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Thirteenth session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention

Agenda and schedule of work of the session

The Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention will convene its thirteenth session (CRIC 13) in Bonn, Germany, from 25 to 27 March 2015.


The session will be preceded by meetings of the five Regional Implementation Annexes to the Convention, on 23 and 24 March 2015.  


According to its tentative agenda and programme of work, CRIC 13 will focus on three  main topics:

1. Assessment of implementation of the Convention against the five operational objectives;

2. Review of financial support for the implementation of the Convention;

3. Formulation, revision and implementation of action programmes in view of the post-2015 sustainable development framework.


Outputs of the 2014 reporting exercise


The 2014 reporting exercise has achieved important results in terms of quantity and quality of information submitted by parties and other reporting entities. Approximately 95% of ACPs and 70% of DCPs submitted their reports through the new online platform, the PRAIS portal


Assessment of Implementation of the Convention against the five operational objectives


Here below, some insights are provided on the performance indicators for the five operational objectives:

OO 1: Advocacy, awareness-raising and education;

OO 2: Policy framework;

OO 3: Science, technology and knowledge;

OO 4: Capacity-building;

OO 5: Financing and technology transfer.


More detailed information on the outcomes of the 2014 reporting exercise by performance indicators and conclusions by operational objectives in provided in the synoptic table.


At the end of 2013, 28% of the global population was informed about DLDD and synergies with climate cha​nge and biodiversity (CONS-O-1). Should the trend observed in the last three reporting exercises continue, the global target would definitely be achieved. However, two regions and four subregions the population informed is still below the target.


An increasing trend in the numbers of both CSOs and STIs involved in the UNCCD process has been recorded since 2008 (CONS-O-3). If the positive trend continues, the global target will be achieved. The likelihood of observing a similar trend in the future is confirmed by the fact that the great majority of governments are undertaking concrete steps to increase the number of these key stakeholders involved in DLDD-related activities.


Although 20% of ACPs had completed the formulation or revision of their action programmes by end of 2013, the majority of the remaining planned to do so by the end of 2015 (CONS-O-5). Since almost all countries that are entitled to receive GEF funding for the reporting and alignment process have secured this contribution, there are very high expectations that the 80% target will be achieved by the end of the current biennium.


Currently, the main concern is that less than 60% of NAPs are actually being implemented. ACPs Parties have undertaken a number of actions in order to increase the effectiveness of national planning instruments and internal policies on sustainable land management in line with COP guidance, and have been provided with technical and financial assistance during this process.


Synergistic efforts are losing momentum, both from the demand and the offer side: the progress of ACPs in establishing adequate mechanisms in this regard is very modest, as is the interest shown by development partners in supporting internal processes (CONS-O-7). With funding opportunities becoming available for efforts to address global environmental threats in more holistic ways, including on adaptation to and the mitigation of climate change, no efforts should be spared in enhancing synergies at national level.


With less than one third of the ACPs having a monitoring system in place by 2013, the likelihood of achieving the global target is minimal (CONS-O-8). Even though the majority of those which don’t have such system planned to establish one by 2019, doubling the number of monitoring systems would require substantial investments over a short period of time.


Conversely, in all regions, the number of countries that rely predominantly on monitoring systems that are not DLDD-specific is much higher than the number of those having DLDD-specific monitoring system. It could be considered whether expanding the scope of these systems would be more cost-effective than establishing new DLDD-specific monitoring systems.


The ongoing formulation, revision and alignment of NAPs is yielding results with regard to the expected effectiveness of national planning: the large majority of aligned NAPs (81%) includes a knowledge-based identification of biophysical and socio-economic drivers of DLDD, and their interaction with climate change and biodiversity; similarly, in most of them the barriers to sustainable land management have been addressed (CONS-O-10). It is also worth noting that 70% of the countries that have aligned their NAP, have data and information available to report on progress indicators currently included within the CBD and UNFCCC reporting processes. This represents a solid ground upon which synergies in reporting against the progress indicators of the Rio conventions can be furthered.


Currently, the level of implementation of capacity-building initiatives remains high: three out of four ACPs have at least one dedicated plan, programme or project in place. An increase of 5% has been recorded from the 2008-2009 baseline (CONS-O-13). However, the threshold may not be reached in two regions.


The majority of ACPs assessed their capacity-building needs and most of them received support in this respect. It is evident that both the ACPs and the international community attach high importance to building capacities on DLDD in affected countries. In order to reach the global target, a more coordinated approach would be needed in order to ensure that financial and technical aid reaches those countries that so far are lagging behind.


The trend in the number of countries to have established IIFs is positive across all five regions and reached a total of 37% in 2012-2013 (CONS-O-14). Compared to the reporting period 2008-2009, the number of ACPs, regional and subregional reporting entities that have developed IIFs increased 5 times. 35% of ACPs indicated plans to establish and IIF in the future. The trend in the support of the development of IIFs by the DCPs remained constant with a slight decrease compared to the last biennium. With joint efforts of those ACPs that indicated plans to establish IIFs along with their development partners, it is likely that the target of 50% could be achieved by 2014. 

As for the amount of financial resources made available by DCPs, a positive trend was reported (CONS-O-15). Total commitments by DCPs to ACPs, including activities at global, regional and subregional level, increased 2.5 times since 2008-2009 reaching USD 5.5 billion in 2012-2013. Out of this amount USD 2.2 billion was committed in support of national activities in affected country Parties.

An adequate, timely and predictable availability of resources provided by DCPs to combat DLDD was reported by ACPs (CONS-O-16) on an average of 2.5 out of a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 3.

