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News Eighth session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification - Summary and Analysis

The eighth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 8) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) convened in Madrid, Spain, from 3-14 September 2007. In addition to the work of the COP, UNCCD parties also attended the sixth session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 6) from 4-14 September, and the eighth session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST 8) from 4-7 September. Additional events included a special segment on 12-13 September, which featured a dialogue among high-level officials on the theme. “Desertification and adaptation to climate change.” During its opening meeting, many delegations highlighted that COP 8 would be a pivotal meeting in the Convention’s history. They looked to both its development of a ten-year strategic plan and its focus on elements related to its institutional structure, such as the relationship between the Secretariat and Global Mechanism, and the formats of the CRIC and CST, to provide new guidance and opportunities for the Convention to achieve its objectives. Negotiations on most elements proceeded slowly but constructively, with delegates indicating overall satisfaction with the outcomes. The decision on programme and budget, however, was not adopted, leaving parties uncertain about how the reforms adopted in Madrid will be implemented The COP approved twenty-nine decisions before the final gavel at 7:43 am on Saturday, 15 September. These included five decisions related to the CRIC’s agenda and eight decisions related to the CST’s agenda. The decision on the ten-year strategic plan attracted the most attention from COP 8 delegates, because they saw it as an opportunity to refocus the Convention’s institutions with the goal of furthering implementation. The CRIC decision to ask the Secretariat, in consultation with the Global Mechanism, to revise the format of
national reports and the CST decision to convene future sessions in a conference-style format contributed additional efforts to reform the UNCCD’s implementation mechanisms in the coming decade.

Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
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Source of information The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) - Earth Negotiations Bulletin
Keyword(s) desertification, climate change
Geographical coverage International
News date 17/09/2007
Working language(s) ENGLISH