Highlights and images for 2 September 2019



Highlights for Monday, 2 September 2019

 Principals of COP 14 heading out to the flag-raising ceremony

The fourteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP14) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) opened in New Delhi, India, on Monday afternoon. The opening plenary was preceded by a formal flag-raising ceremony that symbolized the handing over of the premises to the UN by the Government of India.

In his introductory remarks, COP President Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, India, observed that just as human actions have created the problems of climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss, further human action, intent, technology and intellect are needed to  undo the damage and preserve the earth for future generations. UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw described COP 14, which also coincides with the 25th anniversary of the UNCCD, as the largest COP ever and expressed hope that the policy decisions taken at this session would mark “a major turning point for how we manage the scarce land and water resources we have left.”

In a briefing with media representatives earlier in the day, Thiaw identified the two priority issues for this COP as drought and land tenure, noting that they not only link the UNCCD to the other two Rio Conventions, but also touch on almost all the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

During opening statements, many representatives of regional groups and other stakeholders welcomed the focus on emerging Convention themes, such as drought and land tenure although there were indications that it may not be easy to reach agreement on the more political aspects of these issues.

Five side events also took place during the day, exploring, among other themes: how to apply the Research in Development approach to scale land restoration and achieve land degradation neutrality (LDN); how to translate soil and land rehabilitation into action for LDN and sustainable livelihoods; links between land desertification and health; and country experiences in restoring degraded landscapes.For more details on the day’s negotiations and to hear what delegates said in the corridors, see our daily Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB).

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB meeting coverage, is providing daily web coverage and daily reports from UNCCD COP 14. In addition, IISD Reporting Services will publish a summary and analyrs report from this session on Monday, 16 September 2019.

Photos by IISD/ENB | Ángeles Estrada

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Opening Ceremony
UNCCD Deputy Executive Secretary, Pradeep Monga; UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw; Sun Guoji, on behalf of the COP 13 President; Carmen Margina and Rajeb Boulharouf, UNCCD
Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, India, delivering an opening statement
Sun Guoji, on behalf of the COP 13 President Zhang Jianlong, delivering an opening statement
Babul Supriyo, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, delivering a statement on behalf of India
Trevor Thompson, Grenada
Adnan Ab Hija, Palestine
Rawea Mizel Mahmood Al-Azawi, Iraq
Abdu Alsharef, Saudi Arabia
Daniel Sultana, Malta
Bhawani Shanker Kusum, Civil Society representative, India
Participants during the opening ceremony
Marcos Montoiro, UNCCD Secretariat
Press Conference
UNCCD Deputy Executive Secretary Pradeep Monga; UNCCD Executive Secretary Ibrahim Thiaw; and COP 14 President Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, India
COP 14 President  Prakash Javadekar
Flag-raising ceremony
Around the Venue