UNCCD COP 11 Opens in Namibia

unccd-cop1116 September 2013: The eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD COP 11) opened on 16 September 2013, with parties offering opening statements during an afternoon plenary. The COP is meeting in Windhoek, Namibia, and will conclude on 27 September 2013.

COP 11 is taking place under the theme 'A stronger UNCCD for a Land-Degradation Neutral World,' and is being convened at the halfway point of the 10-Year Strategy of the UNCCD (2008-2018). Delegates will review progress made in the implementation of the Strategy, and consider the outcome of the second and preparations for the third UNCCD Scientific Conferences and reports of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST) and the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC).

Other agenda items include: follow-up to the outcomes of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) outcome on land degradation, desertification and drought (DLDD); improving mechanisms to facilitate regional coordination of the implementation of the Convention; programme and budget for the biennium 2014-2015; progress in the implementation of the comprehensive communication Strategy; revised procedures for the accreditation of civil society organizations (CSOs) and private sector representatives in meetings and processes of the UNCCD; and maintenance of the roster of experts. Under institutional arrangements, delegates will discuss, among other issues, new housing arrangements for the Global Mechanism, including a revision of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and collaboration with the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

COP 11 will also feature interactive dialogue sessions with members of parliament, ministers and other high-ranking officials, as well as two half-day open dialogue sessions with civil society.

In addition to the official COP proceedings, a number of other events will take place in Windhoek, including: the Rio Conventions Pavilion; numerous exhibitors and side events; Gender Day, on 25 September; a Deserts and Desertification Film Festival; and a Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Business Forum. [IISD RS Coverage of UNCCD COP 11] [UNCCD COP 11 Webpage]