News

Third Conference on Drylands, Deserts and Desertification Develops Statement to UNCCD CST

11 November 2010: The third conference on Drylands, Deserts and Desertification, which convened from 8-11 November 2010, at the Sede Boqer's Blaustein Institute for Desert Research at Ben Gurion University in Israel, developed a "Statement on the Synergistic Implementation of the Rio Conventions in the Drylands."

The conference was attended by government and non-government officials, senior representatives of the UNESCO, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as well as researchers from 63 countries working in areas related to combating desertification and the development of sustainable livelihoods in the drylands.

Among the central topics discussed in a special session sponsored by UNESCO was the potential for synergistic implementation of the Rio conventions in the drylands. Conference participants called upon the UNCCD Committee on Science and Technology (CST) as well as its Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC) to consider the issue of synergies at their upcoming meetings in Bonn, Germany, in February 2011.

Specific proposals also included: recognizing and addressing both the physical and socio-economic drivers that jointly lead to land degradation, climate change and biodiversity loss in the drylands through improved monitoring, assessing and reporting on the interlinkages among desertification, biodiversity, climate change and sustainable development; creating stronger synergies between national reporting schedules and requirements for the three Rio conventions to improve the efficiency and reduce the reporting burdens, particularly on affected developing countries; integrating UNCCD National Action Plans, National Biodiversity Action Plans and UNFCCC National Adaptation Plans of Action, and to mainstream these plans into National Sustainable Development Plans; creating synergies between the UNCCD impact indicators and the newly adopted CBD Strategic Plan and targets; encouraging bilateral and multilateral donors to fund projects and programmes that jointly implement the Rio conventions; and recognizing the importance of payment for dryland ecosystem services and other appropriate incentives to promote a favorable enabling environment for the national and local implementation of the three Rio conventions in the drylands. [Meeting Website]