UNCCD COP 9 Considers Links with Climate Change during High-Level Segment

L-R: Lincoln Ralechate Mokose, Minister of Forestry and Land Reclamation, Lesotho; Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD; Sherry Ayittey, Ministry of Forestry and Environment, Ghana; Sergio La Rocca, Under-Secretary of Planning and Environmental Policy of Argentina; Octavio Pérez Pardo, Director of Soil Conservation, Argentina; Clemente Dlamini, Ministry of Environment, Swaziland; and Ramadham Saif Kajembe, Ministry of Forestry and Environment, Kenya29 September 2009: The high-level segment of the ninth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 9) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) conducted a roundtable discussion on “Desertification/land degradation and climate change – what role for the land in the ongoing negotiations for a new climate change regime at Copenhagen?” The two-day segment, which convened from 28-29 September 2009, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, brought together participants from over 60 States.

Speakers during the roundtable on desertification/land degradation and climate change noted discussions within the climate change negotiations to develop funds, with one speaker highlighting the need to identify synergies among the Rio Conventions to facilitate access to relevant funding. A role for innovative mechanisms of payment for ecosystem services to enhance sustainable land management practices, and the need to examine possibilities to use existing mechanisms for cooperation and support were also suggested. A speaker also said that the UN “Delivering as One” for climate change approach works towards achieving synergies with UNCCD objectives. Links between climate change and agriculture, soil fertility, and forests and REDD were among other issues raised during the half-day discussion.

At the opening of the high-level segment, UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja delivered a message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which noted that desertification, land degradation and drought exacerbate poverty and vulnerability to climate change, and highlighted how sustainable land management may provide critical contributions to mitigation, and to strengthen resilience, economic development and food security. [IISD RS coverage of COP 9] [UN Secretary-General Ban's statement]