Unbiased, peer-reviewed interdisciplinary and independent science that is available on time and in policy-relevant however not policy prescriptive formats is indispensable for the preparedness of decision-makers to implement sustainable land management and sustainable development goals (SDGs) in areas exposed to or at risk of land degradation and desertification.
Scientists of the Network for International Research on Desertification - established as the independent association DesertNet International (DNI) - have been actively involved in recent discussions in the scientific arena and at the science-policy interface on identifying pathways for providing scientific advice on desertification, land degradation and drought issues to support the implementation of the aims of the UNCCD.
This side event will firstly provide insight into the scientific needs and requirements identified by scientists from Africa, Asia and Latin America to improve policy measures to combat desertification and land degradation, and secondly highlight major findings on needs and requirements identified by DesertNet International in the recent scientific debate on improving the science-policy interface on desertification and land degradation. These presentations will set the scene to present and discuss the independent science-driven initiative of DesertNet International to pursue a networking process between existing international scientific networks and stakeholder initiatives. This step is regarded as an essential and necessary first step to trigger the evolution of an international web of independent and unbiased scientific knowledge generating and knowledge bearing system on land degradation and desertification. DesertNet International believes that such a horizontal network of scientific (institutions) and initiatives could lay the required broad multi-disciplinary participatory basis to achieve the necessary legitimacy to inform policy-making for the UNCCD and other related MEAs.
The discussions at the side event will finally focus on next steps needed, including minimum resources and a possible time frame to put in place such a horizontal structure of existing independent scientific initiatives, networks and institutions working on desertification and land degradation.