, Professor of Ecology of the Ben-Gurion University in Israel, told journalists about the science behind the concept of Land Degradation Neutrality and the ways of operationalizing it on the country and international levels.
In the morning, CRIC 11 met in plenary to discuss the preliminary analysis of financial flows on strategic objective 4 and operational objective 5 with presentations from country delegates from each of the regional annexes and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The analysis highlighted that financial resources from multilateral entities have increased, compared to the previous biennium. Nevertheless, only nine bilateral agencies completed the reporting process, translating into a reported decrease of 53% in financial resources.
One of the key factors in bringing about the overall increase in financial resources is the availability of new and emerging opportunities, mechanisms and incentives for investing into SLM, including for instance laws and regulations, economic and financial incentives, cooperation frameworks and sectoral policies contributing to the creation of a conducive investment climate. A positive trend was also recorded in the total number of Integrated Investment Frameworks established by country Parties.
During the session, it was highlighted that more importance shall be given to non-conventional actors such as the private sector and other innovative sources of finance. A vast imbalance was registered between funding in Asia and in Africa, not only related to the amount per se, but also as to where the amount comes from (mostly from national budgets in Asia, as opposed to ODA support in Africa).
Overall, the lack of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) showed that private sector's interest in the UNCCD is not adequate. That is why the UNCCD – to be more attractive to the private sector should establish more synergies with other related intergovernmental processes as well as other sectors such as forestry, climate change, biodiversity.
The afternoon side-event on "supporting resource mobilization efforts for UNCCD implementation in African, Caribbean and Pacific Islands", organized by the GM, CARICOM, PISLM and the Global Island Partnership, showcased regional experiences in small island developing states (SIDS) and defined the way ahead to improve resource mobilization for SLM, raising their profile within the UNCCD and mainstreaming land management in their countries and sub-regional frameworks.
In the afternoon, CRIC11 held an open dialogue session with the civil society organizations (CSOs) on the role of the CSOs in the mobilization of financial resources to support the implementation of the UNCCD through building effective partnerships between national and international actors.
UNCCD Executive Secretary, Luc Gnacadja, noted that UNCCD is the only convention that runs open dialogue with the CSOs and thanked the CSOs for their continuous support to the Convention. In the first segment of the open dialogue NGOs: Fundacion Agreste, Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Application, Confédération des ONG d'environnement et de développement de l'Afrique Centrale, representing regional annexes together with the representative of the GM discussed the challenges and opportunities of mobilizing human and financial resources for implementation of Convention. The cooperation with private sector, awareness raising campaigns and volunteerism and cross-cutting partnerships were highlighted as effective ways. Several country parties noted the important role the CSOs play in bridging the link between local authorities, private sector and local communities and called on to further support the funding and participation of CSOs in the UNCCD process.
In the segment on the international level NGOs, including Centre d'actions et de réalisations internationals, ENDA tiers Monde, Bios together with Global Environment Facility discussed the examples of horizontal and vertical cooperation: north-south and south-south. The speakers noted that more work on capacity and partnership building should be done and stressed the challenges of matching the requirements of international donors when applying for projects. Global Environment Facility said that the challenge of the Convention is that the NGOs should understand how GEF works and encouraged NGOs to cooperate with different stakeholders, including governments and private sector.