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1st Scientific Conference

The UNCCD 1st Scientific Conference was held during the ninth session of the CST (CST9) from 22 to 24 September 2009 in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the priority theme (in line with decision 18/COP.8) “Bio-physical and socio-economic monitoring and assessment of desertification and land degradation, to support decision-making in land and water management”.

Selection Procedure
The CST Bureau developed terms of reference for a consortium and a call for expressions of interest was posted on the UNCCD Website in spring 2008. The CST Bureau at its meeting on 25 June 2008 in Bonn, Germany, selected Dryland Science for Development (DSD) as the consortium to organize the UNCCD 1st Scientific Conference.

Preparation work to the Scientific Conference
The selected consortium proposed the formation of three thematic working groups (WGs) in order to address the topic properly and to maximize the knowledge-sharing and policy relevant output. The WGs focused on: a) Integrated methods for monitoring and assessment of desertification/land degradation processes and drivers, b) Monitoring and assessment of sustainable land management, and c) Monitoring and assessment of desertification and land degradation: knowledge management, institutions and economics. Each WG conducted within the period of March to July 2009 extensive discussions by email and in meetings, including a final synthesis meeting, in order to review available knowledge. As a final output, each WG prepared a White Paper on its topic, including policy recommendations. These White Papers were subject to extensive reviews and to two global online consultations and were finally presented and discussed at the Scientific Conference.

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

The 1st Scientific Conference and the CST Session
The Scientific Conference was held for three days during the ninth session of the CST (CST9 Agenda). The number of participants in the Scientific Conference was around 350 people. Among them have been around 50 funded scientists as well as scientific delegates accredited to the COP9/CST9 (Science and Technology Correspondents (STCs), NGOs, UN/IGO representatives).

Outcome of the Scientific Conference and Publications
Recommendations of the scientists who participated in the Scientific Conference were presented to the CST and are included in document ICCD/COP(9)/CST/INF.2, which contains the report of the UNCCD 1st Scientific Conference and a summary of the synthesis and recommendations. The full text of the synthesis and recommendations of the UNCCD 1st Scientific Conference is contained in document ICCD/COP(9)/CST/INF.3.

The DSD Consortium has published the proceedings of the UNCCD 1st Scientific Conference as well as the White Paper of the DSD Working Group 3 on the topic of “Monitoring and Assessment of Desertification and Land Degradation: Knowledge Management, Institutions and Economics”. Additionally, a special issue of the journal Land Degradation & Development, entitled "Understanding Dryland Degradation Trends", has been dedicated to the UNCCD 1st Scientific Conference (Land Degradation & Development: Special issue on understanding dryland degradation trends).

Assessment of the Scientific Conference
Following decision 16/COP.9, the COP requested the secretariat to organize an in-depth assessment of the organization of the UNCCD 1st Scientific Conference in consultation with regional groups. By its decision 23/COP.9, the COP requested the Bureau of the CST to consult with Parties and regional groups to review the outcomes of the UNCCD 1st Scientific Conference. Document ICCD/CST(S-2)/2 contains an assessment of the organization and the outcomes of the UNCCD 1st Scientific Conference. The final report on the assessment of the organization of the UNCCD 1st Scientific Conference is presented in the document ICCD/COP(10)/CST/INF.3.

Website
The DSD developed a special website for the purpose of the UNCCD 1st Scientific Conference, where additional information can be found. Any relating email inquiries should be sent to: juergen.vogt@jrc.ec.europa.eu.
 

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