans of the Convention’s institutions and subsidiary bodies (ICCD/CRIC(10)/4-6), and (ICCD/CRIC(10)/7-ICCD/COP(10)/CST/10). Panama stressed the need to include more narrative analysis. The Gambia and Morocco highlighted partnership-building and innovative financing mechanisms to scale up implementation. Finland requested clarification on the number of beneficiaries and service providers at country and regional levels. Niger underscored the need for greater synergies in programmes of the three Rio Conventions, with Algeria calling for a study evaluating the contribution of the UNCCD to the implementation of other conventions.

Finally, the GM introduced ICCD/COP(10)/15, on contributions of the GM to the implementation of the Strategy of the UNCCD for the biennium 2010-2011. Côte d’Ivoire, supported by Algeria, asked whether activities from previous work programmes that had not yet been carried out had been carried forward to the multi-year programme.

During contact group discussions, the Secretariat introduced its priorities as reflected in its draft multi-year workplan for 2012-2015 (ICCD/CRIC(10)/3), and the GM introduced its multi-year workplan (ICCD/CRIC(10)/5).

Final Decision: The decision on multi-year workplans of the Convention institutions and subsidiary bodies (ICCD/CRIC(10)L.1) underlines the importance of the efficient and coordinated functioning of the institutions and subsidiary bodies and approves the strategic orientation of the CST, CRIC, GM and Secretariat, as contained in the annexed workplans. It further:

•  requests the CST to continue to strengthen and coordinate activities relating to advocacy, awareness-raising and education, and to engage in further coordination with the CRIC on knowledge management;

•  invites parties, donors and financial institutions to provide further technical and financial support;

•  requests the Secretariat and GM to prepare multi-year workplans utilizing the results-based management approach;

•  decides that future performance reviews to be conducted by the CRIC starting with its 12th session should be based on the reports on the implementation of the two-year costed work programmes of Convention institutions and subsidiary bodies; and

•  decides to use the performance indicators and their related targets included in the workplans to assess the performance of Convention’s institutions and subsidiary bodies.

ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION AGAINST PERFORMANCE INDICATORS: On Wednesday, 12 October, the GM introduced document ICCD/CRIC(10)12, containing additional guidance on the provisional impact indicators adopted at COP 9. The contact group on the iterative process began consideration of the draft decision on Thursday, 13 October. The group agreed to language requesting the Secretariat and GM to develop, inter alia: detailed reporting guidelines on Strategic Objective 4, including formats and templates for the PRAIS; systems to facilitate data collection; and capacity building. One delegate cautioned against preempting the outcome of the mid-term reporting process, while others urged parties to avoid setting ambitious targets that might not fit in with priorities being discussed by the budget contact group.

Final Decision: In the final decision (ICCD/CRIC(10)/L.2), the COP recognizes that significant steps have been taken to monitor and assess the implementation of the Strategy and adopts four operational objectives aimed at, inter alia:

•  enhancing strategies for furthering advocacy, awareness-raising and education activities on DLDD;

•  accelerating alignment of action programmes with the Strategy;

•  strengthening partnership agreements, technical support and capacity building; and

•  further developing integrated investment frameworks and mobilization of new and additional financial resources for implementation of the Convention.

The Iterative Process Relating to the Assessment of Implementation, Including Performance and Impact Indicators, Methodology and the Reporting Procedures: On Wednesday, 12 October, the Secretariat presented the guidelines for preliminary analysis of information contained in the reports from parties and other reporting entities (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/4-ICCD/CRIC(10)/14). The contact group discussed this item on Wednesday and Thursday and agreed on the draft decision on Thursday, 20 October, without comment. The COP adopted the decision on Friday.

The EU invited the Secretariat and the GM to prepare a roadmap for their future work on the guidelines and stressed the importance of data quality.

The UNCCD Secretariat then introduced ICCD/CRIC(10)/13, on revised methodological guidelines for CSO reporting. The report generated interventions from 32 parties, with many stressing that reporting submitted by all stakeholders should be coordinated through NFPs. Several parties stressed the need to monitor all resources earmarked for DLDD, as well as the accuracy of information submitted by CSOs.

While supporting integrated country reports, Peru, China and Argentina emphasized the value of a two-track reporting approach to facilitate knowledge sharing by CSOs, academics and other stakeholders. CSO representatives cautioned that a single report cannot sufficiently capture the diversity of experiences and innovations on the ground. They underlined CSOs’ commitment to harmonized action and called for continued support for knowledge sharing. The Secretariat clarified that the goal of the proposed procedure is to facilitate CSO reporting through the NFPs, while also encouraging sharing of best practices.

During contact group discussions, parties agreed to language requesting the Secretariat and GM to develop, inter alia, detailed reporting guidelines on Strategic Objective 4, including formats and templates for the PRAIS, systems to facilitate data collection, and capacity building. One delegate cautioned against preempting the outcome of the mid-term reporting process, while others urged parties to avoid setting ambitious targets that might not fit in with priorities being discussed by the budget contact group.

Final Decision:This decision (ICCD/CRIC(10)/L.3/Rev.1) includes sections on: refinement of the set of performance indicators and associated methodologies; how best to measure progress on Strategic Objective 4 of the Strategy; format and methodological guidelines for reporting by CSOs (2012-2013); and guidelines for the preliminary analysis of information contained in the reports.

CONSIDERATION OF BEST PRACTICES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION: Iterative Process: Refinement of Methodologies for the Review and Compilation of Best Practices: On Tuesday, 11 October, the Secretariat presented the iterative process on refinement of methodologies for the review and compilation of best practices (ICCD/CRIC(10)/15). The contact group on the iterative process negotiated draft text on this item throughout the week. On Thursday, 20 October, the CRIC agreed on the draft decision without comment. The COP adopted the decision on Friday.

Switzerland suggested CRIC formulate a recommendation to the COP for using World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) formats for best practices. The EU asked the Secretariat to elaborate on the proposed consultative committee on finance for SLM, and its financial implications. Argentina emphasized the relevance on WOCAT and Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA). Mali emphasized promoting and disseminating best practices, Israel and India stressed testing their applicability, while Zimbabwe stressed independent verification. France called for clarification of the respective roles of CRIC and CST on best practices. The African Group said the CST’s role is to assess best practices. Burkina Faso emphasized capitalizing on experiences, analyzing constraints to application, and disseminating best practices. The GM introduced the document on the draft format and methodological guidelines for reporting on best practices on funding and resource mobilization (ICCD/CRIC(10)/16). Guinea-Bissau suggested using methods other than the internet to disseminate best practices.

Final Decision: The decision on the consideration of best practices in the implementation of the Convention (ICCD/CRIC(10)/L.4) decides, inter alia, that the review of the themes of best practices will be carried out according to an annexed schedule, invites the reporting entities to continue reporting on best practices on the themes already considered at previous CRIC sessions, and takes note of a revised classification of best practices.

ADDITIONAL PROCEDURES OR INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS TO ASSIST THE COP IN REGULARLY REVIEWING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONVENTION: This item was first discussed on Wednesday, 12 October, and revisited the following week. A contact group began work on Thursday, 20 October, and concluded the draft decision on Friday. On Friday, the CRIC agreed on the decision and the COP adopted it without amendments.

On Wednesday, 12 October, the Secretariat introduced document ICCD/CRIC(10)/17, which sets out draft modalities, criteria and terms of reference for the mid-term evaluation of the Strategy. The African Group, with Indonesia, suggested establishing an independent body to undertake the mid-term evaluation. Indonesia also suggested assessing achievements and challenges.

