UNCCD CST Bureau Progresses Science-Policy Interface, Discusses Collaboration with IPBES

UNCCD12 February 2014: At the opening of the February 2014 meeting of the Bureau of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Executive Secretary Monique Barbut suggested ways that the Bureau could improve collaboration with other entities focusing on the issues of land degradation as well as land in the context of climate adaptation.

Barbut suggested, inter alia, that the Bureau could: refresh the scientific objectives proposed for the UNCCD 3rd Scientific Conference; discuss synergies among the three Rio Conventions in the context of adaption; consider cooperative opportunities with scientific bodies like the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), including on its assessment on land degradation and restoration; and simplify the way science is presented and dealt with in the Convention.

The Bureau met from 4-6 February 2014, in Bonn, Germany, in parallel to a Bureau meeting of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC) and a meeting of the Civil Society Organization (CSO) Panel.

The CST Bureau agreed on the terms of reference for the Science-Policy Interface (SPI), which was called for at the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11), in September 2013, and the criteria and modalities for selecting the SPI scientists. The SPI members are expected to hold their first meeting in June 2014, at which time they will define the programme of work for 2014 and 2015. The SPI will seek to identify policy makers' needs for scientific knowledge and the mechanisms for addressing them.

The CST Bureau also discussed collaboration with IPBES on the implementation of its assessment on land degradation and restoration assessment, and met with the CSO Panel and CRIC Bureau. The CSO Panel identified its representative as an observer to the SPI.

The CST Bureau is chaired by Uriel Safriel (Israel). The CST 11 Bureau currently includes as Vice-Chairs: Mattias Magunda (Uganda), Oleg Guchgeldiyev (Turkmenistan), Hamid Custovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and Sonia Gonzalez (Peru). [UNCCD News Release on CST Bureau meeting][Land Policy & Practice story about CRIC Bureau meeting][Land Policy & Practice story about CSO Panel meeting][Land Policy & Practice story about UNCCD COP 11]