UNCCD COP14 Side Event – New Delhi

UNCCD COP14 India to host 14th Conference of Parties COP-14 of UNCCD
On the 4th of September, a side-event was co-organized with Biodiversity Facility during the UNCCD COP14 (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification). The speakers and participants discussed the opportunities offered by two initiatives to create synergies and set up targets common to the 3 Rio conventions and explore/ discuss best approach to mobilize non-State actors.

During the UNCCD COP14 (2nd-13th September 2019) in New Delhi, the side-event entitled “Designing national targets and mobilizing actors across sectors in order to catalyze synergies between the Rio Conventions” was organized by IUCN with the support of the project.
The side-event gathered around 40 participants among whom several UNCCD National Focal Points, members of the IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development), the African Union, African Development Bank representatives and UNCCD Secretariat representatives.

It built on the priorities the 3 Rio Conventions share in common:

  • catalyzing and coordinating action across the main economic sectors concerned with sustainable land management, including agriculture, water, and environment;
  • ensuring that national targets are fully domesticated at sub-national level.

The workshop presented briefly two recent initiatives:
1/ Post2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support project
2/ The AFD Biodiversity Facilitation, a project designed to support a group of 16 countries in reducing impacts on nature conservation by/through designing ambitious and concrete national and sectoral commitments for the next decade. These countries cover a wide range of national situations: various nature conservation challenges, diverse economies depending on natural resources, diversity of scales and types of ecosystems.
Thanks to the project, they will emerge as pilots for coming Rio Conventions COP with multi-stakeholders voluntary and tangible commitments.
This Facilitation project also contributes at making African societies and ecosystems more resilient.

The key message conveyed through this side-event was over convergence of objectives and actions when it comes to the 3 Rio Conventions.

More specifically the participants were asked to exchange views on two specifics items:

  • Setting targets
  • Involving non-State actors

The session was split in two panels. Among the key speakers we found:

1st Panel

  • Marie-Hélène Schwoob, UNCCD (Executive Secretary Conselor)
  • Basile van Havre and Francis Ogwal, co-Chairs of the Open-Ended Working Group for the CBD Post 2020
  • Ghousébasha Gaffar, Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (France)
  • Jean-Luc Chotte, Research Institute on Development (IRD)

2nd panel:

  • Philippe Puydarrieux, (IUCN Headquaters)
  • Fortunée Dossou Worou, UNCCD Focal Point (Benin)
  • Lazare Dambatia Tagnabou, UNCCD Focal Point (Burkina Faso)
  • Elvis Paul Tangem, African Union

Interventions from Burkina-Faso and Benin provided valuable insights to the debate, as well as an instructive discussion with the African Union. The on-going initiatives in the field of biodiversity conservation, aiming at setting science-based targets and at catalysing and mobilizing action across sectors could have a significant impact on land degradation neutrality and simultaneously positive impact on biodiversity and climate.

Main discussion was around synergy and what it means. There is a need to clarify what we mean by the term synergy: it must be about more than just avoiding contradictions. Synergies could exist at Convention level, but also at operational level: target setting, mobilization of actors on the ground. At local level, UNCCD and Land Degradation Neutrality appear more clearly as a key point of convergence between the UNFCCC and the CBD.

Watch the video of co-chairs of the OEWG for UNCCD Cop14 :

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