On Wednesday, 19 October, CRIC 10 Chair Norbu opened the panel discussion on the mid-term evaluation of the Strategy. Octavio Pérez Pardo (Argentina), in his personal capacity, challenged parties to move away from a preoccupation with “internal housekeeping matters,” and focus instead on the “real issues.” Highlighting the interrelated problems of accessing financing and demonstrating results on the ground, he called for NAPs to develop a clear message on “the environmental infrastructure required for SLM.” Sina Maiga Damba, Association de formation et d’appui au développement, Mali, appealed to the international community to: improve political will and commitment to the Convention; raise awareness of DLDD; and establish a dialogue on DLDD among institutions at all levels. Gustavo Fonseca (GEF), in his personal capacity, suggested projecting positive messages and success stories, demonstrating that SLM works and sharing that drylands are valuable to national economies. Fonseca also called for considering eliminating subsidies, stressed the need to deliver tangible results from SLM, and highlighted the relevance of the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.

During its discussions, the contact group considered three alternative institutional mechanisms for carrying out the reviews: an independent body, an intersessional working group, or a process led by the COP Bureau.

Final Decision: The decision on draft modalities, criteria and terms of reference for the mid-term evaluation of the Strategy (ICCD/CRIC(10)L.9) decides to establish an ad hoc Intersessional Working Group (IWG), subject to availability of funding, with a mandate to prepare recommendations on the mid-term evaluation under the direction of the COP Bureau. It further decides that the IWG may draw on the expertise of consultants and institutions in accordance with the terms of reference attached to the document.

PROMOTION AND STRENGTHENING OF RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER RELEVANT CONVENTIONS AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, INSTITUTIONS AND AGENCIES: This item was discussed on Wednesday, 12 October, in the CRIC, and in a contact group that met several times in the following week. On Thursday, 20 October, the CRIC agreed to the draft decision with brackets around text on the scope of guidance to be developed by the Secretariat for advocacy policy frameworks on DLDD. On Friday, the COP adopted the decision as agreed, with a further amendment by GRULAC requesting the COP to “take note” of the Global Drylands Report and request the Secretariat and Environment Management Group to provide a report on this initiative at COP 11.

On Wednesday, 12 October, the Secretariat introduced the document on progress made in the implementation of decision 8/COP.9 (ICCD/CRIC(10)/18). It also introduced documents on draft advocacy policy frameworks (ICCD/CRIC(10)/19-21 and ICCD/CRIC(10)/INF.1), recommending the CRIC approve the advocacy frameworks on climate change, gender and food security. 

Some delegates thanked the Secretariat for its efforts toward the frameworks. Algeria, with Zimbabwe and Lesotho, highlighted the need for implementing COP decisions on the ground. Several raised the issue of access to climate-related funds, and highlighted the need for policy coherence and stronger national level coordination.

Following the Secretariat’s introduction of ICCD/CRIC(10)/22 and INF.1, on reporting synergies under the Rio Conventions, many parties emphasized that NFPs for the three conventions are already working closely together. Guinea-Bissau, Morocco and others called for GEF to support participation of the NFPs at their respective COPs. The US, Jordan and Trinidad and Tobago noted that achieving reporting synergies is hampered by different mandates and timetables and, with the EU, questioned the added value of developing a new reporting framework. The EU called for exploring low- and no-cost options, such as enhanced dialogue at the national level. IUCN noted collaboration by the three conventions on mainstreaming a gender framework. On calls to ease access to climate funds, Argentina, Honduras and Guatemala cautioned against weakening UNCCD’s strong focus on drylands and national level action.

During negotiations in the contact group, there was agreement about the need to develop a standard approach for developing such frameworks and to request the Secretariat to develop an additional framework on which future frameworks could be modeled. However, delegates remained divided on the thematic focus of this additional framework. Some felt that it should be limited to providing advice on drought, in light of the Secretariat’s expertise, while others wanted it to be expanded to include water scarcity.

Final Decision: Decision ICCD/CRIC(10)/L.8/Rev.1 requests the Executive Secretary to, inter alia, strengthen and build on established and new cooperation initiatives with relevant international agencies and bodies on issues relating to DLDD, and invites parties to establish national collaborative processes on synergies in reporting, involving NFPs and their representatives from the Rio Conventions.

COLLABORATION WITH THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY: This item was discussed on Thursday, 14 October. The contact group began considering this item on Tuesday, 18 October, and concluded negotiations on Thursday. On Friday, the CRIC agreed to the draft decision and the COP adopted it without amendments.

 On Thursday, 14 October, the GEF introduced the report on its financing activities concerning desertification (ICCD/CRIC(10)/23), noting the allocation of US$340 million in projects addressing SLM during the GEF’s 4th replenishment, and planned allocation of US$405 million in the GEF’s 5th replenishment. The Secretariat introduced a note on facilitating access to funding under the GEF land degradation focal area (ICCD/CRIC(10)/24).

Several countries welcomed the report and the amendment to the GEF instrument, by which the GEF now serves as a financial mechanism for the UNCCD, along with the support received from the GEF. Many delegates, lamenting the low level of resources allocated to the SLM focal area and the unbalanced distribution of resources allocated for SLM among different regions, called on the GEF and the Secretariat to redress this situation. Argentina and parties from the African Group, discussed the cumbersome and lengthy procedures for accessing GEF funds, particularly for enabling activities to support NAP alignment and reporting, and called for fast tracking these procedures. China asked for more attention to northeast Asia and support to focal points. Viet Nam stressed NAP alignment as a priority for GEF funds. Costa Rica, for GRULAC, suggested an evaluation of the financial resources and mechanisms in view of establishing a specific fund for the Convention. Jordan and Indonesia lamented the absence of a GEF representative during regional coordination meetings. The League of Arab States asked for more regular meetings with the GEF and links to innovative financing mechanisms.

The GEF, responding to the issues raised, highlighted: GEF organizes, at countries’ request, national workshops and training on GEF procedures; GEF has established a time limit of 18 months for developing proposals to be submitted for GEF funding, and a ten-business-day standard for the GEF Secretariat to respond to funding requests; and the three existing options to access GEF funds for UNCCD enabling activities: direct access with the GEF Secretariat, access through a GEF implementing agency, and access through an umbrella project with no conditionality.

Final Decision: The decision (ICCD/CRIC(10)/L.7) welcomes the improved resource allocation process for eligible countries through the System for Transparent Allocation of Resources (STAR), as well as the allocation of additional funding to support activities under the focal area in accordance with UNCCD priorities. It requests the Executive Secretary to consult with the Chief Executive Officer of the GEF on whether amendments to the existing MoU are required, and to report to COP 11. It further invites the GEF to:

•  support the alignment of SRAPs and RAPs with the Strategy;

•  consider increasing allocations to the land degradation focal area, subject to the availability of resources; and

•  further simplify its procedures in the interest of full and timely utilization by eligible country parties.

DATE, VENUE AND PROGRAMME OF WORK FOR CRIC 11: On Thursday, 20 October, the CRIC agreed on two decisions, which were adopted by the COP on Friday, 21 October.

Final Decisions: The final decision on the programme of work for CRIC 11 (ICCD/CRIC(10)/L.5) decides that CRIC 11 should review the communication of information in light of decision 11/COP.9 on additional procedures or institutional mechanisms to assist the COP in regularly reviewing the implementation of the Convention, and to review input and reports from specified entities.

The final decision on the date and venue of the next CRIC meeting (ICCD/CRIC(10)/L.6) states that CRIC 11 will be held in Bonn, Germany, for five working days not later than March 2013, in the event that no party makes an offer to host that session and meet the additional financial cost.

COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

CST 10 Chair Antonio Rocha Magalhães (Brazil) opened CST 10 on Tuesday, 11 October, noting the need to ensure that the challenges and perspectives of drylands are included in the Rio+20 agenda. A contact group, co-chaired by Lawrence Townley-Smith (Canada) and Emmanuel Olukayode Oladipo (Nigeria), met on Wednesday and Thursday, 12-13 October, to develop nine draft decisions. These were agreed to by the CST on Thursday, 13 October. Also on Thursday evening, CST Rapporteur Nicholas Hanley (EU) presented the draft report of CST 10 orally, which was adopted. The draft decisions were adopted by the COP on Friday, 14 October.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS: On Tuesday, 11 October, CST 10 elected Jean Ndembo Longo (Democratic Republic of Congo), Amjad Virk (Pakistan), Yuriy Kolmaz (Ukraine), and Nicholas Hanley (EU) as Vice-Chairs for the CST 10 Bureau. On Wednesday, Chair Magalhães announced that Vice-Chair Hanley would serve as Rapporteur.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA AND ORGANIZATION OF WORK: On Tuesday, 11 October, Chair Magalhães introduced, and participants adopted, the provisional agenda (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/1) and organization of work (Annex 2 of ICCD/COP(10)/CST/1) for CST 10. He also presented the report of the CST on its second special session (ICCD/CST(S-2)/9), and there were no comments on the report.

