The 11th Conference of the Parties (COP11) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is held at Windhoek (16-27 September). Representatives of French ministries (MAE, MEDDE) and of civil society, CSFD President and three of its members participate in the French delegation. CSFD is mainly involved in the work of the Committee on Science and technology (CST) and in scientific side events. It is also an opportunity for CSFD to disseminate its documentation on a highly visited stand.
CSFD President, R. Escadafal, on behalf of B. Hubert, Chairman of the STK4SD consortium, participated at the 3rd meeting of the Steering Committee of the 3rd UNCCD scientific conference. This consortium is in charge of preparing this conference; it brings together Agropolis International, DesertNet International, the CGIAR, the Sahara and Sahel Observatory and the Argentino des Investigaciones de las Zonas Aridas. During a plenary session, R.Escadafal has been invited to present progresses made in the conference preparation. The setting up process of the Scientific Steering Committee is almost completed and that it will begin its work as soon as funding will be made available by the Secretariat. He also stressed the need to postpone the conference date to April 2015 and urged countries to offer to host this conference. CST has actually retained this new deadline on Friday night.
The COP has already started to examine Global Mechanism relocation and progresses made in the implementation of the first half of the UNCCD ten-year strategy plan. The discussions on budget have already started as well. COP11 sessions will also address the follow-up of the outcomes of Rio + 20 and, in particular, the concept of a "land degradation neutral world”.
First week, CST work has focused on the review of the UNCCD 2nd scientific conference organization and results (Bonn, 2013), and on the setting-up of a scientific advisory group for the Convention as well as on impact indicators improvement. Concerning this item, important debates concerned 'affected areas' delineation as well as the enlargement - or not – of the Convention mandate.
These various items are subject to intense discussions in contact groups.
Besides COP11 meetings, we learned Ms. Monique Barbut appointment, former CEO and President of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), to the UNCCD Executive Secretary position, starting from the 1st of October in Bonn (Germany).