The 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 15) convened in the morning, with a second meeting of the Committee of the Whole (COW). Delegates welcomed a report on the UNCCD 2018–2030 Strategic Framework, acknowledging the importance of a scientifically robust mid-term evaluation to implement “the backbone of the Convention.”
Delegates then heard reports on four policy frameworks and thematic issues: migration, gender, sand and dust storms (SDS), and land tenure.
On migration, parties offered practical suggestions to:
- collect and use data to establish desertification-migration linkages;
- assess effectiveness of funding mechanisms to tap into resources of diasporas; and
- establish a special fund for internally displaced people.
On the topic of gender, parties underscored the importance of land tenure and access to natural resources, as well as the need to: improve gender-sensitive financing; produce sex-disaggregated data; and add gender experts to the Science-Policy Interface (SPI).
Parties commended the development of the SDS Toolbox and Compendium of technical information and guidance on risk assessment, and called for further research on SDS drivers and capacity building to alleviate environmental management weaknesses.
In discussions on land tenure, parties underscored the importance of tenure governance for sustainable land management (SLM) and land degradation neutrality (LDN), in particular concerning the rights of women, youth and Indigenous Peoples.
The Committee on Science and Technology (CST) contact group concluded its negotiations on draft text and forwarded six decisions to the COP, where the report of the session was adopted, including all decisions.
The day’s negotiations ended on a high note with a reception to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Changwon Initiative.