ADVICE ON HOW BEST TO MEASURE PROGRESS ON STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES 1, 2 AND 3 OF THE STRATEGY: On Tuesday, 11 October, the Secretariat introduced the documents related to advice on measuring progress on Strategic Objectives 1, 2 and 3 of the Strategy (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/2 and 3 and ICCD/COP(10)/CST/INF.1, INF.2, INF.6, and INF.9), on a peer review process, a pilot study and templates and reporting guidelines for impact indicators, along with a document on modalities for analysis of the scientific and technical information contained in the reports to be submitted in 2012 and the use of the related scientific outcomes (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/4-ICCD/CRIC(10)/14). Barron Orr, University of Arizona, and Damon Stanwell-Smith, UNEP-WCMC, presented on intersessional work and a pilot project on the impact indicators. 

Many delegates supported continuing efforts on the indicators, with Iran encouraging parties to consider the associated costs as investments into the Convention’s success. Delegates considered, among other things, resource constraints, data limitations and generalizability of indicators. The US advised focusing on the indicators that are already agreed on by experts and ready for testing, and Japan suggested identifying priorities within indicators. Cuba cautioned that the indicators are interrelated. Argentina and Brazil raised concerns about the definition of “affected areas” in work on indicators.

In plenary on Friday, 14 October, Bolivia said that the report on the refinement of the set of impact indicators on Strategic Objectives 1, 2 and 3 (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/2) should not be included as an annex to the decision on indicators, as limited time prevented the CST from negotiating its contents and scope. The document was not attached as an annex to the final decision.

Final Decision: This decision (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/L.1) contains actions related to refining and reporting on impact indicators, including: requesting the CST, with the support of the Secretariat, to continue to provide assistance for pilot impact-indicator tracking exercises; establishing an ad hoc advisory group of technical experts, tasked with, inter alia, continuing the iterative participatory process of indicator refinement; and provisionally adopting draft reporting templates on the two mandatory impact indicators. The COP, inter alia, decides that the core principles identified in the participatory peer review process and contained in ICCD/COP(10)/CST/2 set the stage for the development of proposals to refine the set of impact indicators and associated methodologies based on national capacities and circumstance.

RESHAPING THE OPERATION OF THE CST IN LINE WITH THE STRATEGY: Chair Magalhães introduced the progress report on the preparations for the UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference and report on the organization of sessions of the CST in a predominantly scientific and technical conference-style format (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/5, ICCD/COP(10)/CST/INF.3 and ICCD/CST(S-2)/5) on Tuesday, and these were discussed in a contact group on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Secretariat informed participants of the signing of an MoU between the Secretariat and GRF-Davos for the organization of the 2nd Scientific Conference, and Walter Ammann, President and CEO of GRF-Davos, updated parties on progress in its preparation, including the selection of members of the Scientific Advisory Committee. Morocco, supported by Egypt, Bangladesh and Moldova, suggested reconsidering the definition of desertification. Bolivia said the conference should consider the costs of controlling desertification. CSOs urged finding ways to include indigenous elders and scientists.

The Dryland Science for Development Consortium informed delegates about outputs from the 1st Scientific Conference, including peer-reviewed journal articles that are freely available online. The US commended the organization of the 1st Scientific Conference, and said its deliberations had affected subsequent negotiations. For the 3rd Scientific Conference, the EU proposed a theme on investments in land, including opportunities, threats and practices to be promoted and avoided. Moldova advised encouraging the inclusion of traditional and indigenous knowledge.

After seeking further input on possible themes, the contact group agreed on the theme for the 3rd Scientific Conference on Thursday. The contact group also discussed, inter alia, issues related to timing, transparency and the role of the steering committee for the 2nd Scientific Conference.

Final Decision: This decision (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/L.8) contains actions under four categories: the UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference; time frame and thematic topic of the UNCCD 3rd Scientific Conference; organization of the CST in a predominantly scientific and technical conference-style format; and funding. The COP, inter alia, decides to postpone the 2nd Scientific Conference, which had been scheduled to take place in 2012, until March 2013 at the latest. It decides to hold the 3rd Scientific Conference in 2014 at a special session of the CST under theme “Combating DLDD for poverty reduction and sustainable development: the contribution of science, technology and traditional knowledge and practices.” The COP requests the Secretariat, following the 2nd Scientific Conference, to organize an in-depth assessment of the Conference and invites the CST Bureau to conduct an assessment of whether to hold scientific conferences during intersessional or ordinary sessions of the CST. It also invites developed country parties, international organizations and relevant stakeholders to make voluntary contributions for the organization of the 2nd and 3rd Scientific Conferences. 

MEASURES TO ENABLE THE UNCCD TO BECOME A GLOBAL AUTHORITY ON SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE: ASSESSMENT OF HOW TO ORGANIZE INTERNATIONAL, INTERDISCIPLINARY SCIENTIFIC ADVICE TO SUPPORT THE CONVENTION PROCESS: On Wednesday, 12 October, the Secretariat introduced discussion on the assessment of how to organize international, interdisciplinary scientific advice to support the Convention process (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/6) and presented the results of an electronic survey on four identified options (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/MISC.1). The contact group considered this on Wednesday afternoon.

Some, including the African Group, the Philippines, Indonesia, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Peru, supported creating a new panel. Others, including Ecuador and Bolivia, preferred strengthening and building on existing mechanisms. Japan said resources are limited, and did not support a new panel or platform. The EU called for information on gaps in existing mechanisms, and the US and Norway suggested that the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) could integrate DLDD issues. Brazil suggested not rushing to create another body, and said delegates should “make room for” a broader discussion at Rio+20. Saudi Arabia said a mechanism could be considered once the financial implications are known. Many speakers, including Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Tunisia and Yemen, supported coordination of subregional and regional activities and networks.

In the contact group, participants considered the option to request the formation of an ad hoc working group. In plenary on Friday, 14 October, Canada added a paragraph inviting voluntary contributions to support the ad hoc working group.

Final Decision: This decision (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/L.9) requests the CST to plan both long- and short-term measures to enable the UNCCD to provide scientific support, and decides to set up an ad hoc working group, taking into consideration regional balance, to further discuss options for the provision of scientific advice on DLDD.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENTS: The Secretariat introduced documents on the role and responsibilities of Science and Technology Correspondents (STCs) (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/7 and ICCD/COP(10)/CST/INF.4) on Tuesday, 11 October, which were considered by the contact group on Thursday, 13 October.

Morocco stressed the need for specific roles and requirements for the STCs, and the EU encouraged formalizing and defining these at the global level. Argentina, on behalf of GRULAC, advocated strengthening support for STCs to participate in CST meetings. Bolivia advised distinguishing between the roles and responsibilities of NFPs and STCs. Ethiopia said STCs should have equal status with NFPs, and Guinea called for a direct relationship between the CST Bureau and STCs. Kenya said the role of STCs should be strengthened at the national level.

Final Decision: This decision (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/L.2), inter alia, decides that the role of STCs is to assist NFPs in scientific matters related to the implementation of the Convention, recommends that any further responsibilities for STCs should be proposed by NFPs to their respective STCs and invites the Secretariat to communicate on matters relating to science in the Convention process with NFPs, copying STCs.

