In 2009, the UNCCD Conference of the Parties (COP) considered measures to enable the Convention to become a global authority on scientific and technical knowledge pertaining to desertification/land degradation and mitigation of the effects of drought. By decision 18/COP.9, the COP requested the CST: (i) to conduct an assessment on how to organize international, interdisciplinary scientific advice, taking into account the need to ensure transparency and geographical balance; and (ii) to consider options for determining agreed channels for consideration of the advice in the Convention process. It also invited the Parties, the scientific community and relevant stakeholders to provide input into the assessment process. Progress on the assessment was presented to the Second Special Session of the CST (CST S-2) in 2010 (ICCD/CST(S-2)/4) and CST10 in 2011 (ICCD/COP(10)/CST/6).
CST S-2 recommended that the secretariat, under the guidance of the CST Bureau, organize a global electronic assessment to discuss and further identify possible options and assessment criteria. Hence an electronic survey (e-survey) was conducted on how to organize international, interdisciplinary scientific advice, in English, French and Spanish. It was launched in mid-July 2011 and continued until the end of August.
The e-survey gave the Parties, the scientific community and relevant stakeholders an opportunity to provide their feedback on the four options for organizing international, interdisciplinary scientific advice, which had been identified earlier, namely a) Use of existing scientific networks, b) Establishment of a new scientific network focused on specific topics, c) Use of existing intergovernmental scientific advisory mechanisms and d) Establishment of a new intergovernmental scientific panel on land and soil. Participants could also describe and assess another option for discussion by the Parties. The key findings of the e-survey are presented in document ICCD/COP(10)/CST/MISC.1.
The Final Report
on the UNCCD e-survey to support the assessment of how to organize international interdisciplinary advice incorporates further pertinent material from ICCD/COP(10)/CST/6 and ICCD/COP(10)/CST/MISC.1 and extends the analysis presented therein. It also outlines how the findings can inform the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Scientific Advice (AHWG-SA).
Ad Hoc Working Group
Decision 20/COP.9 requested the CST to plan both long-term and short-term measures to enable the UNCCD to provide scientific support in pursuit of operational objective 3 of The Strategy. By the same decision it was decided to set up an ad hoc working group, taking into consideration regional balance, to further discuss the options for the provision of scientific advice focusing on desertification/land degradation and drought issues, taking into account the regional approach of the UNCCD. more...