UNCCD, UNEP-WCMC Report on Impact Indicator Pilot Project

11 October 2011: The Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the UN Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) have presented the results of a pilot project on impact indicators.

The pilot project took place between July-October 2011, and sought to provide experience with the 11 proposed impact indicators that were selected during the ninth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 9) to the UNCCD, in 2009. The pilot project sought to provide experience with the use of the impact indicators in preparation for the UNCCD's next reporting and review process, which is expected to take place in 2013. UNEP-WCMC provided technical support for the project, under the leadership of the UNCCD and with guidance from the UNCCD's Committee on Science and Technology (CST) Bureau.

The participating countries were: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, China, Colombia, Mexico, Senegal, Portugal, Spain, South Africa and Tunisia. The project was launched at a multi-national inception workshop on 11-13 July in Mexico City, hosted by ECLAC, and concluded with a workshop in October 2011 and the presentation of results in a side event during UNCCD COP 10, in Changwon, Republic of Korea.

Several key messages and lessons learned were reported from the project. Key messages include: reporting on impact indicators contributes to an improved understanding of the land degradation process; indicators can help to identify priority areas of intervention; the pilot exercise has raised awareness of data availability and accessibility; and data and capacity for reporting the UNCCD impact indicators exist, but improvements are needed.

Lessons learned included: the impact indicator set is widely applicable; reporting the majority of the UNCCD impact indicators was feasible using available data sets; the pilot exercise initiated communication between pilot counties and collaboration within countries; some pilot countries found that national data collated for reporting to the other Rio Conventions was challenging to access; sub-national data required for assessing affected areas are limited; some pilot countries found the impact indicators had varying relevance at national and sub-national scales; and a minimum of six months is required for reporting, to have sufficient time to initially secure data access.

UNEP-WCMC has also worked on biodiversity indicators through the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership. [IISD RS Sources] [UNCCD Pilot Project webpage] [National Biodiversity Indicators Portal] [UNCCD News Report about October Workshop]