ROSTER OF INDEPENDENT EXPERTS: The Secretariat introduced the report on progress on the maintenance of the roster of independent experts (ICCD/COP(10)/22) on Wednesday, 12 October, and the contact group considered this on Thursday, 13 October.

Mali, Senegal and others agreed with the need to reconsider the categories of experts. Senegal, supported by Moldova and Tunisia, encouraged the addition of non-traditional disciplines. Moldova, Kenya and Honduras supported the attention paid to gender balance in the report. Niger asked about the inclusion of retired scientists and researchers, and Cuba queried how decisions are made to remove experts from the roster.

Final Decision: Among other things, this decision (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/L.3) invites parties to revise and update details of existing national experts and propose new candidates, urges parties that have not yet nominated experts to do so, and requests the CST to review and update the list of disciplines. It also directs the Secretariat to set up web-based facilities to ease the process of updating the roster.

STRENGTHENING THE SUPPORT FOR SCIENTIFIC, RESEARCH AND TRAINING INSTITUTIONS IN IMPLEMENTING THE STRATEGY: The Secretariat, on Wednesday, 12 October, introduced the documents on enhanced scientific cooperation and knowledge exchange between the CST and the scientific subsidiary bodies of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the GEF and relevant specialized agencies of the UN (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/INF.5) and on the UNCCD fellowship programme (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/8).

Enhanced Scientific Cooperation and Knowledge Exchange between the CST and the Scientific Subsidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC and CBD, and the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the GEF: Mali and Algeria highlighted the links between the discussion on scientific cooperation and the consideration of options for organizing international, interdisciplinary scientific advice to support the Convention. Bolivia underlined the importance of improving linkages with the UNFCCC and CBD, although she agreed with Argentina on the need to ensure that the UNCCD’s activities remain focused on its own mandate. No decision was associated with this item.

UNCCD Fellowship Programme: Many supported the programme, with Bolivia underlining its value for applied research, and Mali calling it a way to expand the pool of researchers. Some voiced support for the multi-stakeholder partnership option, and Israel and Botswana noted that the UNCCD should be the facilitator. The EU added that the programme should not be a top priority for the Secretariat, given limited resources. The United Nations University informed the CST of its proposal to lead a multi-stakeholder partnership for the fellowships. 

Final Decision: In this decision (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/L.4), the COP decides that the multi-stakeholder partnership model should be applied in launching the fellowship programme and, among other things, requests the Secretariat to form a steering group, in collaboration with institutions that formally express interest, to articulate a clear strategy for the programme. It also invites voluntary contributions for the programme, and requests the Secretariat to facilitate its establishment and report on progress at COP 11.

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT: On Thursday, 13 October, the Secretariat presented the review and needs assessment undertaken on a knowledge management system (KMS), including traditional knowledge, as outlined in Article 16(g) of the Convention text, best practices, and success stories on combating DLDD (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/9), and this was considered in the CST contact group on Thursday.

The Philippines, EU, Switzerland and Japan suggested building on existing KMS, and Indonesia and others noted the use of WOCAT in this regard. Argentina, for GRULAC, noted access to technology as a barrier for a computer-based KMS, and Senegal, Guinea and Niger suggested that alternative ways to disseminate knowledge be considered, such as rural radio or television. Many commented on aspects related to traditional knowledge. Morocco, Uganda, South Africa, Ghana, Italy and Yemen emphasized the importance of documenting local and traditional knowledge in a KMS. Tunisia noted the need to adapt knowledge to local conditions, and the US said integration of local knowledge and science must be developed at the local level. Egypt and Algeria asked how the initiative would address intellectual property rights (IPRs) over traditional knowledge, and Ukraine suggested looking at how other conventions address IPRs.

Final Decision: In this decision (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/L.5), the COP, inter alia, requests, the Secretariat, subject to additional financial resource provision, to continue to improve knowledge management (KM), including: elaborating a platform related to DLDD; carrying out taxonomy for internal content categorization with respect to UNCCD; defining criteria and priorities applicable to KM under the Convention, taking into account results of the knowledge needs assessment; and encouraging establishment of links with regional KMS via existing networks. The COP also requests CRIC and the Bureau of the CST to work together in defining ways to promote the analysis and dissemination of best practices, according to the respective mandates of the CST and CRIC.

CONSIDERATION OF THE DRAFT MULTI-YEAR (FOUR-YEAR) WORKPLAN FOR THE CST (2012-2015): On Thursday, 13 October, the Secretariat introduced the draft multi-year (four-year) workplan for the CST (2012-2015) (ICCD/CRIC(10)/7-ICCD/COP(10)/CST/10), and the contact group discussed this on Thursday afternoon.

Bolivia noted the importance of efficient resource use by the CST’s working groups, and of continued work on refining impact indicators. Nigeria encouraged the provision of further information on indicators of success, so the CST’s progress could be measured in two years. On Friday, 14 October, in plenary, Argentina asked for clarification on the timing of the 2nd Scientific Conference in relation to CST S-3 and CRIC 11, and stressed the need to ensure the CST has sufficient time to consider recommendations from the Scientific Conference.

PROGRAMME OF WORK FOR CST S-3 AND CST 11: These two draft decisions were considered and agreed at the closing meeting of the CST, on Thursday, 13 October.

Final Decisions: In the final decision on the programme of work for CST S-3 (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/L.6/Rev.1), the COP, inter alia, decides: CST S-3 will be held for four days in Bonn, Germany, no later than March 2013, in the event that no party makes an offer to host the session and meet the additional financial costs, and will include in its agenda: the UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference; progress in refining impact indicators; and preparation of the 3rd Scientific Conference. The COP also requests the Executive Secretary, in consultation with the COP Bureau, to prepare for CST S-3 and facilitate the participation of STCs in the meeting.

In the final decision on the programme of work for CST 11:  (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/L.7), the COP encourages the CST to focus on activities that would lead to achievement of outcomes contained in the programme and budget of Convention bodies, and decides that the agenda shall focus on two priorities: the review of progress on the iterative process to refine impact indicators; and improvement of knowledge management, including for traditional knowledge, best practices and success stories. The COP also, among other things, decides the CST will be held for a minimum of four days, requests the Executive Secretary to facilitate participation of STCs in CST 11 and decides to include on the agenda:

•  the report of the CST on S-3;

consideration of draft multi-year workplan for the CST (2014-2017);

•  improvement of knowledge management;

•  advice on how best to measure progress on Strategic Objectives 1, 2 and 3 of the Strategy;

•  consideration of progress in the organization of international, interdisciplinary scientific advice;

•  reshaping the operation of the CST in line with the Strategy; and

•  the roster of independent experts.

HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT

Chaired by COP 10 President Don Koo Lee, the high-level segment convened on 17-18 October. In a video message, His Royal Highness Charles, the Prince of Wales, encouraged delegates to consider how the UNCCD could better gather and disseminate scientific information on natural resource depletion and DLDD. President Lee said SLM, guided by a green growth paradigm, is needed to reverse land degradation. The Governor of Gyeongnam Province, Republic of Korea, Du Kwan Kim, expressed hope that COP 10 would provide momentum for action on DLDD, and pledged his province’s continued commitment to such action.

Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), reported on the UNGA High-level Event on Desertification held in September, noting recommendations to strengthen the scientific basis to better cope with DLDD, and to develop a goal for zero net land degradation.

In a video message, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for intensifying international cooperation among governments, CSOs and industry on combating desertification. UNCSD Secretary-General Sha Zukang said Rio+20 is a “once-in-a-generation opportunity,” and governments need to show vision and exercise leadership.

UNCCD Executive Secretary Gnacadja urged parties to build on the momentum created by the UNGA High-level Event, and take advantage of the opportunity given by Rio+20 to raise SLM on the international agenda. Hwang Sik Kim, Prime Minister, Republic of Korea, expressed confidence that COP 10 will stimulate international action and cooperation in the fight against desertification. Regional group representatives then presented statements.

