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Capacity Building – A cornerstone in the UNCCD Process

The creation, expansion, correct application and sharing of pertinent knowledge, skills, techniques and technology is essential to  the result oriented implementation of the UNCCD  and its 10-Year Strategy. Creating, developing and strengthening of scientific, human-resource, organizational and institutional capacity must of necessity be addressed (in particular in the affected developing country Parties) to achieve real and meaning full success in the implementation the UNCCD on the ground.

Facilitation -in accordance with the relevant COP decisions- of the implementation of these two complimentary and very interrelated processes, is the central objective of driving the Secretariat work in the area of capacity building.

The Convention

Capacity building has been a key element in the UNCCD process from its very beginning. Article 19 of the Convention points to the importance of addressing this issue by stipulating: “The Parties recognize the significance of capacity building -- that is to say, institution building, training and development of relevant local and national capacities -- in efforts to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought. They shall promote, as appropriate, capacity building: ..” And the Regional Annexes I, II and III which are integral part of the Convention proper, call for the issue of capacity building needs to be appropriately addressed, so as to ensure the efficacious implementation of the Convention.
The Conference of the Parties
Virtually from the very beginning of the UNCCD process, Parties identified the lack of requisite capacity, particularly at the national level, as a major stumbling block as regards the effective implementation of the Convention.  Consequently, over the years the Conferences of the Parties (COP) have reinforced this recognition calling for the development and strengthening of capacity so as to ensure meaningful implementation, in particular at the grassroots levels. Over the period of its ten regular sessions, the COP has adopted more than twenty five decisions directly related to the issues of capacity building. In the present dispensation, that is, since the adoption of the 10-Year Strategy, capacity building features prominently as one of its key operation objectives.
The Secretariat
The present work plan of the Secretariat for 2012-2015 agreed upon at the Tenth Session of the COP, mandates that opportunities for targeted capacity building under the Convention are improved,  thus allowing for the extended participation of  Parties in this area with the aim to better address Convention-related needs. In seeking to fulfill this challenging mandate, the Secretariat reasons that,( guided by the pertinent COP decisions,) it is not only important to collect needs identified by Parties for capacity building. But it is equally valuable that the opportunities offered by Parties and all other partners, be collected and transmitted.  In this way needs and possible answers are brought together at a common place and time. Meeting this latter task efficiently is a major objective of the Secretariat as regards supporting efforts in capacity building, and hence a main reason for the market place on this website.
Cognisant of the  fact that alignment of their action programmes to the 10-Year Strategy (2008-2018) is a key obligation of all affected country Parties, the COP at its tenth session (COP10) made facilitating capacity building in this area part of the Secretariat’s mandate. It specifically calls for Secretariat support to build institutional and technical capacity for the effective alignment and implementation of these programmes.
As is recognized by the COP itself, the pursuit of capacity building in this process is multifaceted, complex, and demands various types of resources. It is therefore of paramount importance that this pursuit is done inter alia through the building of partnerships, and through the harnessing and use all available resources in the most applicable manner. Further, it is crucial that the additional required resources are mobilized and that all stakeholders play their roles so that there is a comprehensive and all inclusive approach to the process of capacity building. This therefore is the task of the Secretariat as facilitator of the implementation of the UNCCD.
Meaningful capacity building is a continuous process and always a work in progress. It is therefore dynamic and must at times be adjusted and redesigned to meet changes and emerging needs as the implementation process itself gains momentum. The market place on this website is constructed with the vision, flexibility and ambition to allow for all of these requirements to be met. It is a global public space where all is brought together, to work in unison to achieve the common purpose.
As outlined above, building partnerships is essential as a significant supporting mechanism in the UNCCD capacity building process.  The Secretariat is therefore collaborating with partners at all levels, creating linkages and helping to identify and use the possibilities for synergies. Consequently, the Secretariat collaborates with its partners and stakeholders in research, education, awareness raising and knowledge sharing; and promoting relevant fellowships among others. These partners include the UNDP, IUCN, UNITA, the UNFCCC, UNEP, UN Water, the World Bank, the CBD, Civil Society Organizations, regional and sub-regional organizations and educational institutions.
The inputs and results from such a broad-based and varied partnership could only but help in making this market place more universal in its ability to help meet the UNCCD Capacity Building needs. And, here is your special invitation to join us and have your say in helping to guide the further development of this market place.
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Contact Information

Richard Byron-Cox , UNCCD Capacity Building Officer

Main Contact

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