Economic assessment of desertification (UNCCD / DNI)

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Economic assessment of desertification, sustainable land management and resilience of arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas

The call for contributions for the UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference is now open. Abstracts can be submitted for oral or poster presentations, special sessions or workshops until the 31 August 2012.
What is the focus of the UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference?

There is a widespread consensus that the pressing issues of Desertification, Land Degradation and Drought (DLDD) are not yet properly included and addressed in today’s political and private sector agendas on global, national and local levels and that it is therefore of vital importance to raise awareness for the negative impacts but also to address opportunities that decisions regarding land management and ecosystems have.

The UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference therefore aims to gather a broad range of stakeholders – academics, policy makers, private sector and civil society actors alike – to approach DLDD from an economic and holistic point of view.

The main goals of the conference are to improve current methods and practices for the valuation of sustainable land management, ecosystem services, and socio-economic benefits thereof to be able to compare the cost of inaction versus the cost of action; and to attain international recognition for the urgent need to increase investments in sustainable land management and soil productivity; to stress the economic and social benefits of preventive measures as opposed to merely reactive ones; and to develop a tool box for policy makers to better address current DLDD trends.

he conference aims to provide guidance to governments and non-governmental actors alike, on why they should and how they can, together, reduce the impacts and revert current trends of DLDD, and support affected countries and communities to improve land management practices and increase resilience.

Envisaged Conference Outcomes

The UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference will compile the current state of knowledge based on the analysis of peer reviewed and published literature, findings from case studies conducted in various geographical regions and on evidence-based, scientific discussions taking place at the conference itself in order to produce science based recommendations for policy makers. These recommendations will be submitted to the COP for its consideration. One of the main outcomes of the conference will be a State of the Art Report, based on two White Papers currently in preparation for the conference. The Call for Abstracts shall encourage the many stakeholders to substantially contribute to the final outcomes of the conference and the accepted papers and will be considered as additional input for the finalization of the State of the Art Report and the Recommendations.

Conference Theme

The specific thematic focus of the UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference is put on the “Economic assessment of desertification, sustainable land management and resilience of arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas”, providing an assessment of the state-of-the-art knowledge on the economics of desertification, sustainable land management and resilience.

The topical framework for the call for abstracts is kept broader than the overall conference topic to ensure that all aspects of DLDD receive the necessary scientific attention. The submission of abstracts presenting the findings of case studies from the various geographic regions is especially encouraged. The following key and sub-topics are suggested to be addressed:


unccd_call for abstracts e-doc

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.