The 17th session of the Committee for the Review the Implementation of the UNCCD Convention (CRIC 17) was held from 28 to 30 January 2019 in Georgetown, Guyana. It was held at the Arthur Chung Conference Center (ACCC). Around 200 delegates from all over the world participated including 30 Civil society organisations lead by CSO panel.

CRIC meetings are held once in between the sessions of the COP to review country reports submitted in compliance with the previous COP decisions.

Prio to CRIC 17th session, the delegates participated from 25th to 26th in the UNCCD Training fair on:

  • Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN)
  • Gender
  • Drought and dust storms20190125_131758

CRIC17 reviewed the first global assessment of land degradation based on Earth observation data reported by governments. The assessment, used a harmonized approach, showing trends in land degradation between 2000 to 2015. It is based on data provided by 145 of the 197 countries that are party to the Convention.

CRIC17 also conducted interactive dialogues on three related emerging issues:

  • the gender action plan as a tool to improve the living conditions of the people affected by land degradation;
  • new and innovative sources to finance initiatives to combat land degradation; and
  • the progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal target on land degradation neutrality, for which the Convention plays a lead role.

During CRIC17, CSOs presented 5 priorities, through which they reminded  delegates about the real concerns of the people affected by land Degradation and desertification and called upon parties to act in the best interests of the people.

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The 5 priorities are :

  1. A stronger recognition of the contributions of community-led initiatives to achieving LDN by policy makers, financial institutions and others.
  2. Increased land tenure security for communities in general but more specifically of women and young people taking into account UNCCD COP14 decision on the implementation of the VGGTs. 
  3. Strengthening the participation and building capacities of civil society especially women’s groups in the decision-making processes on matters related to Land Degradation Neutrality including the setting of targets and in the designing of National Drought Plans so as to guarantee sustainability
  4. Ensuring access to appropriate sources of finance for transformative community-based initiatives to achieve LDN and the civil society organizations that support them 
  5. Transform our society so as to achieve greater sustainability and equity, especially gender equity.

Through statements and interventons on the the diferrent agenda items the CSOs called  upon the Parties to include the recommendations of the CSOs in the CRIC 17 Report and to incorporate the key elements in the decisions to be taken at COP 14.

In the closing plenary it was evident that Parties agreed to the inclusion of CSO recommendations in the final report. This will allow CSO recommedations to be part of the 14th Conference of Parties to UNCCD that will be in October 2019 in India.

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Hereunder you can find the different statements and interventions made by CSOs according to each agenda item:

Strategic objectives 1-5

CSOs expressed the importance of the participation of civil society especially women’s groups that support community-led initiatives in decision-making processes in particular in the setting of Land Degradation Neutrality target and the designing of National Drought Plans.

LDN

CSOs requested parties to create an enabling environment for CSOs particularly women groups in the upscaling and replication of sustainable land management and restoration initiatives by communities.  In order to realize this CSOs urged Parties to consider the implementation of the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure of Land as per UNCCD COP14 decision.

Gender

CSOs highlighted the relevance of the Gender Action Plan of UNCCD and call for its prompt, effective and participatory implementation across UNCCD programmes.

Innovative finance

CSOs called for access to finance support for CSOs involved in the implementation of  transformative community-based initiatives to achieve LDN targets.

Procedures for communication of information

CSOs emphasized on the need for reports to be more gender-sensitive through provision of gender disaggregated data, especially on land tenure rights. Furthermore, CSOs called for national reports to reflect the contributions and achievements of civil society in the realization of sustainable land management, land restoration and land degradation neutrality.

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