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Alignment of Action Programmes to The Strategy

In decision 3/COP.8, affected country parties are urged "…to align their action programmes and other relevant implementation activities relating to the Convention with The Strategy by, inter alia, addressing the outcomes under the five operational objectives (paragraph 5)."

By the same decision (paragraph 45), the COP recognized the need for Parties to realign their national action programmes (NAPs) with The Strategy, and invited Parties, with the assistance of the Global Mechanism (GM) to mobilize international and national resources, both technical and financial, to assist countries with this realignment. Furthermore, at the seventh session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 7), Parties recommended that the alignment of the implementation of Action Programmes be enhanced, and requested joint financial and technical support for this from the GM and the secretariat, depending on their respective mandates, in undertaking the activities which would be necessary.

In addition, outcome 2.2 of The Strategy requests affected country parties to revise their NAPs into strategic documents supported by biophysical and socio-economic baseline information, and to include them in integrated investment frameworks; outcome 2.3 requests affected country Parties to include their NAPs and sustainable land management (SLM) and land degradation issues in development planning and relevant sectoral and investment plans and policies.

The above COP provisions were complemented by specific recommendations from CRIC 7 by which: (i) the need to integrate NAPs, subregional action programmes (SRAPs) and regional action programmes (RAPS) into overarching development plans such as Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers was emphasized (paragraph 21), (ii) the application and monitoring of the new and standardized reporting guidelines was addressed (paragraph 86), (iii) it was recommended that a process be established through which the Parties of a subregion or region could harmonize available information at the national level in order to prepare SRAPs and RAPs as appropriate, in the context of the forthcoming regional mechanisms (paragraph 102), and (iv) the need to develop an indicator system that should go hand in hand with the alignment of APs was also stressed (paragraph 109). The first special session of the Committee on Science and Technology further recommended that improved economic and biophysical baselines be used, as well as lessons drawn from similar alignment experiences.

Preparation of Guidelines

It is within this context that the secretariat has prepared guidelines for the alignment of Action Programmes with The Strategy. The formulation of the guidelines has followed a process of five major steps. In the first step, three regional consultants (for Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean) prepared draft guidelines, which in the second step were discussed at a series of subregional workshops. In the third step, the outcome of this process was reviewed at an inter-agency meeting, with a view to finalizing the guidelines before their submission to COP 9 for consideration.

Mandate received at COP 9

The guidelines were tabled at COP 9 (ICCD/COP(9)/2/Add.1) and in Decision 2/COP.9 on the “Alignment of the action programmes with The Strategy” Parties invite affected country Parties and other relevant stakeholders, to use the alignment guidelines as the reference tool in the process of aligning their action programmes with the five operational objectives of The Strategy. The decision further requests the Secretariat to facilitate the provision of relevant technical assistance to affected country Parties for the alignment and/or revision of action programmes at all levels; and, urges the GM in close collaboration with the secretariat to assist affected country Parties with a view to foster resource mobilization for the aligned implementation of action programmes. Complimentary to this, decision 13/COP.9 sets for the performance indicator cons-o-5 the target of an 80% completion of the NAP alignment process by year 2014.

Global Programme for assisting to affected country parties

Based on their supportive role to the achievement of Operational Objective two of The Strategy, the Secretariat and the GM will provide assistance to affected country parties in line with their mandate. The alignment of NAP will be carried forward using and further elaborating the alignment guidelines adopted at decision 2/COP.9. As put forward in the Joint workprogramme of the Global Mechanism and the Secretariat (E.A. 2.1.) a global programme for assisting affected country parties in the development review, alignment and or revision of Action programmes is developed.

Components of the programme and their timeframe

1. Consultation with Parties and global survey on national action programmes June 2010
2. The Secretariat along with GM, UNDP and the GEF design of a global programme for the review and alignment of National Action Programmes June-July 2010
3. Crash phase covering a limited number of target countries July 2010-January 2011
4. Provision of advisory and technical services to all requesting affected country parties within the context of the global programme February 2011- COP 10

Main activities and outputs

Component 1

  1. Consultation of Parties via questionnaire based on the NAP guidelines and therelevant performance indicators with a view to:
    1. Undertake a comparative analyses of NAPs in all Annexes regarding their revisions and alignment needs
    2. Improve the guidelines on NAP alignment, as required
    3. Get input on the needs of the country Parties of a Global Programme
    4. Help in the selection process of the countries to be serviced in the kick start phase
  2. Analyses of feedback received from countries via the questionnaire and preparation of a synthesis report to serve inter alia in helping in the design of the global programme

Component 2

  1. Further develop partnership between the Secretariat, GM, UNDP and the GEF as regards the action programme alignment process
  2. Organisation of one-day planning meeting with the Regional Chairpersons to develop in coordination with UNDP, GM and the GEF and a global programme for assisting affected country parties in the review and alignment of action programmes with a view to:
    1. Agree on a strategic approach involving the Secretariat, the GM, the GEF the UNDP and other partners to support the action programmes alignment process, especially with regards assisting countries requesting for funding through the GEF-5 STAR allocations for land degradation
    2. Identify institutions, financial resources and Parties that may assist and or accompany the alignment process
    3. Establish the lines of work cooperation of all institutions supporting to the alignment process
    4. Define criteria to identify 14 target countries to test the NAP guidelines in the crash phase of the programme and help to refine the design of the global programme
    5. Agree on modalities for implementation of the crash phase
  3. Elaborate a project document to be submitted to GEF and other partners in July 2010

Component 3

  1. Identification of up to 14 target countries, in collaboration with UNDP and the GM, and consultations with the countries on the implementation of the crash phase taking also into consideration lessons thus far learned from the alignment process
  2. Provision of advisory services and technical and financial assistance to the target countries
  3. Further elaboration of guidelines and capacity-building material to be applied as training material in the global programme
  4. Formulation of the global programme, in consultation with UNDP and the GM
  5. Preparation of joint UNDP, GM Secretariat side event at CRIC 9 to present the global programme ahead, as well as the lessons learned from the crash phase

Component 4

The concrete steps and activities of this global programme will be defined once the results of the survey will be available, and further refined during the crash phase. However, it is suggested that activities should include:

  1. Launching of the global programme
  2. Organisation and holding of regional workshops to initiate the process of NAP alignment through targeted capacity development actions, possibly back-to-back to regional consultations
  3. Provision of technical, financial and advisory services to eligible affected countries

Actions being taken with the limited resources available and building upon existing framework of cooperation at country level

In accordance with the above mentioned draft programme, the Secretariat has already initiated consultations with UNDP and the GM with the view of defining the criteria against which target countries of the crash phase could be identified. These are as follows:

  • Geographical balance (with reference to the Regional Implementation Annexes);
  • Comparative advantage: ongoing or planned cooperation by the three institutions at national level (being on mainstreaming, integrated financial strategy or other actions);
  • Status of the national action programme (planned, finalized, being implemented).

Since the crash programme could only rely on ongoing activities at country level and/or on limited catalytic funding for its activities, it is expected that up to 14 countries will initially benefit from this preliminary action.

A meeting with the Chairpersons of the Regional Implementation Annexes has been convened in Prague, on 11 June 2010, to consider options on further support to the alignment process.

For more information, contact:
Richard Byron-Cox,
NAP alignment and Capacity Building Officer,
Facilitation Capacity Building Monitoring and Implementation Unit (FCMI),
Tel. +49 228 815 2827,
Fax + 49 228 815 2897/98,


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