The UNCCD progress indicators (formerly known as impact indicators) are to provide insights on progress made in achieving long-term benefits for population living in areas affected by desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD), for affected ecosystems and for the global environment (i.e. strategic objectives 1, 2 and 3 of The Strategy).
At its eleventh session the COP adopted a refined set of six progress indicators (decision 22/COP.11) which will be used for the first time during the second leg of the fifth reporting process in 2016. The set includes two indicators for each strategic objective:
Strategic objective 1: To improve the living conditions of affected populations
- SO1-1: Trends in population living below the relative poverty line and/or income inequality in affected areas
- SO1-2: Trends in access to safe drinking water in affected areas
Strategic objective 2: To improve the condition of affected ecosystems
- SO2-1: Trends in land cover
- SO2-2: Trends in land productivity or functioning of the land
Strategic objective 3: To generate global benefits through effective implementation of the UNCCD
- SO3-1: Trends in carbon stocks above and below ground
- SO3-2: Trends in abundance and distribution of selected species
The COP also adopted an innovative approach towards measuring progress. The new approach is based on a broader use of readily available global data sources; it attempts to link global level reporting with monitoring efforts undertaken at the national/local level; it is open to both quantitative and qualitative information (i.e. narrative indicators drawn from local storylines and case studies) and puts an emphasis on stakeholder participation. For more information see decision 22/COP.11.
The adoption of the set of progress indicators and the related monitoring and evaluation appraoch is the result of an iterative, partecipatory and formative process of refinement which started in 2010, included testing through pilot exercises conducted at the national level, and was brought forward by an ad hoc Advisory Group of Technical Experts (AGTE) which presented its recommendations at COP11.