The fifteenth session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 15) concluded on 20 October with great strides to refine the direction of the Convention’s strategic future.
At the closing of the session, the UNCCD Executive Secretary Monique Barbut expressed hope that the Convention could find solutions for the ecosystems affected by land degradation and deliver services to those affected by it. She also expressed hope that most Parties will have LDN targets and make those ambitions a reality. Further, she reiterated the importance of the coming months for addressing synergies among the Rio Conventions as the other sister conventions, namely, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will organize their Conference of the Parties in Marrakesh and Cancun respectively.
In the closing statement, CRIC 15 Chair Raymond Baptiste (Grenada), asked parties to reflect one question. Can we truly achieve LDN on a global scale if the remaining countries were to set voluntary national targets? He said he raised the question in light of the issue of national sovereignty. He said this would be his last CRIC session as he would soon be retiring, but noted that his exit does not mark an end to his commitment to the work of the Convention. He urged delegates to hasten the delivery of the outputs.
Each of the regional groups made its closing remarks, and Turkey, which holds the COP 12 Presidency, said the enthusiasm shown to take the Convention to a new level and to succeed was inspiring.
The UNCCD turns its energy for the next COP, which will be organized in Ordos, China, next year. At the next COP, the Parties will decide on the Strategic Framework that will guide action under the Convention from 2018-2030.
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