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UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference

The UNCCD 2nd scientific conference was held during the third special session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST S-3) from 9 to 12 April 2013 in Bonn, Germany, on the theme “Economic Assessment of desertification, sustainable land management and resilience of arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas” (decision 16/COP.9).

The conference was organized by the Global Risk Forum (GRF) Davos under the guidance of the Bureau of the CST. At least 350 participants are estimated to have taken part in the 2nd Scientific Conference, of which as many as 190 were independent scientists, in addition to 15 special guests and keynote/plenary speakers, 21 side-event or exhibition organizers, 16 media representatives, 22 NGO/IGOs, and over 20 members of other United Nations entities.

A steering committee, composed of members of the CST Bureau, the GRF Davos and the UNCCD secretariat, was established in order to coordinate the organization of the conference.  In addition a scientific advisory committee (SAC) was established, composed of 12 experts with experience in economic assessment of land degradation, sustainable land management and resilience of arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas.

Two Working Groups have been formed with the task to elaborate White Papers on the following identified conference sub-topics:
  1. Economic and social impacts of desertification/land degradation and drought (DLDD);
  2. Costs and benefits of policies and practices addressing land degradation and drought in the drylands.

Based on the White Papers, a background document was also prepared in preparation for the conference as a stand-alone, critical-synthesis document focusing on “The economics of desertification, land degradation and drought: methodologies and analysis for decision making.”

Recommendations of the scientists who participated in the 2nd scientific conference were presented to the CST as included in document ICCD/COP(11)/CST/INF.3 and ICCD/COP(11)/CST/INF.3/Corr.1.

In the aftermath of the conference, GRF Davos published a Special Issue on Desertification in its e-journal Planet@Risk.

More information on the conference, including short and extended abstracts and posters, can be retrieved on the website of the UNCCD 2nd Scientific Conference.

Assessment of the 2nd scientific conference
In accordance with decision 18/COP.10, an assessment of the organization of the UNCCD 2nd scientific conference and a review of its outcomes were conducted. Findings can be found in document ICCD/COP(11)/CST/4 and ICCD/COP(11)/CST/INF.5.

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