For more detailed coverage of the opening statements and roundtables, see http://www.iisd.ca/vol04/enb04237e.html and http://www.iisd.ca/vol04/enb04238e.html

ROUNDTABLE ON FOOD SECURITY: Speakers emphasized, inter alia: long-term sustainable agricultural development; improving land productivity; formulating policies and legal frameworks for SLM; and achieving food security through synergistic programmes for SLM. Some emphasized the need to preserve soil and biodiversity for food security, increased recognition of land degradation as a global problem, and the need for effective international cooperation, political will and strengthened regional coordination. Some pointed to challenges such as, land tenure, market access, and land salinization.

ROUNDTABLE ON GREEN ECONOMY: Speakers commented on the debate over the definition of the green economy, and the potential for a green economy roadmap with specific goals and actions to address DLDD. They addressed, inter alia, the need for poverty alleviation as a central goal, integrated approaches, and recognition of the economic impacts of DLDD.

Delegates addressed the contribution of the fight against DLDD to the green economy by highlighting: the importance of the synergies among the three Rio Conventions; the need to invest in natural capital; the role of governments in providing ecosystem services; regional and south-south cooperation; capacity building and technology transfer; examination of current consumption patterns; and links between DLDD and forest management.

ROUNDTABLE ON SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE: Presenters in this roundtable highlighted the importance of objective scientific advice, with one suggesting that the UNCCD Scientific Conference should be separate from the CST sessions. Several delegations urged the establishment of an independent, intergovernmental, interdisciplinary scientific panel on DLDD issues. Supporting the role of the UNCCD in setting the science-policy nexus, some other countries urged building on existing and emerging platforms, including the IPBES. One speaker proposed that the UNCCD produce an authoritative “World Land Health Report” every five years.

CHANGWON INITIATIVE: On Tuesday, 18 October, Younghyo Ha, Deputy Minister, Korea Forest Service, Republic of Korea, introduced the draft Changwon Initiative (ICCD/COP(10)/MISC.5/Rev.3), and highlighted its three components: enhancing the scientific process of the UNCCD; mobilizing resources and facilitating partnerships; and promoting best practices and establishing the “Land for Life Award.”

Many countries supported the initiative, noting that the UNCCD is ready for a paradigm shift, as reflected in the Changwon Initiative. Supporting the objective of the Initiative, a few countries expressed concern about overlaps of a scientific panel with existing scientific initiatives, such as FAO’s Global Soil Partnership. Two parties noted that the UNCCD’s scope on arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions should be respected.

President Lee closed the High-level Segment, commenting that the High-level Segment had considered and “takes note with appreciation” the proposed Changwon Initiative.

Final Decision: In the decision on the special segment: interactive dialogue sessions (ICCD/COP(10)/L.12), the COP takes note of the Chair’s summary report on the Ministerial session, submitted by COP 10 President Lee, and decides that the summary will be annexed to the report of COP 10.

OPEN DIALOGUE WITH CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS

Open dialogue sessions with CSOs were held on Friday, 14 October, and Wednesday, 19 October, and consisted of presentations by CSOs on their organizations’ activities.

The first dialogue session focused on the theme “SLM technologies including adaptation and resilience.” Panelists from CSOs presented on: SLM best practices in East Asia; a project to regenerate the Algerian steppe zone by rehabilitation of the alpha plant; alternative agro-forestry projects in arid areas of Colombia; a study done in 2011 by NGO AGREX and BIOS on the gender aspects of SLM; and best practices for SLM in India, highlighting integrated farming systems for enhancing sustainable livelihoods.

In the discussion, country representatives underscored that CSOs are indispensable stakeholders in combating desertification. Delegates highlighted: the role of CSOs in local development and in awareness-raising about the dangers of inaction; the need to avoid CSO overlaps; strengthening linkages between NFPs and CSOs; and role of CSOs in addressing questions of equity, particularly regarding women and youth. They also stressed the need for preventative action and an inclusive approach, fair trade as a tool to prevent land degradation, and “upscaling” of micro-level initiatives.

The second open dialogue focused on the theme “Dynamics, challenges and opportunities for civil society in implementing the UNCCD on the ground in the context of the Changwon Initiative.” Panelists presented on: gender aspect of the UNCCD; a case study of the Namibian coast illustrating links between industrialization and desertification; multi-stakeholder partnerships between government, the private sector and CSOs; impact of large-scale land grabbing; and local adaptation for SLM in a rapidly changing world. One CSO representative called for the COP “to start peddling solutions, not desperation.” Concluding the session, Co-Facilitator Byong Hyon Kwon, Future Forest, thanked parties for the opportunity to share CSO experiences at COP 10. During the closing Plenary, Future Forest, on behalf of CSOs, read a CSO Declaration.

For more detailed coverage, see http://www.iisd.ca/vol04/enb04236e.html and http://www.iisd.ca/vol04/enb04239e.html

Final Decision: In a decision titled “Declaration of CSOs Attending COP 10” (ICCD/COP(10)/L.19), which was adopted during the final plenary, the COP takes note of the Declaration of CSOs attending COP 10, which was read to delegates during the closing plenary, and decides to include the Declaration as an annex to the report of COP 10. The CSO Declaration, inter alia, highlights the urgency of dealing with desertification and the need for national governments to incorporate gender perspectives into their activities and policies, conveys CSO demands for their active involvement in the UNCCD process, and indicates that CSOs had forged an alliance at COP 10 to establish a platform for the exchange of information on best practices.

CLOSING PLENARY

COP: The closing plenary opened on Friday evening, 21 October, at 7:50 pm, chaired by COP 10 President Lee. Delegates elected Mary Rowen (US) as Chair of CRIC 11 and 12. CRIC 10 Chair Chencho Norbu then presented a summary report of CRIC 10, and submitted nine draft decisions to the COP for adoption. The COP adopted these decisions without amendments: ICCD/CRIC(10)/L.1, L.2, L.3/Rev.1, L.4-7, L.8/Rev.1, and L.9. The plenary was suspended at 8:09 pm.

The closing plenary reconvened at 9:17 pm, to consider draft decisions forwarded from the COW (L.1-6, 8/Rev.1, 9, 17, and 22). COW Chair Brown introduced, and COP President Lee led delegates through, the draft decisions in turn, noting that ICCD/COP(10)/L.5, 8, and 9 had been orally corrected, ICCD/COP(10)/L.3 and L.6 had been orally amended, and L.2 had been orally corrected and amended. On improving mechanisms to facilitate regional implementation (L.9), Jordan noted that some subregions, including his country, had nominated reporting entities, and the COP took note of this. The COP adopted the decisions, as amended and corrected. The plenary was suspended again at 9:38 pm.

CLOSING COW: The closing session of the COW opened at 12:27 am. COW Chair Philbert Brown invited delegates to discuss the draft decision on the programme and budget for the biennium 2012 and 2013 (ICCD/COP(10)/L.23), which had just been distributed. The US said it was pleased with the spirit of cooperation demonstrated in the process of negotiation of the draft decision, but noted that it will make voluntary, not assessed, contributions, and cautioned that it may be cutting funding in the future. With clarification on edits to fix errors in the annex, the COW agreed to submit it to the COP for adoption.

The COW also agreed to the draft decisions on the date and venue of COP 11 (ICCD/COP(10)/L.14/Rev.1), and on the programme of work of COP 11 (ICCD/COP(10)/L.20), and decided to submit them to the COP for adoption. The decision on the programme of work of COP 11 includes, inter alia, the mid-term evaluation of the Strategy, alignment of action programmes with the Strategy, governance and institutional arrangements of the GM, including recommendations on its housing arrangements, collaboration with the GEF including the amendment of the MoU with the GEF on enhanced collaboration, and follow-up on the UNCSD.

In conclusion, Chair Brown noted that he had sought to facilitate consensus through frequent meetings among contact group facilitators, Chairs and leaders of the Annex and interest groups, and hoped that this approach would continue at future UNCCD meetings. He noted with appreciation the spirit of compromise and cooperation and the efforts of all participants, which had permitted the COW to achieve its goal, and appealed to all to turn the COP 10 decisions into action. He expressed thanks to the Government and the people of the Republic of Korea for their hospitality and support, and to the facilitators of the contact groups and the Secretariat for their work. He closed the final meeting of the COW at 12:55 am.

