UNCCD COP 10 Adopts Decisions on GM Governance, Scientific Advice and Indicators

21 October 2011: Delegates at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 10), which convened from 10-21 October 2011, in Changwon City, Republic of Korea, adopted 40 decisions, including on addressing the governance of the Convention's Global Mechanism (GM), scientific advice, and performance and impact indicators.  

The tenth meetings of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST 10) and the Committee on the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 10) convened in parallel to the COP. In addition, 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 identifies actions the Republic of Korea would take to implement COP 10 decisions. 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.

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. [IISD RS Coverage of UNCCD COP 10]