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UNCCD 1st Scientific Conference

The UNCCD 1st scientific conference was held during the ninth session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST) from 22 to 24 September 2009 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on the theme “Bio-physical and Socio-economic Monitoring and Assessment of Desertification and Land Degradation to Support Decision Making in Land and Water Management” (decision 18/COP.8).

The conference was organised by the Dryland Science for Development (DSD) consortium in consultation with the Bureau of the CST. It brought together about 350 participants, including leading scientists from around the world to discuss the state-of-the art in monitoring and assessment of land degradation and desertification, sustainable land management, and the management of related knowledge.

In preparation for the conference, three Thematic Working Groups (WGs) were set up to work on the following specific topics:
  1. Integrated methods for monitoring and assessment of desertification/land degradation processes and drivers;
  2. Monitoring and assessment of sustainable land management; and
  3. Monitoring and assessment of desertification and land degradation: knowledge management, institutions and economics.
Each WG prepared a White Paper which was subject to extensive reviews and to two global online consultations and was finally presented and discussed at the Conference.

Another opportunity for participation in the scientific discussions was through a competitive poster session; some 50 posters where presented during the whole duration of CST9 (Poster Session - Book of Abstracts).

Recommendations of the scientists who participated in the 1st scientific conference were presented to the CST as included in document ICCD/COP(9)/CST/INF.2 (summary) and  ICCD/COP(9)/CST/INF.3 (full-text).

In the aftermath of the conference, the DSD consortium published the proceedings of the UNCCD 1st Scientific Conference as well as the White Paper of the DSD Working Group 3. Additionally, a special issue of the journal Land Degradation & Development, entitled "Understanding Land Degradation Trends", has been dedicated to the UNCCD 1st Scientific Conference.

More information on the Working Groups and the White Papers can be retrieved from the DSD Website.

Assessment of the 1st scientific conference
In accordance with decision 16/COP.9 and 23/COP.9, an assessment of the organization of the UNCCD 1st Scientific Conference and a review of its outcomes were conducted. Findings can be found in document ICCD/CST(S-2)/2 and ICCD/COP(10)/CST/INF.3.


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