CLOSING OF COP 10: At 12:59 pm, COP 10 President Lee resumed the final meeting of the plenary and invited the COP to finalize the remaining draft decisions. The COP adopted, without discussion, a draft decision on the credentials of delegations (ICCD/COP(10)/L.16), and took note of the related report (ICCD/COP(10)/30).

The COP also adopted, without discussion, draft decisions on:

•  the designation of a Convention Secretariat and arrangements for its functioning: administrative and support arrangements (ICCD/COP(10)/L.7), by which the COP approves the continuation for a further five-year period the current institutional linkage and related administrative arrangements;

•  procedures and institutional mechanisms for the resolution of questions on implementation (ICCD/COP(10)/L.10), in which the COP decides to reconvene, at COP 11, the open-ended Ad Hoc Group of Experts (AHGE) to examine further, and make recommendations on, procedures and institutional mechanisms for the resolution of questions on implementation and requests the Secretariat to prepare a new working document to include a compilation of submissions by parties; and

•  annexes containing arbitration and conciliation procedures (ICCD/COP(10)/L.11), in which the COP decides to reconvene, at COP 11, the AHGE to examine further and make recommendations in the annex on arbitration procedures and the annex on conciliation procedures and to request the Secretariat to prepare a new working document including an updated version of the annexes.

Recalling dialogue sessions held with CSOs on Friday, 14 October, and Wednesday, 19 October, COP 10 President Lee introduced the draft decision to take note of the Declaration of CSOs attending COP 10 (ICCD/COP(10)/L.19). Future Forest, on behalf of CSOs, read the CSO Declaration. Norway lauded the open dialogue sessions for their substantial input to COP 10, and urged that such dialogues take place in the first week of COP 11, to allow the greatest number of delegations to take part in the session, as called for by COP 9. The COP adopted the draft decision, taking note of the CSO Declaration (ICCD/COP(10)/L.19).

Pointing to the special segment held on Monday and Tuesday, 17-18 October, with roundtables and discussion of the Changwon Initiative, COP 10 President Lee introduced the draft decision on the special segment: interactive dialogue sessions (ICCD/COP(10)/L.12), which the COP adopted.

COW Chair Brown presented three remaining draft decisions, forwarded by the COW, for consideration by the COP: the programme and budget for the biennium 2012-2013 (ICCD/COP(10)/L.23), with the understanding that figures in Annex 1 would be aligned with the figures in Table 1; programme of work for COP 11 (ICCD/COP(10)/L.20); and the date and venue of COP 11 (ICCD/COP(10)/L.14/Rev.1). On the latter, the COP decides that COP 11 shall be held in Bonn, Germany, in autumn 2013 in the event that no party makes an offer to host the session and meet additional costs. These were adopted without discussion.

COP 10 President Lee introduced four draft decisions on: the report on the Ninth Round Table of Members of Parliament (ICCD/COP(10)/L.13), which takes note of the Declaration from Members of Parliament on their contributions to the Strategy; a decision taking note of the declaration by the SLM Business Forum (ICCD/COP(10)/L.21), which was presented to the special segment on Tuesday, 18 October; an expression of gratitude to the Government and people of the Republic of Korea (ICCD/COP(10)/L.15; and the draft report of COP 10 (ICCD/COP(10)/L.18), with authorization to the Rapporteur to finalize the report. The COP adopted these draft decisions without discussion.

Closing the meeting, Executive Secretary Gnacadja expressed his gratitude to all participants, staff and the Earth Negotiations Bulletin team. He stressed his appreciation for the innovative changes brought by this COP, including the loan of tablet computers to delegates to reduce the use of paper and the forward-looking decisions taken, and he thanked the Republic of Korea for the excellent organization of the COP.

Representatives of the regional annexes expressed their gratitude to the host country, and the Asia-Pacific and African Groups expressed support for the Changwon Initiative. India, for the Asia-Pacific, highlighted support to RCMs and regional cooperation, and the mid-term evaluation. Algeria, for the African Group, indicated his Group’s support for the COP 10 decisions, and said that “during discussion we may on occasions not fully respected certain rules of behavior and we apologize for those who might have felt offended.” The EU expressed satisfaction with the decision on the GM but regretted to see that additional posts were requested for the RCMs, in contradiction with the COP 9 decision on RCM staffing.

The Republic of Korea described COP 10 as a landmark in the implementation of the Convention and expressed hope that the Changwon Initiative will help maintain momentum on the Strategy.

 Concluding the session, COP 10 President Lee observed that COP 10 has succeeded in addressing long-standing issues such as the GM and advancing impact indicators. Noting that his country’s Presidency aims to “breathe new life” into the Strategy, he pledged to make every effort to encourage and accelerate the process started in Changwon. He closed COP 10 at 2:00 am, on 22 October 2011.

A BRIEF ANALYSIS OF COP 10

COP 10: ASPIRATIONS FOR ACTION THROUGH A GLOBAL FRAMEWORK

“It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair” writes Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities. A similar paradox of progress and unmet expectations was highlighted by many at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), in Changwon, Republic of Korea. For Dickens, the characters he describes view their era in contrasting superlatives but his narrator’s voice recognizes that the truth fell somewhere in the middle. For the Convention, COP 10 participants worked to reconcile high ambitions for their outcomes in a time of financial constraints, and found their decisions represented progress even though many aspirations remained unfulfilled.

The context for COP 10 participants’ expectations was anchored by events on three continents: Convening for the first time in Asia, the UNCCD met in the midst of famine and drought in the Horn of Africa, and considered the Convention in light of the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) in Latin America. The crisis in Africa heightened the imperative for sound frameworks to facilitate sustainable land management (SLM), and the hope that the UNCCD could promote actions leading to the implementation of such frameworks. Meanwhile, the Rio+20 event was viewed as an opportunity to catalyze recognition of desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) issues on the international sustainable development agenda, raising hopes that the UNCCD could help the global community recognize that land policy must be incorporated when addressing multiple environmental crises. But multiple financial crises left donors calling for efficiencies and strategic efforts to demonstrate results, and negotiators were required to make tough choices.

Nonetheless, while COP 9 in Buenos Aires may have been “overshadowed” by political and institutional obstacles, COP 10 revealed that parties, though still divided on institutional arrangements and constrained by economic conditions, remained dedicated to their role in the Convention’s governing body. This brief analysis provides an overview of how key outcomes in Changwon fulfilled some of the high expectations, but left others unmet.

A SPRING OF PROGRESS

During COP 10, participants reflected on the achievements of the Convention since 1994, including: a legal framework signed by 194 countries; a common strategy and institutional process for its implementation; formulation of country-led National Action Programmes (NAPs); the adoption of a performance review and assessment of implementation system (PRAIS) and impact indicators at COP 9; and the addition of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as a financial mechanism and allocation of additional resources through the GEF land degradation focal area. These elements have provided the basis for taking agreed global goals and implementing them at the local level, and to begin a process to track and report on the impacts of their projects and activities. Some affected country parties noted that, in spite of limited resources, they were already taking action on DLDD and using PRAIS to identify best practices and experiences.

At the same time, attention from outside the Convention evidenced pockets of growing attention to DLDD issues, presenting opportunities for the UNCCD to play a role in setting the global agenda. Participants highlighted in particular the High-level Event at the opening of the UN General Assembly in September 2011. Further efforts discussed in side events and in the corridors during COP 10 included the launch of the Global Drylands Report, which was prepared through the UN Environment Management Group and explores how a coherent, system-wide UN effort could address challenges in drylands, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Global Soil Partnership, Germany’s International Economics of Land Degradation initiative, and the Offering Sustainable Land Management Options (OSLO) initiative. The Rio Conventions Pavilion took place for the first time at a UNCCD COP, offering stakeholders from the three Rio Conventions a platform for sharing lessons and stimulating efforts to identify synergies on common themes.

