The 4th Kubuqi International Desert Forum, was co-sponsored and co-organized on Aug. 1st -4th, 2013 in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China by the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification Secretariat, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the State Forestry Administration and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region government. The forum was co-hosted by China Elion Foundation and Ordos Multiplicity, Inner Mongolia, China. The forum was composed of Opening Session, Scientific and technology Sessions, UNEP Session, UNCCD Special Session, Kubuqi Initiatives Session, Sustainable Development and Green Growth Session in Inner Mongolia, Public Awareness Session, High-level Segment, and Press Session.
The key values of the forum included:
1. Exchange of Experiences of Good Governance and Best Practice in mitigating DLDD and development of advanced renovation technologies;
2. Introduce the successful expertise and technical approaches in improving ecology, promoting green growth and enriching livelihood of desertification-prone areas of the affected regions;
3. Encourage creative concept, exploit new solutions to develop technologies to combat desertification, control land degradation and mitigate drought effects; and
4. Establish a new platform for accelerating the Research-Development-Education (R+D+E) approaches in the field of DLDD Mitigation.
The forum was attended by more than 500 participants from 36 countries of Africa, Asia, LAC, Europe, North America and Oceanic states, UN agencies and International institutions and CSOs/NGOs, including current and former state leaders of China, New Zealand, Japan, Politicians, Academicians, Noble Prize Owner, diplomats, scientists, technicians, artists, representatives of UN agencies and international organizations, CEOs of China and World class enterprises, representatives of CSOs, teachers, students, media and journalists from China and abroad.
A VIP Dialogue was launched by China Central Television (CCTV) and ED of UNEP, ES of UNCCD and senior governmental officials from ministries and provincial governments were invited to the Dialogue.
Vice Prime Minister attended the opening ceremony and read the message from Li Keqiang, Prime Minister of China. "We would like to enhance cooperation with other countries, explore new ideas and forms of combating desertification and new technologies and industries for ecological protection." Premier Li Keqiang said in a congratulatory message that "We will further promote the progress of ecological civilization during economic growth and realize the green, sustainable development of human beings."
In a congratulatory video sent to the forum, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General recognized China's great achievements in desert control, while praising the forum for providing a platform for sharing experiences on afforestation and combating desertification.
Mr. Achim Steiner, USG and ED of UNEP said in his statement that “With global development and population growth, issues of land deterioration and desertification will worsen in the future” and “UN family shows great interest in the ecological concept adopted by China and believes it can both help shape a sustainable environment for the nation and provide significant inspiration for other countries”.
Mr. Wan Gang, Minister of Science and Technology of China mentioned in his statement that "The Chinese government strives to promote the construction of an ecological civilization, and the prevention of desertification is an important part of this," said Wan Gang, minister of science and technology. Wan advised that to reduce desertification, new technologies should be highlighted. "We need to build science and technology demonstration bases to develop technology and accumulate experiences in desert control, as well as encourage enterprises to develop ecological industries and improve their capacity for innovation." "National labs, research centers and other kinds of technological platforms, such as some science and research institutions and enterprises, should also share their resources and create more new value for the prevention of desertification, as well as cultivate talents for the field," Wan said. Wan urged that bilateral and multilateral cooperation is also needed in the fight on global desertification. It is necessary to learn and introduce advanced technologies and experiences from the world while also maintaining communication and exchanging views with other countries.
Mr. Zhao Shucong, Minister of State Forestry Administration, said in a speech at the opening ceremony that China has 26.3 million sq km of land threatened by desertification, covering 27.3 percent of the nation's total land area, which affects 400 million people, The central government has allocated US$228 million annually to combating desertification, rehabilitating degraded lands in recent years. However, state projects/programmes no longer monopolize the national efforts to stabilize shifting sands and mobile dunes.
Mr. Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD Secretariat), was on his third visit to the Kubuqi Desert. UNCCD Secretariat signed a five-year strategic cooperative MOU with Beijing-based non-profit China Elion Foundation during the forum to facilitate international efforts to combat desertification. The ES of the UNCCD said "It will be in vain if we copy and paste". "Each casel should be designed specifically for a certain place with different conditions and the local people. All the business here is not suitable for Sub-Saharan Africa. But the commitment and hard work people in the Kubuqi Desert have made will inspire nations around the world." “Although many countries have made great efforts to curb desertification, the results are not so attractive, and the desertification and the land degradation worsen year by year”. The rest of the world may learn from the Kubuqi case.
Mr. Yukio HATOYAMA, former Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Michael Kenneth MOORE, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr. Wang Jun, Governor of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Mr. Quan Zhezhu, Deputy Executive President of All-China Industry and commercial Association and Vice Minister of United Frontier Affairs of China, Mr. Sha Zukang, former USG of UN and Mr. Wang Wenbiao, President of China Elion Foundation delivered their speeches and statements at the opening session.
