UNCCD News Issue Reviews COP 10 Outcomes

UNCCDJanuary 2012: The latest issue of UNCCD News reviews the outcomes from the tenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 10) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

In his opening message, UNCCD Executive Secretary Luc Gnacadja highlights that the Changwon Initiative, which the Republic of Korea launched at COP 10, seeks to further advance the implementation of the UNCCD's 10-year Strategy. He also calls attention to, inter alia, the Land for Life Award, which also was launched during COP 10, and the Sustainable Land Management Business Forum, which convened in Changwon. Gnacadja urges the international community “to adopt the goal of a land- degradation-neutral world” at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

A review of the outcomes of COP 10 notes that it was the first UNCCD COP to take place in Asia since the Convention came into force 15 years ago. It reports that the inaugural session of the Sustainable Land Management Business Forum convened in parallel to COP 10, and brought together nearly 100 business leaders in this private sector-led initiative and voluntary action platform.

A story about the Changwon Initiative notes that it will focus on critical strategic issues, such as the adoption of tangible targets for implementing the UNCCD. It indicates that the Initiative will: support current efforts aimed at encouraging all UNCCD stakeholders to agree on specific targets for the implementation of the UNCCD Strategy, and help to refine the set of impact indicators for monitoring and assessing desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) processes; mobilize additional resources and facilitate partnership arrangements, including for the support of efforts to align National Action Programmes (NAPs) with the 10-year Strategy; and support a global framework for the promotion of best practices.

The newsletter indicates that the application process for the Land for Life Award is open, with nominations invited from individuals, businesses, research and academic institutions, local governments, journalists and civil society organisations. The deadline for applications is 29 February 2012. The jury for the selection of the winner is as follows: Vandana Shiva, founder Navdanya International in India; Mick Dodson, a prominent indigenous land rights advocate and recent Australian of the Year; Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF International; Camilla Toulmin, Director, International Institute for Sustainable Development; Mary Seely, Founder, Desert Research Foundation of Namibia; Dennis Garrity, UNCCD Drylands Ambassador and former Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre in Kenya; Joachim von Braun, Director of the Center for Development Research in Germany; Naomi Kipuri, a Maasai anthropologist and Executive Director of the Arid Lands Institute in Kenya; Don Koo Lee, COP 10 President and Minister of the Korea Forest Service, and Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the UNCCD.

A final story discusses yellow dust, an Asian dust phenomenon. [Publication: UNCCD News Issue 3.5]