Looking closer to home for positive signs that the COP was advancing expectations for the UNCCD, after two COPs and several assessments of the Global Mechanism (GM), COP 10 delegates held up as a success their long-debated decision to alter the governance structure of the GM. The chain of authority between the COP and the GM, as established in COP 1’s decision 25/COP.1 and further developed in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the COP and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), specifies that the GM reports to the President of IFAD, who then reports to the COP. The desire to change this line of authority was intensified in the lead up to COP 10 based on a legal proceeding by which IFAD was deemed to have legal liability for employment decisions made by the GM Managing Director. COP 10 decided to transfer the accountability and legal representation of the GM from IFAD to the UNCCD Secretariat.

When delegates arrived in Changwon, the long-standing divide between parties who wanted to merge the GM within the Secretariat and those who wanted to maintain GM independence and a clear separation of the two institutions seemed as wide and irreconcilable as ever. However, expressing frustration with the impasse, parties showed their determination to finally resolve the GM institutional issues, by agreeing, right at the start of negotiations, to “general principles” of governance around which it was possible to reach concrete consensus. These principles included increased transparency and strengthening COP oversight of GM operations and accounts. IFAD’s strong statement at the opening plenary that the “status quo” was not an option, and its insistence on the need to discharge IFAD from any legal liability related to the GM, were pointed to as key drivers in the eventual consensus to move forward on a decision on the legal representation and accountability and its immediate implementation. COP 10 agreed on clarification of the legal aspects, transparency of operations and accountability, thereby salvaging the relevance and attractiveness of the GM for both affected and donor parties.

As with other difficult issues, though, the last reminder of old battles was the argument over the physical relocation of the GM to Bonn, and the deferral of the decision, pending further consideration. The final decision to separate the governance of the GM from its housing arrangements, and to undertake a process to continue work on the latter, was seen by many as the best possible outcome of the negotiations. Contact group participants reported that there were points in the negotiations when they were not sure a decision would be reached, further highlighting the significance of the agreement by COP 10 on this issue. However, some cautioned that the compromise on the governance structure of the GM, particularly on how to ensure operational independence of the GM from the Secretariat and to maintain the separate institutional mandates required by the Convention, left some of the text of the decision overly vague. While many held up the GM decision as an undisputed achievement in itself and in light of the deep initial divides, others pointed out that the real implications of these changes for programmes on the ground will largely depend on how they are implemented.

A WINTER OF UNMET ASPIRATIONS

In spite of this laudable success, many noted that the COP has still focused primarily on “housekeeping” issues, and has not yet moved into discussing key questions related to the substance of actions to catalyze efforts to address DLDD. One participant, for example, pointed in this regard to the energy focused on the governance structure for the GM, while giving no guidance regarding the substance of the GM’s activities—which seek to bring the principles of the Convention to the country level on an ongoing basis. Likewise, the Committee on Science and Technology (CST) took on the question of whether to call for an independent, intergovernmental interdisciplinary scientific body, similar to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), but to date has not done much itself to integrate scientific advice into recommendations that the COP could adopt.

The effort to measure action to address the implementation of the Convention was also highlighted as an area for as-yet unfulfilled expectations. The PRAIS project, which raised expectations regarding options to evaluate implementation since its adoption at COP 9, based on its initial successes where impressive numbers of national reports were submitted, was tempered at COP 10 by a closer look at data limitations and the realization of the costs required to ensure it remains a robust project that delivers on its promise. While some came to COP 10 calling for funding commitments to continue and expand PRAIS, the outcome to continue the project was not on the scale that some had hoped.

Discussions on one of the key expected outcomes from COP 10—a framework for the review of the mid-term evaluation of the Strategy—revealed further doubts from delegates that the political compromises at these negotiations would lead to changes on the ground. One delegate, drawing attention to the experience of the two countries—Algeria and Argentina—that have aligned their NAPs with the Strategy, expressed concern about trying to evaluate the Strategy before it had actually been implemented in a large number of countries. He asked whether it would be more useful to wait until at least 50% of countries had aligned their NAPs with the Strategy. While one option would be to delay evaluation until implementation had progressed further, another pointed to the vicious cycle whereby delays in evaluating progress would exacerbate funding limitations, as access to funding depends in part on the ability to demonstrate results.

A FRAMEWORK FOR PROGRESS

In spite of these unmet aspirations, many saw debates on institutional housekeeping issues as necessary, if time-consuming, given their importance for organizing the work of the Convention’s bodies and its implementation of COP decisions. The process to set in place a mechanism—an ad hoc group—to examine options for bringing science into the Convention, and even the process to facilitate a fellowship programme, was noted to represent the beginning of an effort to build capacity and widen the network of individuals working on DLDD issues and thinking about UNCCD implementation questions. While the rewards will not be immediate, these outcomes were lauded by some as part of a longer-term vision. Further, the CST 9 deliberations on impact indicators, which were elaborated on and carried forward during CST 10, were noted to be evidence of the CST’s ability to integrate scientific advice into policy advice for the COP, and an indication that the CST could contribute to the identification of the extent of DLDD problems globally.

As delegates left Changwon, they lauded achievements on housekeeping issues, but some continued to wonder how the efforts of the UNCCD could keep pace with the urgency of DLDD impacts for the most vulnerable people. As the SLM approach that the Convention embraces is increasingly recognized as the key to solving multiple sustainable development challenges, the ability of the UNCCD to deliver tried and tested advice on best practices becomes more important. To the extent that a properly established framework can catalyze the development of such advice, COP 10’s achievements may have advanced the UNCCD’s ability to contribute to concrete implementation as well as broader global recognition of the importance of land issues. But in order to do this, many speakers at COP 10 emphasized that it must demonstrate a track record of catalyzing success on the ground. Given the urgency for solutions raised by the crisis in the Horn of Africa, many focused on their unmet expectations, but others suggested that progress achieved during the first COP in Asia had raised the bar for engagement among parties and international actors in the UNCCD agenda. An immediate challenge for those leaving the sparkling conference facilities in Changwon will be to turn their expectations into a concrete contribution to the global sustainable development debate at Rio+20.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

41st GEF Council: This bi-annual meeting of the GEF’s main governing body brings together members representing 32 constituencies (16 from developing countries, 14 from developed countries, and two from countries with transitional economies).  dates: 8-10 November 2011  location: Washington, DC, USA  contact: GEF Secretariat  phone: +1-202-473-0508  fax: +1-202-522-3240  email: secretariat@thegef.org www: http://www.thegef.org/

International Symposium on Integrated Drought Information Systems: This workshop will bring together experts, key decision makers and practitioners to discuss the state-of-the-art, real world applications and innovative techniques for adaptation to drought. It is co-organized by the World Meteorological Organization, UNCCD Secretariat, Morocco’s national meteorological service (Maroc Meteo) and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  dates: 9-11 November 2011  location: Casablanca, Morocco  contact: M.V.K. Sivakumar, Director, Climate Prediction & Adaptation Branch, WMO  email:msivakumar@wmo.int phone: +41-22-730-8380  fax: +41-22-730- 8042  www: http://www.wmo.int/

Bonn 2011 Conference: This high-level, invitation-only conference on the theme “The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus: Solutions for the Green Economy,” is organized by the German Federal Government in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and other partners. It will seek to contribute to the run-up to the UNCSD, scheduled for June 2012.  dates: 16-18 November 2011  location: Bonn, Germany  contact: Imke Thiem, Head of Secretariat, Bonn 2011  phone: +49-6196-79-1547  email: bonn.conference2011@giz.de www: http://www.water-energy-food.org/en/home.html  

The Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4): This fourth meeting of signatories to the Paris Declaration of 2005 will review progress since HLF3 in Accra in 2008 and make new commitments to further ensure that aid helps reduce poverty and supports progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. Priority areas for the forum will be: predictable aid; use of country systems; an end to policy conditionality; country-driven capacity development; mutual accountability; and reduced transaction costs.  dates: 29 November - 1 December 2011  location: Busan, Republic of Korea  email: info@busanhlf4.org  www: http://www.aideffectiveness.org/busanhlf4/

