“A stronger UNCCD for a Land Degradation-Neutral World” (UNCCD-COP11)

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UNCCD COP11 Report/Analysis now available from IISD Reporting Services

Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP11)

“A stronger UNCCD for a Land Degradation-Neutral World”

16-27 September 2013 | Windhoek, Namibia


The eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 11) convened from 16-27 September 2013, in Windhoek, Namibia. The eleventh meeting of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST 11) and the twelfth meeting of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 12) convened in parallel to the COP. Approximately 3,000 people from governments, UN agencies and other international organizations, non-governmental organizations and civil society, participated in these meetings and associated events.

The COP also featured two half-day open dialogues with civil society organizations (CSOs) on 20 and 25 September, while a High-Level Segment, consisting of roundtable discussions among ministers and other officials, took place from 23-24 September. In addition, numerous side events, a meeting of Parliamentarians, the second Sustainable Land Management Business Forum and the Rio Conventions Pavilion (RCP) also convened over the two weeks. IISD coverage of the RCP can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/desert/cop11/pavilion/

COP 11 delegates adopted 41 decisions. Among the nine decisions developed by the CST, delegates: agreed to establish a science-policy interface (SPI) to enhance the UNCCD as a global authority on desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD) and sustainable land management (SLM); endorsed the Scientific Knowledge Brokering Portal (SKBP) to enhance knowledge management, including on traditional knowledge, best practices and success stories; approved the roster of independent experts; established two ad hoc working groups, one on the iterative participatory process on impact-indicator refinement and monitoring, and another to discuss options for providing scientific advice to the UNCCD; and called for a multi-stakeholder partnership model for launching a fellowship programme.

Delegates approved 12 decisions recommended by the CRIC, including on: best practices in the implementation of the Convention; UNCCD’s interaction with the Global Environment Facility (GEF); multi-year workplans of the Convention’s institutions and subsidiary bodies; assessment of financial flows for implementation; assessing the implementation of the Convention against strategic objectives 1, 2 and 3, and against the operational objectives of the 10-year Strategy; performance and progress indicators, methodology, and reporting procedures; and ways of promoting and strengthening relationships with other relevant conventions and international organizations.


Author: Willem Van Cotthem

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