In line with Article 24 of the UNCCD, the Committee on Science and Technology (CST) is established as a subsidiary body of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to provide it with information and advice on scientific and technological matters relating to combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought. The twelfth session of the CST (CST 12) was held in conjunction with COP 12, from 13 to 16 October 2015 in Ankara, Turkey.
The CST 12 meetings had very interactive and lively discussions, and featured presentations by various stakeholders involved in the process. Six draft decisions were adopted in the closing session on Friday October 16th, which were forwarded to the COP. Three decisions were adopted by the COP on October 16th, and after further consultation the other three decisions were adopted on Thursday October 22nd.
CST Chair, Uriel Safriel, commented that this was the first session in the CST’s history to test the UNCCD Science-Policy Interface (SPI) efforts to channel scientific advice to the CST. The establishment of the UNCCD SPI was decided at COP11, with the goal to facilitate a two-way science-policy dialogue and ensure the delivery of policy-relevant information, knowledge and advice. The SPI played an active role during CST12, and put forward a policy oriented proposal based on the outcomes of the UNCCD 3rd Scientific Conference (Cancun, Mexico, 2015). It also put forward options for improving the CST inputs to decision making, and proposals for the use of land-based indicators across the Rio conventions.
The CST adopted an ambitious work programme for the SPI in 2016-2017, which will tackle issues related to Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN), the restoration of degraded lands, and the role of Sustainable Land Management (SLM) in addressing DLDD, climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Further the CST adopted a decision regarding the dissemination of Scientific Knowledge and Best Practices, through the two key UNCCD Knowledge Products, the Capacity Building Marketplace and the Scientific Knowledge Brokering Portal SKBP.
Various side events at the CST showcased the work of the secretariat, the GM and partners towards the dissemination of Scientific Knowledge, and towards the development of indicators towards LDN.