Abidjan, Beijing, Cairo, November 3, 2023 – For the first time ever, the Presidents of the last Conference of Parties (COP) of each of the three Rio Conventions have decided to join forces. With three weeks to go before the opening of COP28 in Dubai, the Presidents:
- Underlined the urgency of the situation and the inextricable links between climate change, desertification and loss of biodiversity;
- Called for a coordinated approach both at international and national levels to tackle these issues in a holistic way;
- Pleaded for more cooperation between the three COPs and their secretariats;
- And asked for urgent, concrete, measures to protect the world population, environment, lands and biodiversity to ensure a sustainable future for new generations.
They did so in a historic joint declaration released today, signed by:
- Alain-Richard Donwahi, former Minister of Water and Forestry of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and President of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification’s COP15 (UNCCD)
- Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt and President of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s COP27 (UNFCCC)
- Huang Runqiu, Minister of Ecology and Environment of the People’s Republic of China and President of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s COP15 (CBD)
At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio in 1992, the international community decided to create three different conventions to fight climate change, halt desertification and prevent loss of biodiversity. However, as these three phenomena accelerate, the interconnections between them amplify, creating a vicious circle. Breaking this vicious circle requires a holistic vision and a coordinated approach.
With this common declaration, the three Presidents hope to open a new chapter in the fight against climate change, desertification and biodiversity loss, one of coordinated efforts to face the urgency.
About UNCCD’s COP15
The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) brings together leaders from the Convention's signatory countries, the private sector, NGOs and civil society. It aims to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought, promote sustainable land management, rehabilitate and restore degraded lands and ecosystems, mobilize financial resources, develop technologies to support affected countries, and strengthen international cooperation and partnerships to address these phenomena. Like the COP on biodiversity, the COP on desertification meets every two years. Its last major meeting was held in May 2022 in Abidjan. From the previous summit until the next held in Riyadh for December 2024, the COP on Desertification has been chaired by the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, represented by Alain-Richard Donwahi.
Media contacts: Emilie Villemin +33 6 81 11 68 06