Based on the successful start of the work of the UNCCD CSO Panel in 2014, the representative of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) within the Panel expressed the importance of this mechanism for proper representation of CSO interests within the UNCCD Processes. The issues of sustainable use of natural resources, adaptation to climate change, rural development and spatial planning are important and relevant to the work of various CSOs throughout the region. The sustainable use of land, and the UNCCD goals present a basis, if not even a precondition, for all these issues.
Faced with complex challenges that, in order to be dealt with, usually requires a multi-sectoral approach and involvement of all stakeholders, the CSOs are starting to recognize better the importance of land resources. Unfortunately, the CEE region so far has had a small representation of its CSOs in the regional network of the UNCCD. Participation of CSOs from CEE is expected to rise significantly in the coming years, given the fact that attracting new accredited members is one of the highest priorities set by the CSO Panel, and that the UNCCD process is becoming more sensitive to the issues raised by the CSOs represented through the CSO Panel.
All interested CSOs from CEE can obtain more information about the possibilities for participation and the accreditation process from the UNCCD Secretariat and the CSO regional representative, NGO Forestry and Environmental Action