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The Science-Policy Interface (SPI)

The establishment of the Science-Policy Interface (SPI) was decided by the Conference of the Parties at its eleventh session (decision 23/COP.11 and its corrigendum) with the goal to facilitate a two-way science-policy dialogue and ensure the delivery of policy-relevant information, knowledge and advice on desertification/land degradation and drought (DLDD).

The SPI comprises a body of globally renowned DLDD and political scientists, who will identify the needs for scientific knowledge, explore mechanisms for addressing them and present findings to policymakers in a language that can be used to mold effective and sustainable land use policies to secure land productivity.

The work of the SPI is guided by the objectives of its work programme.

One of the main objectives of the SPI work programme 2016-2017 is the provision of scientific guidance to operationalize land degradation neutrality (LDN).
The recently released science-policy brief 'Land in Balance' gives an overview of the scientific conceptual framework for land degradation neutrality (LDN) which is being developed by the SPI. The conceptual framework creates a common understanding of the LDN objective and consistency in approaches to achieving LDN.

During the biennium 2014-2015, the SPI worked on the following issues: 

  • Monitoring the contribution of sustainable land use and management to climate change adaptation/mitigation and to the safeguarding of biodiversity and ecosystem services (ICCD/COP(12)/CST/3 and ICCD/COP(12)/CST/INF.1)
  • Translating the outcomes of the UNCCD 3rd scientific conference into policy-oriented recommendations (ICCD/COP(12)/CST/2)
  • Assessing the policy impacts of the UNCCD 1st and 2nd scientific conferences and proposing institutional arrangements for the improved provision of scientific advice to the UNCCD decision-making processes (ICCD/COP(12)/CST/4 and ICCD/COP(12)/CST/INF.2)
  • Contributing to the scoping of the thematic assessment on land degradation and restoration conducted by the IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) and establishing a collaboration mechanism between the SPI and the ITPS (Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils) (ICCD/COP(12)/CST/6 and ICCD/COP(12)/CST/INF.4)

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