UNFCCC COP 17 and COP/MOP 7: The 17th session of the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP 17) and the seventh session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 7) will take place in Durban, South Africa.  dates: 28 November - 9 December 2011  location: Durban, South Africa  contact: UNFCCC Secretariat  phone: +49-228-815-1000  fax: +49-228-815-1999  email: secretariat@unfccc.int www: http://www.cop17durban.com and http://unfccc.int

UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meeting for the ECE Region: This meeting will be convened by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the UNCSD Secretariat.  dates: 1-2 December 2011  location: Geneva, Switzerland  contact: Monika Linn, UNECE  phone: +41-22-917-13-15  fax: +41-22-917-0107  email: sd@unece.org www: http://www.unece.org/env/SustainableDevelopment/RPM2011/RPM2011.html

Fifth General Assembly High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development: The Dialogue’s overall theme will be “The Monterrey Consensus and Doha Declaration on Financing for Development: status of implementation and tasks ahead.”  dates: 7-8 December 2011  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: UN Financing for Development Office  email:ffdoffice@un.org fax: +1-212-963-0443  www: http://www.un.org/esa/ffd/

Eye on Earth Summit: The Eye on Earth Summit: Pursuing a Vision is being organized under the theme “Dynamic system to keep the world environmental situation under review.” This event will launch the global environmental information network (EIN) strengthening initiative and address major policy and technical issues.  dates: 12-15 December 2011  location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates  contact: Marije Heurter, Eye on Earth Event Coordinator  phone: +971 2 693 4516  email: Marije.heurter@ead.ae or Eoecommunity@ead.ae  www: http://www.eyeonearthsummit.org/

Second Intersessional Meeting for UNCSD: The second intersessional meeting for the UNCSD will be convened in late 2011.  dates: 15-16 December 2011  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: UNCSD Secretariat  email: uncsd2012@un.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/

World Future Energy Summit 2012: The theme of this year’s summit on alternative energy, clean technology and environment industries is Sustainable Energy for All. The event will kick start the “International Year for Sustainable Energy for All,” which was adopted by UN General Assembly Resolution 65/151 in December 2010.  dates: 16-19 January 2012  location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates  contact: Mohammad Sayeed  phone: +971-2-444 6113  email:mohammad.sayeed@reedexpo.ae www: http://www.worldfutureenergysummit.com

UNCSD Informal Consultations: The UNCSD Preparatory Committee will hold a series of information consultations on the zero draft of the outcome document in January, February, March and April 2012.  dates: 16-18 January 2012; 13-17 February 2012; 19-23 March 2012 and 30 April - 4 May 2012  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: UNCSD Secretariat  email:uncsd2012@un.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/

12th Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum: The Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) will hold its 12th special session to focus on the UNCSD themes of green economy and international environmental governance and emerging issues.  dates: 20-22 February 2012   location: Nairobi, Kenya   contact: Jamil Ahmad, UNEP   phone: +254-20-762-3411   fax: +254-20 762-3929   email: sgc.sgb@unep.org www: http://www.unep.org/resources/gov/

Planet Under Pressure: New Knowledge toward Solutions: This conference will focus on solutions to the global sustainability challenge. The conference will discuss solutions to move societies on to a sustainable pathway and provide scientific leadership towards the UNCSD.  dates: 26-29 March 2012  location: London, United Kingdom  contact: Jenny Wang  phone: +86-10-8520-8796  email: Jen.wang@elsevier.com www: http://www.planetunderpressure2012.net

Third Intersessional Meeting for UNCSD: The final intersessional meeting for the UNCSD will be convened in March 2012.  dates: 26-27 March 2012  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: UNCSD Secretariat  email:uncsd2012@un.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/

Third PrepCom for UNCSD: The third meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the UNCSD will take place in Brazil just prior to the conference.  dates: 28-30 May 2012  location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  contact: UNCSD Secretariat  email:uncsd2012@un.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/

UN Conference on Sustainable Development: The UNCSD will mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, which convened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  dates: 4-6 June 2012  location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  contact: UNCSD Secretariat  email: uncsd2012@un.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/

GEF 42nd Council Meeting: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council, the main governing body of the GEF, meets twice each year.  dates: 11-14 June 2012  location: Washington, DC, US  contact: GEF Secretariat  phone: +1-202-473-0508  fax: +1-202-522-3240  email: secretariat@thegef.org  www: http://www.thegef.org

IUCN World Conservation Congress 2012: The Congress theme will be Nature+, a slogan chosen to capture the importance of nature and its connection to all aspects of people’s lives. dates: 6-15 September 2012  location: Jeju, Republic of Korea  contact: Enrique Lahmann  phone: +41-22-999-0336  fax: +41-22-999-0002  email: congress@iucn.org www: http://www.iucnworldconservationcongress.org/

CBD COP 11: The 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will consider, inter alia, the status of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits arising from their Utilization and implementation of the Strategic Plan 2011-2020 and progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.  dates: 8-19 October 2012  location: Hyderabad, India  contact: CBD Secretariat  phone: +1-514-288-2220  fax: +1-514-288-6588  email: secretariat@cbd.int www: http://www.cbd.int/meetings/  

UNCCD CRIC 11, CST S-3 and 2nd UNCCD Scientific Conference: The eleventh session of the CRIC, the 3rd special session of the CST and the 2nd Scientific Conference are expected to take place no later than March 2013. They will be held in Bonn, Germany, unless another party offers to host the meeting. The 2nd Scientific Conference is addressing the theme “Economic assessment of desertification, sustainable land management and resilience of arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas.” contact: UNCCD Secretariat   phone: +49-228-815-2800  fax: +49-228-815-2898  email: secretariat@unccd.int www: http://www.unccd.int/  

UNCCD COP 11: The eleventh session of the UNCCD COP will convene in autumn 2013, in Bonn, Germany, unless another party offers to host the meeting.  contact: UNCCD Secretariat  phone: +49-228-815-2800  fax: +49-228-815-2898  email: secretariat@unccd.int www: http://www.unccd.int/  

GLOSSARY

CBD
COP
COW
CRIC      
CSOs
CST
DLDD     
GEF
GM
GRULAC
IFAD
IPBES
JIU
KMS
MoU      
NAPs       
NFPs      
PRAIS   
RAPs     
Rio+20  
RCM       
SLM        
SRAPs
STCs
Strategy
TPN
UNCCD
UNCSD                 
UNFCCC
WEOG
WOCAT               

Convention on Biological Diversity
Conference of the Parties
Committee of the Whole
Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention
Civil Society Organizations
Committee on Science and Technology
Desertification, land degradation and drought
Global Environment Facility
Global Mechanism
Latin American and Caribbean Group
International Fund for Agricultural Development
Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
Joint Inspection Unit
Knowledge management system
Memorandum of Understanding
National Action Programmes
National focal points
Performance review and assessment of implementation systems
Regional Action Programmes
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD)
Regional Coordination Mechanism
Sustainable land management
Sub-Regional Action Programmes
Science and Technology Correspondents
Ten-year Strategic Plan and framework to enhance the implementation of the Convention (2008-2018)
Thematic Programme Networks
UN Convention to Combat Desertification             
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
Western Europe and Others Group
World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies

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This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Wangu Mwangi, Kate Neville, Laura Russo, Lynn Wagner, Ph.D., and Kunbao Xia. The Digital Editor is Francis Dejon. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the European Commission (DG-ENV), and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea. General Support for the Bulletin during 2011 is provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Australia, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute – GISPRI) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Specific funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the Korea Forest Service. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Belgium Walloon Region, the Province of Québec, and the International Organization of the Francophone (OIF and IEPF). Funding for translation of the Bulletin into Spanish has been provided by the Spanish Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, NY 10022, United States of America.

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