Technical Session One focuses on policy and good governance to mitigate DLDD and the following professors and academicians made keynote presentations:
1. Mr. Luo Bin, DDG of National Bureau to Combat Desertification, SFA: State Strategy to Mitigate DLDD in China;
2. Dr. Zieaoddin Shoaei, Director General of Institute of Watershed Management of Ministry of Agriculture of Islamic Republic of Iran: Efficient Approaches strengthening Awareness Raising and Capacity Building;
3. Mr. Ying Chengguo, Vice CEO of Elion Group on Significant roles and function of private enterprises in combating desertification.
Technical Session Two stresses on Capacity Building and partnerhsip building to mitigate DLDD and the following scientists and professors made keynote presentations:
1. Mr. Cao Wenzhong, Deputy Director General of Inner Mongolia Forestry Department of Inner Mongolia: Good Governance and Policy Guarantee—provincial government’s efforts in mitigating DLDD;
2. Dr. Pak Sum LOW, Professor of Malaysia National University and Adjunct Professor of Band University of Australia: Public Partnership Promotion and Sustainable Development in Mitigating DLDD;
3. Mr. Su Ming, Director General of International cooperation Project Management of State Forestry Administration: Promoting International Cooperation and Strengthening Multilateral Development;
4. Prof. Germany Kust, Director of Key Soil Laboratary, Moscow State University: Accelerating Scientific Research and Improving Technical Capacity against Desertification and control land Degradation.
Technical Session Three emphasizes desertification process and driving forces to cause DLDD. The following scientists made keynote presentation on:
1. Dr. Wang Tao, Director of Key Lab of Desertification Studies. Chinese Academy of Sciences: Desertification processes and Control in China;
2. Dr. Eduardo S. P. R. Martins, Professor of Federal University of Ceata (UFC) and President of the Ceara State Research Institute for Meteorology and Water Resources, Brazil: Desertification combating in Brazil;
3. Prof. Shi Minjun, Deputy Director of the Research Center on Fictitious Economy and Data Science of Chinese Academy of Sciences: Driving
Forces and Mechanism Causing Land Degradation in China;
4. Prof. Uriel Safriel, Balustein Desert Research Institute of Israel: Evaluation Process and Development Trend of Desertification;
Technical Session Four deals with sustainable development and concrete measures against DLDD. The following scientists and researchers made keynote presentations:
1. Prof. Shi Paijun, Vice President of beijing Normal University: Sustainable Implementation of Projects in Desert Regions in China;
2. Dr. Raafat Fahmy Misak, Professor of Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research: Drought mitigation and Desertification Rehabilitation in Kuwait;
3. Dr. Atsushi Tsunekawa, Director of Arid Land Research Center, Tottori University: UNCCD-based Principle and strategyu against Desertification;
4. Dr. Mikhai Kalinin, Academician of Belorussia National Academy of Sciences: Methodology for Selecting Artificial Underground Reservoir Under Arid Climate Condition.
UNCCD Special Session on Dialogue between CEOs and Academicians on Zero Net Land Degradation (ZNLD) and Green Growth was hosted by UNCCD ES. The session is focused on ZNLD and Green Growth and following academicians and CEOs made theme presentations:
1. Mr. Luc Gnacadja, ES of UNCCD: Introduction to ZNLD;
2. Mr. Kwon Byonghyon, Chairman of Future Forest, RoK: Billion Trees in Desert;
3. Prof. A Tsokhio, Consular to Environment Minister; Green Wall in Mongolia;
4. Dr. Mohamed Ismall: Pilot project implementation in Tunisia;
5. Dr. Estupinan Cesar Sigifredo Morales: Economic Costs of Land Degradation;
6. Mr. Ben Ner Zohar, Exec. Vice President, Kaiima Biotechnology Comp., Israel;
7. Mr. Alon Teichtal, CEO, Netafim, Israel Asian-Pacific Region;
8. Mr. Gao Guangwen, Business Deve. Director, Svenska Kullager-Fabriken(SKF);
High-level Segment on International Concerns on Global Issues was chaired by Mr. Luc Gnacadja, ES of UNCCD. The following VIP speakers delivered Core theme Presentations:
1. Mr. Yang Kaisheng, former President of China Industry-Commercial Bank:
2. Prof. Tang Xiaoyan, Academician of Chinese Engineering Academy;
After the third plenary session, a global desert technology website was launched and named as: www.globaldeserttech.org.
The Close Session of the Forum was chaired by Mr. Luc Gnacadja. Mr. Zheng Rui, Coordinator of RCF of UNCCD Secretariat read the Summary Report of the 4th KIDF and expressed sincere thanks to Government of China, MOST, SFA, Government of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Ordos City, China Elion Foundation, Elion Resource Group, UNEP and UNCCD, and all secretariat staff of the forum, who made significant contribution to the success of the Forum.