UNCCD and UNFF Sign Memorandum of Understanding

25 May 2010: The Secretariats of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that stresses the need to work together to fight land degradation, including in forests.

The MOU underscores the link with climate change and REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, conservation, sustainable forest management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks). It provides new avenues of cooperation on common issues between sustainable forest and land management, particularly in arid land forests, tropical dry forests and low forest cover countries. It will also contribute to synergies between the Secretariats, including a common programme on forest landscape restoration.

The agreement follows from the mandates of the two organizations' governing bodies. The UNFF adopted resolution 8/1 in May 2009, requesting the Secretariat to “explore with the secretariats of the Rio Conventions a format and opportunities for collaboration and cooperation and to develop targeted joint activities related to sustainable forest management, the four global objectives on forests and the non-legally-binding instrument on all types of forests.” Decision 8/COP9 for the UNCCD, adopted in October 2009, requests the Executive Secretary to develop “further cooperation with relevant international bodies on matters pertaining to desertification/land degradation and drought, with respect to the implementation of the Strategy.”

The MOU was signed on the side of the Fourth Global Environment Facility (GEF) Assembly, which is taking place in Punta Del Este, Uruguay, from 24- 28 May 2010. [UN Press Release]