The total budget of projects approved for funding by international financial institutions, facilities and funds (CONS-O-17) amounted USD 1.1 billion. The GEF, the UNDP and the GM reported a total of 164 submitted proposals and 172 funded projects. GEF’s commitments increased more than three times from the previous biennium, amounting USD 890 million and representing 80% of total commitments by multilateral institutions in 2012-2013.

A total of USD 22.4 billion was allocated to facilitating technology transfer (CONS-O-18), more than double the amount reported in the previous biennium. The number of ACPs that established economic and policy incentives to facilitate access to technology increased three times since 2008-20009 to a total of 105 in 2012-2013. A positive trend is observed for planned percentage increase in financial resources allocated to facilitate access to technology for 2014-2018.

Review of financial support to the implementation of the Convention​


The total amount of financial commitments reported for 2012-2013 was USD 134 billion, similar to the previous biennium. Despite significant regional differences, this suggests that financial commitments from public-sector sources may have reached a cap of approximately USD 65 billion per year. When adjusted using Rio marker coefficients, however, the amount of commitments targeting UNCCD objectives decreased by 33 per cent compared with the previous biennium.

ACPs reported a modest decrease in financial commitments from the previous bienniums (-7%). In contrast, DCPs reported a significant increase (+171%). An increasing number of commitments by ACPs targeted other ACPs, indicating a growing South-South cooperation. Bilateral South-South financial flows amounted to USD 287 million. When including also regional and global activities, total South-South flows are estimated to have reached USD 3.7 billion in the 2012-13 biennium.

While DCPs, Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Northern Mediterranean (NMED) countries reported the use of more traditional funding instruments (grants, budget support, national authority, concessional loans, etc.), ACPs from Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) reported a much wider range of innovative funding instruments (e.g. microcredits, venture capital, mortgages/guarantees, results-based financing, remittances, insurance, impact investments, payment for environmental services, etc.), though in smaller amounts.

Financial flows originating from innovative funding sources such as foundations, businesses, the financial industry and civil society organizations were virtually absent from the reports submitted to the UNCCD.


African and Asian countries reported a higher focus on action programme implementation than LAC, CEE and NMED countries, suggesting different degrees of UNCCD integration in national policy and budgeting processes. ​

However, all regions reported significant synergies between multiple policy objectives: 86% of the activities reported in 2012-13 targeted at least two Rio conventions.

Most of the remedial efforts were directed at preventive or proactive rather than corrective or reactive measures. In fact, activities related to restoration, emergency response, infrastructure reconstruction, relief operations or natural capital accounting were less targeted than advocacy, mainstreaming, capacity-building and awareness-raising ones.

​All operational and strategic objectives of the Strategy were equally targeted, except the establishment of an enabling policy framework and finance and technology transfer. This might explain the stagnating trend observed in nominal financial commitments over the last bienniums and justify more emphasis in supporting resource mobilization and partnership building efforts - including public-private partnerships - in the years ahead.​​

Formulation, revision and implementation of action programmes in view of the post-2015 sustainable development framework​​

Affected country ​Parties were requested to take a number of actions in order to increase the effectiveness of national planning instruments and internal policies. Also, they were encouraged - even if the NAP alignment process has not yet been completed - to establish voluntary national targets using the monitoring and assessment framework (progress indicators) adopted at COP 11, in order to measure progress in achieving the priorities established in their NAP.

When discussing a “plan for the NAP alignment process vis-à-vis the overall sustainable land management goals”, the CRIC may take into consideration the ongoing consultations on the Sustainable Development Goals and in particular SDG 15 and its target 15.3, which currently reads “by 2020, combat desertification, and restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land-degradation neutral world”.

Taking the above into consideration, the secretariat has outlined some basic elements for such a plan​, which would include the following:

1.       ACPs complete the revision of NAPs that have not been aligned yet, including the establishment of IIFs;

2.       The secretariat provides ACPs with national estimates for the progress indicators based on available data, and a baseline is established for these indicators;

3.       ACPs revise the national estimates provided by the secretariat and set national voluntary targets for land degradation neutrality within their NAPs;

4.       DCPs, intergovernmental organizations and the GEF provide additional technical and financial support for enabling activities in order to facilitate the assessment against progress indicators and target-setting;

5.       Parties reach an agreement at COP 13 by which every country adopts its own national voluntary target to achieve LDN and periodically reports to the COP on the implementation of its NAP and the progress made towards achieving such target;

6.       ACPs report on progress indicators and a global assessment of progress made in implementing the Convention, trends and the likelihood of achieving land neutrality targets at national, regional and global levels.​

The COP requested the secretariat and the Global Mechanism to present options to mobilize the resources and capacities required for the realization of the said plan at the national level. Some of the most significant funding options that emerged recently in this context are as follows:

  1. Investment Fund for Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN Fund): the development of a multi-stakeholder financial instrument designed for blended investments in land restoration by the public and private sector, would support the transition to land degradation neutrality.
  2. The Green Climate Fund (GCF): a significant share of the new multilateral funding committed for adaptation will flow through the GCF. A land-based approach to climate change adaptation and resilience would secure additional resources for land degradation.
  3. Global Environment Facility (GEF) Trust Fund: the sixth replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund (GEF-6) totals USD 4.43 billion over four years (July 2014 to June 2018), of which USD 431 million is allocated to the land degradation focal area.
  4. Initiative 20 x 20: with its target to restore 20 million hectares of degraded land in Latin America and the Caribbean by 2020, it contributes to the Bonn Challenge of bringing 150 million hectares of land into restoration globally by the same year.
  5. Other climate financing options: ACPs would need assistance in designing projects that improve the condition and productivity of land resources, while at the same time providing significant mitigation or carbon sequestration co-benefits.

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