1st мeeting of the intergovernmental working group on midterm evaluation

The IWG-MTE held its first meeting from 13 to 15 February 2023 in Bonn, Germany. The purpose of this meeting was to set the basis for the midterm evaluation and to consider the programme of work of the IWG-MTE. The group considered the content, implementation and monitoring of the Strategic Framework and discussed on the scope, focus and methodology of the independent assessment. The secretariat and the Global Mechanism, as well as the team of external evaluators that will prepare the independent assessment, made several presentations on these topics. Information was provided also on a variety of other processes that are interlinked with the midterm evaluation, such as the IWG on drought and the review of the Science-Policy Interface. The IWG-MTE considered its own tasks and work programme and agreed on a schedule for its work. Its first task is to ensure that the independent assessment is responsive to the objectives and criteria of the evaluation and conducted according to high evaluation standards, and many related measures were considered at the first meeting. The group also discussed in detail its task of advising the secretariat on the organisation of the participatory consultations on the conclusions and recommendations of the independent assessment. According to the COP decision on the terms of reference of the midterm evaluation, these consultations are to be organised during the CRIC, but they are not included in the programme of work for the CRIC. This leaves room for differing interpretations bon how and when the consultations would be organised. The matter is now with the CRIC Bureau, and it will provide its recommendation for the consideration of the COP Bureau. Next steps In the coming weeks, the IWG MTE members and observers will provide further feedback to the preparation of the independent assessment. By the end of March, the planning of the assessment will be completed and the team of evaluators will start the data collection. In April-May, the UNCCD national focal points, science-technology correspondents, accredited civil society organisations and other key stakeholders will be invited to participate in a survey, and some targeted interviews will be organised as well. The IWG-MTE will discuss on the emerging findings of the independent assessment in an online meeting of the group before the end of June. Its next in-person meeting will be held immediately after the CRIC session in October. That meeting will start the consideration of the report of the group, building on the independent assessment.

UNCCD thanks the Government of Türkiye for the support through the Ankara Initiative

Message from the UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw As we close the curtains of the Ankara Initiative, which supported the UNCCD for many years, let me start by thanking the Government of Türkiye for your global efforts to advocate for, protect, sustainably manage and restore the land.   Since 2016, the Ankara Initiative has supported the UNCCD and its parties in building capacities and deepening their knowledge to successfully promote land restoration worldwide as an important solution to multiple challenges.   Since its inception, this initiative has meant an influx of much needed resources to promote the objectives or our convention. One is through policy development in the areas of tenure and gender, as well as capacity building for our national focal points, specifically from Africa. Another is the support to the youth and the Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting Programme.   More than a simple technical support, the Ankara Initiative has been part of the environmental diplomacy. Behind the concept of Land Degradation Neutrality, which was eventually embedded in the process of the Sustainable Development Goals under SDG 15.3, we have political and financial support of many countries, including Türkiye.   Sand and Dust Storms constitute a grave concern to many countries and communities. They affect human health and wellbeing, ecosystems and communities, and deteriorate economic conditions of millions of people around the world. The Ankara Initiative has been a door opener for many conversations and technical workshops.   We thank the Government of Türkiye once again for their invaluable support to the Convention. We look forward to a continued cooperation and collaboration.  


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