On May 20-22 the training workshop on UNCCD national reporting was held at the Head Office of the Regional Environmental Center (REC) in the city of Szentendre, Hungary. The workshop was organized by the UNCCD secretariat and the Global Mechanism as part of a Global Support Programme (GSP) funded by the GEF and implemented by UNEP.
40 participants from 23 countries attended the workshop. They were from Central and Eastern Europe, Northern Mediterranean and Central Asia. The main languages used for communication and translations were English and Russian. The Director of the REC Ms. Marta Szigeti Bonifert officially opened the workshop together with Mr. Péter Molnár, Representative of the General Directorate of Water Management of Hungary and the UNCCD National Focal Point who gave participants a warm welcome remark on behalf of his government.
During the three days training, focal points and reporting officers received guidelines on the 2014 UNCCD reporting procedure. The participants were familiarized with various reporting tools - simplified offline PDF fillable templates, reporting manual, glossary of terms and support facilities such as helpdesk and assistance of regional consultants. The workshop was very interactive with several group discussions. National representatives volunteered to share their experiences related to collecting and structuring data for the UNCCD reports. During practical exercises the participants were actively engaged and raised very valuable questions and suggestions for further improvements.
The workshop provided a good platform for Country Parties to familiarize with the experience and activities of the Regional Environmental Center and possibilities for future cooperation within the framework of the Regional Action Programme.
The workshop evaluation survey showed that participants acknowledged a significant improvement in understanding the UNCCD reporting requirements including data collection mechanisms and data organization. In this context they acknowledged that they were substantially better prepared to finalize their reports for 2014. The training in Hungary was one of the series of workshops aimed at strengthening the capacities of Country Parties to undertake the 2014 reporting exercise.
The workshop materials will be available here