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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

CRIC 11 met in plenary and considered the national reports, with a focus on the three first strategic objectives of the Convention, that is, improving the conditions of affected people and of the affected areas, and generating benefits for others beyond the affected areas.

After the secretariat presented the report on the topic (doc), Prof. Antonio Rocha Magalhaes, Chair of the Committee on Science and Technology, presented the review, assessment and recommendation of his Committee regarding the reports on impact indicators submitted by Parties. The reporting template, building the capacity to report, and improving the coverage and interpretation of the data need more attention, he said.

This was followed by three panel presentations and a discussion, on delineating affected areas, which is viewed as a pre-requisite to monitor the achievement of these three strategic objectives. Mr. Michael Cherlet, Joint Research Center and the Coordinator of the World Atlas Forum, moderated the session.

Panelist Mr. Mathias Magunda, member of the ad-hoc Advisory Group of Technical Experts on impact indicator refinement spoke on the topic, “A scientific approach to operationally delineate affected areas: preliminary findings of the ad-hoc Advisory Group of Experts.” Mr. Mohamed Ghanam, Morocco, spoke about “A scientific approach of the ESA-MEDALUS method to the delineation of affected areas in Morocco.” Mr. Mohammed Khalid Siddiq, Pakistan, presented on the topic, “National Approach to delineate affected areas in Pakistan.”

The theme of the afternoon plenary was “Translating impact monitoring into action.” It was moderated by Mr. Chencho Norbu, Bhutan, and Chair of the Intersessional Working Group for the mid-term evaluation of the Strategy.

Panelist Mr. Barron Orr, University of Arizona spoke on “Linking local participatory assessments to the UNCCD national and global impact monitoring efforts: Challenges and Efforts.” Mr. Wilfredo Alfaro, Chile, spoke about “Linking impact monitoring with planning and implementation: the National action programme alignment process.” Ms. Sakhile Koketso, Convention on Biological Diversity, spoke regarding, “Enhancing action through monitoring and target setting: Lessons learned from the Convention on Biological Diversity experience with the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.”

Several issues were raised relating to the methodologies proposed for  delineating affected areas, data availability, reporting of impact indicators, relevant indicators at national and local levels, periodicity of monitoring, the portal used for reporting -  PRAIS, target setting and capacity building.

Several delegates showcased their national experiences in aligning their NAPs to The Strategy. Among the key challenges identified are: lack of funding to carry out the activities set out in the NAP; lack of capacity in setting up linkages with other sectors such as biodiversity, climate change and forestry; difficult dialogue with other line ministries; and the need to mainstream the NAP into national development frameworks and poverty reduction strategies.

The recommendations included calls to capitalize on the synergies with the other Rio Conventions, improve private sector involvement and to packaging UNCCD messages in a targeted and more attractive fashion.

A number of side events were held. The Government of Namibia, host country of UNCCD’s COP11, made a presentation about Namibia, and the facilities they will offer for tourism, visa and health requirements.

A side-event organized by the UNCCD secretariat discussed effective ways to communicate the fight against desertification, with presentations by Hungary on the Drylands Champions program, UNCCD’s Land for Life Award - the only global award focusing on sustainable land management and UNDP Drylands Development Centre’s work on to give voice to people living in desertification- and drought-prone areas.

The Republic of Korea’s side event on "Passion is good but action is better" agreed to take action in pursuit of a ‘Land-Degradation Neutral World’ and to share the urgency of the issues for Sustainable Development Goal. They called for a pragmatic and simplified operational approach for such a world based on local and affected communities. The approach should target policy-makers to set positive target.

IUCN, UNCCD and other partners also held a side event on Conserving Dryland Biodiversity, to highlight the synergies between land degradation and biodiversity. The book is a call to action and guide on the pursuit of dryland conservation and development. It captures the beauty of dryland biodiversity, its intrinsic and instrumental values, and the mutual dependency of dryland biological and cultural diversities. It strongly underlines the importance of indigenous knowledge and culture to dryland conservation.

The Global Mechanism side event on "Proposed future priorities to Support Country Parties and Lessons learned from the integrated Financing Strategy approach" illustrated the findings of an assessment of the relevance, effectiveness, impact, sustainability and efficiency of the integrated financing strategy (IFS) in nine of the countries where it was launched – Cambodia, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Mali, Peru, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zambia. The study found that countries are satisfied with the IFS process; a useful process for increasing investments in SLM.

Civil society organizations also held a morning side event on the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative.

Mr. Simone Quatrini, Global Mechanism of the UNCCD, in the morning held a media briefing on the GM’s assistance to the Parties in mobilizing domestic resources, and on a methodology they have developed to assess the total value of the land.


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